LIGHTS, camera, action! West Dorset is becoming a Mecca for filmmakers as a new film and TV series are set to be shot in the area.

Following the success of hit ITV series Broadchurch and with hopes high for the upcoming film Far From the Madding Crowd the news is welcome news for the local economy.

Hundreds of people from across the county could be appearing on both the small and big screen after casting agents confirmed they would be holding auditions in Bridport.

Casting agency We Got POP is on the hunt for local talent to fill background roles in one film and one television show that will both be filmed in West Dorset.

The Echo understands that the auditions are for a Sherlock Holmes film starring Sir Ian McKellen called A Slight Trick of the Mind.

However, they would not confirm the identity of the TV series.

ITV has confirmed to the Echo that the casting auditions are not for the second series of Broadchurch, which is set to film in West Bay in June, leaving local residents speculating about what other television show will be filming in the area.

Between 200 and 300 hundred extras are required for the roles, and the auditions will take place at the end of June in Bridport.

Kate McLoughlin, director of casting agency We Got POP, said she could not confirm which productions the roles would be for.

Kate said: “We are really excited by the amount of work that is happening in this area. We are really keen to get local people involved in these productions.

“We’re looking for a range of ethnicities, and anyone who has police or military experience is always an added bonus.”

It is not the first time that West Dorset has been targeted by casting agents.

In August last year, producers from the Far From The Madding Crowd movie held casting auditions in both Bridport and Dorchester as they searched for extras for the film.

The film, starring Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak and Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene was shot in Beaminster, Bridport and Dorchester for the adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel, with crowds lining the streets as they tried to get their face on cameras.

It is set for release next year.

Steve Tucker, of West Bay bistro Ellipse, said he and staff have been approached by the casting agency.

He said: “I am a bit surprised it’s not for Broadchurch, I wonder if they are trying to distract people by saying it is not for them.

“But, it is still brilliant news for the area. I think that any television show or film that is filmed in this area is good for Dorset in general and for the Bridport and West Bay area.”

To apply for the auditions visit