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A-Z of Chester's links with the small and silver screens

A look at how the city and the surrounding area has cropped up on the gogglebox time and again

Camera crews can often be spotted filming in and around Chester, but what have they been shooting?

And just how much televisual and cinematic heritage has Chester got to offer?

We've racked our brains to come up with an A-Z of who, when, where, how and why the area has had its five minutes of fame... multiple times over.

A is for A-listers Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy and Arley Hall. Combine the two and you’ve got BBC’s gripping gangster drama Peaky Blinders. The acting heavyweights filmed scenes for season three at the stunning country house near Northwich. The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port was also used as a shooting location.

Scenes for BBC Two's Peaky Blinders were filmed at the National Waterways Museum

B is for Big Brother with a zoological twist. The hugely acclaimed documentary Secret Life of the Zoo offered viewers a fly-on-the-wall look at what it takes to keep Chester Zoo’s thousands of residents fed, watered and happy.

C is for Coronation Street’s take on Carry on Camping last summer. Scenes of the Tinker and Dobbs families’ summer getaway were shot in Sandiway, where they encountered a ‘wilderness survival expert’ played by comedian Paddy McGuinness.

D is for Drive of my Life – the aforementioned Paddy’s new motoring show – which was recently filmed in Northgate Street in Chester city centre. Paddy was joined by former deputy prime minister Lord John Prescott for a spot of classic car-admiring.

Lord John Prescott and Paddy McGuinness filming in Chester's Northgate Street (Image: Leesa Orton)

E is for Evermoor, the Disney Channel miniseries recorded at Arley Hall which told the story of an American teenager who moves to the English village of Evermoor.

F is for the foodie whistle-stop tour of Chester courtesy of Terry and Mason’s Great Food Trip. The late Sir Terry Wogan and his co-presenter Mason McQueen visited Tea on the Wall, Cork’s Out on Watergate Street and the Refectory at Chester Cathedral to sample the city’s culinary delights.

Sir Terry Wogan and Mason McQueen at Tea on the Wall in Chester

G is for Great Paxford – the fictional community in ITV’s wartime drama Home Fires – which is actually the lovely village of Bunbury.

A scene of the ITV series Home Fires is filmed outside Chester Town Hall(Image: David Sejrup)

H is for housewives of the real Cheshire variety. A spin-off of the popular Real Housewives franchise, the show features the glamorous and lavish lifestyles of several women living in the county.

The Real Housewives of Cheshire at Bolesworth Castle near Tattenhall(Image: Jon Baxter)

I is for iconic fictional hero James Bond, portrayed by Chester's very own Daniel Craig who has played 007 in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre.

Daniel Craig as James Bond(Image: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc./PA Wire)

J is for Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor in sci-fi favourite Doctor Who. Jon filmed scenes for The Time Warrior at the imposing country house Peckforton Castle.

K is for Kavi Raz, director of English-Hindi film The Black Prince. The Nave at Chester Cathedral was used for some scenes during the shoot last year.

Director Kavi Raz (Image: Ian Cooper)

L is for likeys and lightys for one Chester man, Sam Ecroyd, who won himself a date to the Isle of Fernandos on Take Me Out.

M is for Mrs Biggs, the 2012 series based on the true story of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs’ wife. Scenes were filmed at Chester Crown Court.

N is for Norris Cole, Coronation Street’s resident gossip who is played by Chester-born actor Malcolm Hebden.

O is for our very own soap opera, Hollyoaks. Set in Chester but now filmed in Liverpool, its high drama and racy storylines hit screens 21 years ago.

Related story: Anger as Chester described as 'fictional town' by national newspaper

P is for Paranoid, the new ITV conspiracy thriller set in the fictional town of Marshwell in Cheshire, but which has actually been filmed in Helsby, Northwich and Knutsford.

Q is for Queen’s Park suspension bridge, the city landmark which proudly used to feature in the opening credits for Hollyoaks.

A man walks his dogs over the suspension bridge towards Queen's Park

R is for real crime and punishment, as shown in groundbreaking BBC4 documentary The Prosecutors which went behind the scenes at Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service and saw justice served in several cases at Chester Crown Court.

S is for screenwriter and playwright extraordinaire Tim Firth whose body of work includes Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots and The Wedding Video which was partly filmed in Chester.

T is for things going bump in the night at Ye Olde King’s Head on Lower Bridge Street for an episode of Most Haunted in 2014. Ghost-hunting presenter Yvette Fielding didn’t experience anything untoward but one crew member heard ‘really weird’ knocking... Spooky.

Licensee Harry Achilleos of Ye Olde King's Head in Lower Bridge Street, Chester, with Most Haunted presenter Yvette Fielding

U is for Uma Thurman, who starred in a 1991 movie of Robin Hood for which Peckforton Castle was used as a shooting location.

V is for the Victorian terraced houses on the city’s Albion and Steele Streets which provided a backdrop for scenes in the ninth series of hit 1940s detective drama Foyle’s War.

Foyle's War being filmed on Albion Street and Steele Street in Chester(Image: Ian Cooper)

W is for whodunnit Houdini and Doyle, which follows friends Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as they solve crimes together in 1901’s London.

Stephen Mangan, who plays Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Houdini & Doyle, waits for his next scene at the end of the alleyway that runs alongside Alexander's Jazz Theatre Bar

X is for eX-pensive holidays and a glimpse into how the other half live thanks to BBC2’s The Millionaires’ Holiday Club, which focuses on Chester-based ITC Luxury Travel – providers of the dream breaks.

Y is for yummy food yet to be cooked by BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin, who lives in Chester, during her upcoming stint on Celebrity Masterchef.

Chester based BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin is to appear on Celebrity Masterchef

Z is for zany zoo shenanigans like shepherding penguins through Upton and a bona fide bear-hunt as featured in Our Zoo, which was based on the true story of the Mottershead family who founded Chester Zoo in the 1930s. The show proved so popular, a Chronicle campaign to persuade the BBC to renew it for a second series attracted more than 2,500 signatures.

Actor Lee Ingelby in a scene from Our Zoo(Image: BBC)

Can you think of any more? Tweet us your suggestions @ChesterChron.

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