BBC One’s Ghosts stands out amongst fellow British sitcoms for its distinctive setting, an enormous countryside property that simply so occurs to be populated by a ragtag group of pleasant ghosts.
Filming takes place at West Horsley Place, Surrey, which turns into the grand (albeit unloved) abode that Alison and her husband Mike unexpectedly inherit.
The collection explores how the younger couple deal with sharing their residence with the unruly ghouls, whereas additionally making an attempt to renovate the property which is falling aside in some areas.
It could shock some to be taught that the home is comparable in real-life to the way it seems within the collection, one thing RadioTimes.com noticed firsthand once we visited the set earlier this 12 months.
Producer Matthew Mulot confirmed us across the big home, which turns into a bustling hive of exercise because the crew behind Ghosts prepares for a shoot.
The group arrives six weeks earlier than filming begins to start ageing down the property and transferring in props, though the manor has additionally retained a few of its authentic objects.
Probably the most useful have been bought by Bamber and Christina Gascoigne to boost important funds for the West Horsley Place Belief, which is in search of to rescue and restore the Grade I listed constructing and its surrounding property.
It goes with out saying that the crew take the best care to make sure that nothing of historic worth is broken or affected by their exercise, leaving West Horsley Place precisely as they discovered it.
“We begin reinstating all the pieces on our method out so by the point we’re filming our final scene of the final day, virtually all the pieces is again to the way it was bar that one house that we’re filming in,” Mulot explains.
However, they get probably the most worth out of their location as doable, utilising just about each room for scenes or storage and discovering creative workarounds for probably the most formidable scenes.
Within the opening of collection one, an aged lady passes away in her bed room and we see her ghost float up earlier than disappearing off someplace unknown, a scene that was truly filmed in a very completely different a part of the home.
Mulot recalled: “The reality is, there’s not an terrible lot of room in [the bedroom] to be floating a woman round, so within the ballroom we arrange an enormous inexperienced display, and we had Ania [Marson] stood on a inexperienced field on her tiptoes pretending to drift.
“The trick was, we had a digicam that was up excessive and it simply slowly moved down towards the inexperienced display so then the impact was that it seemed like she was rising up.
“It was fairly a quantity, however as a result of it was the start of episode one, we wished to do one thing that was fairly visually arresting.”
The manufacturing group behind Ghosts have pulled off a number of formidable sequences at West Horsley Place, however imagine the exhausting work is at all times value it in service to comedy.
Mulot continued: “We do must weigh up how difficult it is, how costly it is, how humorous it is – and if it’s humorous, it’s value tackling one and two.”
“If it’s not humorous, we’re like ‘we’re not spending X amount of cash and X period of time doing that’. However the [writers] are hilarious and the scripts are nice, so most of the time in the event that they write it we simply discover a strategy to do it.”
That was the case with the so-called “plague pit” scenes, that includes a big cluster of ghosts who reside within the basement of the home – which are literally filmed in a room subsequent door to the kitchen.
Mulot revealed: “There’s only a room that’s not a basement in any respect, however we simply blackout all the home windows, we cowl over the doorways to the kitchen with the boiler and another issues, and we principally simply create that.
“To be honest, if we did have a basement, filming down in it might in all probability be a nightmare. It’s already fairly darkish and claustrophobic, as a result of the thought is there’s form of infinite plague victims down there.”
West Horsley Place is at the moment beneath renovation in real-life, that means that a few of the scaffolding noticed all through collection one was actual, versus set dressing.
“We will simply incorporate it into our story that that’s simply work they’re having performed, quite than the real-life builders are genuinely coming again the day after we end filming to proceed working in that room,” Mulot mentioned.
West Horsley Place Belief hopes to show the property right into a welcoming house for the neighborhood to share and luxuriate in with arts, historical past, wellbeing and nature at its coronary heart.
Ghosts star Kiell Smith-Bynoe advised RadioTimes.com that progress appears to be coming alongside properly, which made filming collection two a neater expertise than the primary.
“It’s been upgraded massively for the reason that first collection, they did some fundraising and so they added heating in the home which undoubtedly made a distinction,” mentioned Smith-Bynoe. “It feels a bit extra like a home I believe, quite than this previous constructing that we’re filming in. I believed it was a lot nicer this time round.”
Ghosts returns to BBC One on Monday 21st September. When you’re ready go to our TV Information to see what’s on tonight, or take a look at our information to new TV reveals 2020 to seek out out what’s airing this autumn and past.