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Galaxy of TV stars in town to film comedy

The cast of Grey Mates includes Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, Philip Jackson, Alison Steedman, James Smith, Paula Wilcox and June Whitfield
The cast of Grey Mates includes Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, Philip Jackson, Alison Steedman, James Smith, Paula Wilcox and June Whitfield

Some of Britain’s favourite television actors caused a stir last week when they arrived in Herne Bay to film a new comedy. Film crews parked their trucks in Hampton and recorded footage on the sea-front there and at the Central Bandstand. The Hat Trick Production programme filmed a pilot for Grey Mates in Herne Bay in September last year, and returned to the town on Thursday to begin filming. Last of the Summer Wine’s Russ Abbot and former Dynasty actress Stephanie Beacham were among those on set attracting attention from passers-by. Mr Abbot even took time out of his schedule to visit 82-year-old Violet Tutt at Pebble’s Reach guest house in Central Parade. Violet’s son-in-law Mick Pearce said:

Violet Tutt, 82, was delighted to meet Russ Abbot
Violet Tutt, 82, was delighted to meet Russ Abbot

“My daughter Cheryl arranged for Russ Abbot to come along and visit. They were filming right out in front of us, so it really made her day to see him. She has been a bit down lately, so it cheered her up, she was over the moon. He is just that sort of chap, a really friendly guy.”

Bandstand cafe owner Hassan Hassan greeted some of the stars. He said:

“I think it’s fantastic, not just for the Bandstand, but for the town. It raises the profile for Herne Bay. It’s not the first time film crews have used the venue, we’ve had BBC and radio productions doing different things here. A few years ago we had Little Britain filming on the seafront, and I’m a big fan of David Walliams. To have the likes of Stephanie Beacham and Russ Abbot here is great, they are high profile stars so will really help to promote the area and keep Herne Bay in the spotlight.”

Film crews at the bandstand
Film crews at the bandstand

The stellar cast will feature in the ups and downs of three couples living in the town of Thurne Mouth – Norfolk’s only west-facing resort. BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said the show is due to appear on our screens later this year. She added:

“Comedy has a unique ability to make the ordinary extraordinary and Grey Mates delivers that with a big hit of characters. This series is hilariously brought to life by a stellar cast whose relationships are tested in a multitude of ways.”

Herne Bay Gazette, May 29th 2014

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