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18 June 2014
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Legacies - North West Wales

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North West Wales
Portmeirion - Architectural Fantasy Becomes Dream Location

Location, location, location …

Portmeirion has had many famous visitors including Noel Coward, who wrote the play 'Blithe Spirit' there in May 1941. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright visited in 1956 as part of his only visit to his ancestral home, Wales. In 1966, Patrick McGoohan, the driving force behind the series 'The Prisoner' persuaded Williams-Ellis to allow him to film there. The programme has since become a cult television classic shown in over 60 countries, which has brought attention to the resort from around the world.

Patrick McGoohan as No. 6 in The Prisoner, filmed at Portmeirion.
Patrick McGoohan starred as the central character, 'Number Six': a secret agent held among a brainwashed, captive population by a mysterious regime. The prisoners were known only by numbers and were policed by large balloons that would smother them if they attempted to escape. Portmeirion provided an ideal backdrop for the surreal programme - Williams-Ellis acknowledged that the series set Portmeirion off to its best advantage.

The programme's cult status was confirmed by the establishment of the official Prisoner Appreciation Society in the 1970's. The location also lent itself as the backdrop to the Dr Who story, 'Masque of Mandragora,' in 1976

TV today

More recently, in the last episode of ITV's drama series, 'Cold Feet', the characters visited Portmeirion to scatter the ashes of the character Rachel Bradley (played by Helen Baxendale), who had enjoyed romantic times there with her partner Adam (James Nesbitt). The resort is also a popular place to get married - headlines were made this spring when Brian Capron - Coronation Street's serial killer Richard Hillman - married long term girlfriend there in June 2003.

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Internet Links
North West Wales: Hall of Fame
North West Wales: Great Outdoors: Gardens
Portmeirion hosts Cold Feet finale
TV villain's Portmeirion wedding
– Dr Who
Official Portmeirion website
Prisoner Appreciation Society
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