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A Full Schedule For Elstree Studios

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Elstree Studios is full of a diverse range of productions including high end drama, feature films, tour rehearsals, commercials, reality shows and panel shows.

Strictly Come Dancing, the UK's most popular live show, is in full swing in George Lucas Stage 2. Ten celebrities have made it through the last week leaving Debbie McGee at the top of the scoreboard for the second week running alongside partner Giovanni Pernice after they scored a near-perfect 39 for their Charleston to Frankie by Sister Sledge. Strictly Come Dancing has dominated the ratings with last week's show peaking at 11.7 million views. The Children In Need special will be pre-recorded on the 4th November. The show will be a Blue Peter special – as all the stars taking part, have been past presenters. The presenters are Konnie Huq, Radzi Chinyanganya, Tim Vincent, Anthea Turner, Diane-Louise Jordan and Mark Curry.

On the 8th December, The Crown Season 2 will be released just in time for Christmas. Elstree Studios is proud to be home to the £100 million drama who has won Best TV Drama and Best Actress (Claire Foy) at the Golden Globes. The Crown creator Peter Morgan said that the second season will pivot to focus more on Prince Philip. "I find him extraordinarily interesting – his childhood, again, you couldn't make it up. The soul of Season 2 is about his complexity."

The Crown is set to run for six seasons and will explore the Queen's entire reign. New actors and actresses will be brought in to play Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip for the show's third and fourth season. The new Queen replacing Claire Foy for the third season is the wonderful, Olivia Colman. The actor replacing Matt Smith has yet to be announced. These parts will be recast again for the fifth and sixth seasons, which are expected to bring the story bang up to date.

For the first time this year, Britain's Got Talent came to Elstree Studios after the closure of Fountain Studios. Managing Director of Elstree Studios, Roger Morris, told Broadcast he would also "love to have The X Factor at Elstree", but acknowledged that it would be impossible as it clashes with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, which also uses George Lucas 2 and is broadcast at the same time of year.

Leading Production Company, Kudos, has production offices here for both sci-fi drama, Humans and Detective Drama, Grantchester. Humans is currently in production at Elstree Studios with season 3. Creator Sam Vincent announced that the new series would be the "biggest, boldest series yet". 'This was Channel 4's biggest drama hit of the past 20 years,' Digital Spy.

BAFTA-winning A League of Their Own is filmed in George Lucas Stage 2. With a height of 15m, the stage is ideal for the shows extreme sporting challenges.

The Voice is returning to Elstree Studios, now produced by ITV.

In stages 8 and 9, BBC Studioworks have many productions turning around weekly, including The Chase, Pointless, Room 101 and Celebrity Juice.

Elstree Studios offers extensive production offices, workshops, dressing rooms, a 28-seat preview theatre, wardrobe and make up rooms, rehearsal rooms and post productions facilities. With 24-hour, seven day a week manned security, together with a comprehensive CCTV camera network, the Studios are specifically designed to give you total peace of mind during your stay.

Elstree's Workshops are full with experts in prosthetics, set construction, drape hire, vehicle hire, carpentry, lighting and many more. Everything you need is on our door step. You can find these companies on the Elstree Studios website under Production Village.

During the past year we have been celebrating the 90th anniversary of our world famous Studios with a host of celebratory events. To round off our celebrations we celebrated Elstree Studios television production of the 1960s & 1970s; from The Human Jungle, The Saint, Return of the Saint, Randall & Hopkirk, Jason King and more. The Guest of Honour was Dame Diana Rigg who found fame at Elstree Studios in The Avengers. This event was held on Sound Stage 9 at Elstree, the very stage she filmed her final scenes of her 51 episodes of The Avengers, back in December 1967.

"We continue to make the very best television in the world in this country", said Dame Diana Rigg.

Other celebrities who attended the event were Peggy Cummins, Angela Douglas, Norman Eshley, Derek Fowlds, William Gaunt, John Hough, Valerie Leon, Aimi MacDonald, Derek Martin, Derren Nesbitt, Marc Sinden, Jack Smethurst, Anita West, and childhood actor, now MP, Giles Watling. Also visiting Elstree, sadly for the last time, was Darth Vader actor Dave Prowse, who has recently announced he will not be making any further public appearances due to ill health.

During the evening, tribute was also paid to the late Sir Roger Moore who became an international star and future James Bond after his appearance in over 100 episodes of The Saint, which were made at Elstree. Exclusive unseen interview material of Roger Moore talking about his days at Elstree was played to the 400 guests after which celebrities reminisced about one of the most adored actors in the business.

The evening concluded with the BBC Concert Band playing music from Elstree film and television productions. These theme tunes include, The Pathfinders, The Third Man, Murder on the Orient Express, The Saint, The Muppets, Superman, The Avengers and The Dambusters.

Roger Morris, Managing Director of Elstree Studios, said: "Elstree's reputation for high quality television continues to this day. Fifty years ago it was The Saint and The Avengers. Today, it is The Crown and Strictly Come Dancing. We remain very proud of our television work here at Elstree. And of course, we now have the outstanding Television technical services of BBC Studioworks based at Elstree Studios."

This article also features in the November edition of Broadcast Film & Video here, page 32.


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