WEST DORSET has been awarded a starring role in the new star-studded ITV drama series.

Writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall, who lives in Bridport, said he was inspired by the setting when it came to creating the heart of a small community thrown into turmoil by the death of a young boy.

And Mr Chibnall and Richard Stokes, producer of Broadchurch, due to be screened next year, admitted that none of the cast or crew yet know how the series will end.

As stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman filmed a scene on the slipway at West Bay, making the most of a day of good weather, Mr Chibnall, writer of Torchwood, Doctor Who and Life on Mars, said the landscape was very much a character in the drama.

“And that is the way we have shot it,” he said. “Will I be hounded out of town after this? Yes!” he joked.

“No, Broadchurch isn’t about Bridport but it is about a community that has the same sort of shape and geography – it is a Dorset market town.

“Bridport is such an extraordinary town. There is that vibe of living here and the way everybody’s lives weave in and out and you are always bumping into people you know.

“It’s a community that supports each other.

“In Broadchurch, a terrible thing happens in a beautiful place.”

Producer Richard Stokes said it had been a pleasure to work in West Bay.

“It has been lovely; I think the whole crew has loved coming down here. You get so used to filming in large cities where trying to travel anywhere takes forever, so to arrive at your unit base in the morning, to have breakfast and to be able to walk to your location – it’s a joy.

“It is fun to make.

“It is hard work in terms of long hours. You are at the mercy of the weather; days like these are lovely but yesterday we were all up a mountain at Eype with wet weather gear on.”

Mr Stokes said that only a tiny handful of people connected with the production currently knows the outcome.

He said: “I think with the crew not knowing the outcome of the mystery they have become a microcosm of our audience and are really enjoying the mystery and not knowing what the outcome will be and are looking forward to the end – and hopefully the audience will feel the same