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Filming hotting up for new TV comedy

Dudley | | Published:

[gallery] Unlikely love stories have provided laughs for sitcom fans across the generations – and a series filmed in Wolverhampton looks set to join those ranks as it heads for mainstream TV.

Filming for the six-part comedy For the Love of Ella, which features a host of stars is now half finished.

After a week of filming at The Prince Albert pub in Wolverhampton the production has now moved to Bridgnorth.

Written and co-produced by Dudley-born novelist and scriptwriter, Simon Golding, the latest shoot has seen some of the picturesque town's most iconic venues feature.

The block of filming included two Bridgnorth locations – a property in St Mary's Street, owned by ex-barrister Julian Elcock and his wife, and The Coach House, in Hospital Street, both at no cost to the newly formed production company, Salopian Films.

Scenes have also been filmed at Astbury Hall in Bridgnorth, owned by former Judas Priest guitarist Ken Downing.

For The Love of Ella stars Ewen MacIntosh – who played 'Big' Keith in The Office – as an Eastern European scientist who falls in love with Ella, played by Lucy Drive who had a small role in The Borgias.

The sitcom also features cameo appearances from comedians Bobby Ball, Darren Day and Billy Pearce, Celebrity Big Brother winner Alex Reid and TV presenter Melanie Sykes. Two scenes have been filmed in the Prince Albert's club and bar areas of the grade II-listed building, both featuring McIntosh and Drive.

The film company was launched by Mr Golding and James Farina, who is directing and co-producing the pilot episode, which follows the love-struck Polish scientist as he tries to win over the love of his life. James Frizzell, manager of the Majestic Cinema in Bridgnorth, is also a co-producer. Mr Golding said: "The BBC had already shown interest in an early draft.

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"I have written scripts in the past, the last being Bern and Glo, with my long-time writing partner TV presenter Melanie Sykes. The script was taken on by one of the biggest independent production companies in the UK, who went on to secure development funds from Channel 4. In the end the finished product would have resembled little of what Mel and I had envisioned so we walked away from the project. I promised myself after that, that if I ever penned a script I believed in I would produce it myself." Further filming will take place in Bridgnorth during January before the whole production moves to London and Weymouth for the final scenes.

Mr Golding said he was pleased with his decision to cast former cage fighter and Celebrity Big Brother contestant, Alex Reid, in a comedy role.

He said: "I had studied Alex during his time in Celebrity Big Brother and just knew he could not only act but also do comedy. It was a tremendous thrill when he loved the script, accepted the part and joined the cast."

Although nearly half the filming has been completed for the pilot funds are still required. Salopian Films has set up product placement opportunities and investment packages.

Any businesses wishing to back the series can contact Mr Golding on 07854 113647 or visit www.indiegogo.com and search 'For the Love of Ella'.

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