MON DIEU! Millions of French television viewers have been treated to the weather forecast for West Dorset.
But it was Broadchurch that suddenly appeared on the weather map on the France 2 channel to mark the launch of the smash-hit TV series filmed in West Bay.
Just before the first of three episodes of the ITV mystery drama aired popular French weather forecaster Philippe Verdier pointed out the west Dorset coast with Broadchurch highlighted in what media pundits described as “a rather astonishing and rather amusing plug”.
The heavy promotion including elaborate trailers setting the scene, paid off as France 2 picked up 6.7 million viewers – the best figures the channel has seen in two years.
At the same time, the first pictures have been revealed of David Tennant filming Gracepoint, the US Broadchurch spin-off.
Reprising the character of DI Alec Hardy, but re-named Detective Emmett Carver and with an American accent, Tennant is seen with co-star Anna Gunn, best known for her role in Breaking Bad, as colleague Ellie Miller.
He sports his Broadchurch character DI Alec Hardy’s beard and haunted expression.
The filming for the ten part Fox TV series substitutes a town called Oak Bay in British Columbia, Canada, for West Bay.
The Broadchurch Echo – based on the Bridport News – becomes the Gracepoint Journal and the series starts at its offices – a former pharmacy in the picturesque town.
The 10-episode drama, which focuses on the fallout after a boy is murdered in a small town, will air on Fox sometime in 2015 and also stars Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Michael Peña and Kevin Rankin.
Bridport resident Chris Chibnall, who created the UK series, has previously said that he is excited to see how the American version of his show turns out.
He wrote the first episode and is executive producer.
“It’s the same story,” he said. “It is set in America, there will be differences along the way, certain character changes. It will not be identical.”
Fan convention cancelled
THE inaugural Broadchurch Fan convention weekend has been cancelled due to a lack of demand.
Named the ‘Broadchurch Experience’, it was scheduled to take place this weekend and include tours of the shooting locations in West Bay and Eype, plus quizzes on the show and the screening of the entire first series back-to-back.
There was initially huge interest on social media in the weekend, but Tony Colston, one of the organisers, confirmed that it had been cancelled after not enough people booked the weekend, with tickets costing around £200.