TV Shows, Netflix films and photo shoots have been among the dozens of productions that have been produced in Dorset over the past year.

Dorset has been a popular destination in recent years to film major TV series such as Broadchurch as well as films Ammonite and Dunkirk, but there has been a number of film crews spotted around the county in recent months.

We submitted a Freedom of Information request to Dorset Council find out what productions wanted to film in their authority area from January 2020 until mid-August 2021 based on submitted filming permit requests.

The data shows that more than 50 productions have been filmed across the Dorset Council area in this time period.

While the data gave us an indication of what production companies wanted to film, when they filmed and if there were any requirements, some applications did not share a filming date or list what they were.

How does Dorset Council grant filming?

Dorset Echo: Jamie Redknapp in Weymouth as he filmed A League of Their OwnJamie Redknapp in Weymouth as he filmed A League of Their Own

A council spokesman stated that the authority can only process requests to film on land or assets that belong to Dorset Council.

Submitted film permit requests list a brief or detailed description of the filming, where they aim to film, if there’s any road closures, and when crews aim to film.

The exception to this being a contractual arrangement that is in place with Weymouth Town Council to process requests to film on Weymouth Beach and Esplanade.

This means for example, a filming permit was not required for the filming of a new Star Wars TV series at Winspit Quarry as it is privately owned land and did not require any road closures.

Likewise, Channel 5 filmed extra scenes for The Hotel Inspector in summer 2020 as part of a revisit to a South Perrott hotel and filming permission was therefore not required by the council.

How much did Dorset Council make from filming?

Dorset Echo: Kate Humble filmed a segment for her Channel 5 series in Lyme RegisKate Humble filmed a segment for her Channel 5 series in Lyme Regis

The council say it received £5,272.00 in total during the period January, 1 2020 and August 10, 2021 for filming on land or assets owned by the authority.

A spokeswoman for the council was unable to give a direct reason for the amount raised but shared they do not charge crews 'who are producing documentaries or educational materials.'

For example, the filming that took place for the Middlesex University and Bournemouth University productions likely were granted free of charge.

What productions were filmed in Dorset?

Dorset Echo:

A number of productions on the list were publicly known.

For example, a film crew took over Lyme Regis' The Cobb to film scenes for the new Persuasion film for Netflix, starting Dakota Fanning in June this year.

A League of Their Own visited Weymouth Harbour to film a segment for the popular Sky series, Kate Humble took a tour of the Jurassic Coast last Summer as part of a documentary series and ITVBe's 'Billie and Greg: The Family Diaries'.

A number of photo shoots, student films and advertisements were also filmed in the area.

It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions had a big impact on submitted filming permit requests as there was a noticeable gap between April and June 2020 with no filming requests submitted to Dorset Council.

A number of these productions have been since been broadcast, such as A League of Their Own and Coastal Walks with Kate Humble, but some have not yet been shown on TV or social media.

Here is the full list of productions in Dorset between 2020 and mid-August 2021, with locations and rough film times in chronological order:

The Secret History of WWII (TV Series) – Six-part history documentary series for Channel 5 which focuses on some of the lesser known stories and events of WWII. The filming was for its D-Day episode and showcased Operation/Exercise Tiger, which was a disastrous D-Day rehearsal that happened in the Lyme Bay area. Filming took place on Lyme Bay on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

Countryfile (TV Series) – BBC Studios filmed in Shaftesbury around the annual Snowdrop Festival. Film crews filmed around Gold Hill, Abbey Walk, Park Walk, Gold Hill Parade (the forecourt of the Town Hall). For the opening of the show, they aimed to film a sequence on Gold Hill, and use of a drone to show off the location and the town. Filming took place on February 6 and 7, 2020.

Unknown film by Frieda TV – Crews followed a group of friends from Weymouth; learning about their lives, jobs, relationships, and what they like to do on a night out together. The permit states the film ‘will tell a story about what’s it like to be a young adult in 2020, as well as being a showcase for the best of Weymouth’s nightlife.’ Filming took place in early March 2020.

Bournemouth University (Student production) - A group of 12 students filming a small television post-apocalyptic drama at Ashley Heath Halt railway station. A second year Bournemouth University student production, proof of concept for a TV series comprising of a trailer and short film. 

Bournemouth University (Student production) - Film student from Bournemouth University wished to use a quiet road in Bincombe Down for a short graduate fiction film. Filming aimed to take place in March 2020.

Bournemouth University (Student production) - Film student from Bournemouth University producing a short film for a graduate project. One of the scenes required a small, secluded car park for a shot of dialogue between two characters by their van. This short scene four our film would not take long, and we'd be as quick as possible, whilst not disrupting any members of public or blocking car parking spaces. Filming took place for The Royal Yard Car Park in Weymouth.

Long Lost Family (TV Series) – Wall to Wall Media LTD filmed an episode of the ITV documentary series Long Lost Family. Crews filmed one contributor and working with a reduced crew to follow distancing measures.  Filming at several locations in Sherborne including Digby Road, Greenhill, Gryphon School, Bristol Road, St Paul's playground, Cheap Street and The Rose & Crown Inn in summer 2020.

Unknown production – Via Eighth Ladder Ltd, they filmed one person walking on Chesil Beach and the surrounding area. Filming in summer 2020.

Unknown production - Uplands TV wished to film interviews and readings of books with talent for a documentary TV show in Burton Bradstock or West Bay. Filming in summer 2020.

Coastal Walks with Kate Humble (TV Series) – Film crews for Coastal walks with Kate Humble started in Exmoor then heading over to Dorset. Crews wished to film in Lyme Regis, Beer and Charmouth beach. Filming took place on July 9 and 10 in 2020 at Lyme Regis harbour, Sherbourne Lane, The Lynch, Coombe street, Westhay Meadows, Monmouth Beach and Seaton Wetlands.

Invitation Au Voyage (TV Series) – Elephant filmed four mini documentaries, 14 minutes each, on Tracy Chevalier’s novel Remarkable Creatures and another on John Fowles’ novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The programme was for Au Voyage and broadcast on the French and German cultural channel ARTE. Filming took place in July 2020 on The Cobb, fossil beaches and locations in Lyme Regis and Weymouth Pier.

Escape to the Country (TV Series) – The series, produced by Boundless Productions, filmed across the area ‘in order to show off the draw of the Dorset coastline to our house hunters and audience alike we are hoping to arrange a small amount of filming on the beach whilst we are in the area’. Filming took place at West Bay beach and Eype beach in summer 2020.

"Le socle du monde" or "Top of the rocks" (TV Series) – Filming a series of documentary on Stones and Rocks around the world for foreign TV. The series is focused on a mix of history and geology for a wide audience broadcast on prime time. Film crews filmed in West Bay in summer 2020.

Unknown production – Viacom Studios filmed an unknown production which saw a presenter, contributor and got general shots along the Cobb, in Lyme Regis during the week of September 21, 2020.

'How To Be Mortgage Free’ (working title of TV series) – Filming contributors who are looking to move to the area for a TV series. Filming took place on West Bay Beach in summer 2020.

Advertisement for medical technology company - Campfire Ltd, now operating fully under parent company MadeBrave Ltd, filmed a testimonial interview on behalf of a medical technology company. Filming saw a person meet a family in the Weymouth area and capture some footage of them together there. Filming took place around multiple locations in Weymouth in September 2020.

Clothing photoshoot – Two-day photoshoot shooting Spring/Summer 2021 clothing range for an unnamed fashion brand. Filming took place on Portland and Chesil Beach in September 2020.

Ben Fogle - New lives in the wild (TV Series) – Ben Fogle was filmed walking along streets in and around Litton Chaney, namely Litton Lane and Cox Lane. Filming took place between October 1 to October 8.

Channel 5 travel logue (TV Series) – Filming took place on Friday, October 2 across Lyme Regis, namely the Cobb, Lower Walkway, Marine Parade, beach outside Jane’s Café, Sandy Beach and East Cliff.

Corporate responsibility video – A piece to camera with a presenter on Chesil beach for a corporate responsibility video. Used a film crew and possibly a drone. Filmed in October 2020 on Chesil beach south of Cogden Beach car park.

The Buildings That Fought Hitler (TV Series) – A eight-part series commissioned by the channel Yesterday and produced by Hello Mary Productions focusing on the defensive structures and sites utilised during the Second World War to defend the UK against the threat of imminent invasion. Filming took place in Weymouth Harbour and Portland Harbour.

A League of Their Own: Great British Road trip (TV Series) - CPL Productions filmed a segment for A League Of Their Own: Great British Roadtrip. The Sky One episode saw four team members out for a fishing challenge led by Marco Pierre White.  The segment saw a challenge to see who can catch the most fish while out at sea. Filmed at Weymouth Harbour and sea on Monday, January 25.

Britannia (TV Series) – Filming for the Sky series set in Roman Britain. Described as ‘quite a large production’ looking to film on Portland and other locations in Dorse. Filming took place in early 2021.

Jethro Marshall photo shoot - Photographing a look book for a new independent yoga brand, with one model around the sea and cliffs at Eype Beach. Filming took place in early 2021.

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh (TV Series) – Filmed a short piece for the ITV series on West Bay Beach and Lyme Regis Beach on January 29.

Photo shoot - A model photographed for a relocation company, that wants to show how they value and support unique individuals they help move around the world through a series of portraits. Filming took place in Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis beach and Cobb Lower Walkway.

Promotional shoot for hotel - The Gresham Hotel in Weymouth was filmed for hospitality/tourism promotional corporate video to promote hotel and its location, filmed from 50m horizontal plane. Greenhill Beach used as take-off and landing point.

Jane Austin's Persuasion (Netflix feature film) –Crews filmed scenes for Netflix’s “modern and witty” adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’, a novel partially based in Lyme Regis in mid-June. Starring Dakota Johnson, filming took place along the Cobb wall in June 2021.

Music video – An untitled music video filmed in West Dorset, namely West Bexington Beach, the cliffs by Texaco Service Station and West Bay Beach in first quarter of 2021.

Middlesex University (Student production) - The short film is a family drama about a young woman's relationship with her grandpa and their differing views on the world made for our university final project. Litter was ‘dumped’ on the beach as part of the scene, but contained soon after filming was completed. Filmed on West Bay Beach in and around March 2021.

RNLI promotion – RNLI West Bay Lifeguards were filmed doing training, exercise on West Bay Beach and interviews. Lifeguards were filmed preparing for the season during a pandemic, as well as filming them train, putting on their PPE. Filming took place on the week of Monday, March 22.

Filming sand artwork – Hope and Glory wanted to film a piece of sand artwork being created and wanted to capture photography and videography of the art. Filmed on Weymouth beach.

Bear Grylls project (TV Series) – The unnamed production saw crews film a road trip along the Dorset coast with Bear Grylls stopping off at various points of interest along the way. Filming took place on Burton Road, Chesil Beach and Lyme Regis slipway on April 8 and April 9.

Promotion for Dorset Museum - The Dorset Museum filmed a promotional video ‘to provide a great visitors experience and bring together the landscape and our heritage.’

For use inside its museum and on its social media platforms. Filming took place in May 2021 in and around the museum, The Frink Statues, The Ridgeways, Portland Bill and West Bay Cliffs.

Cooking show for ITV (TV Series) - Rock Oyster Media filmed a segment with Dorset Sea Salt ‘to champion their produce’. This was for an untitled ITV cooking series on Portland beach in April 2021.

Clothing photo shoot – A photographer took photographs of friends acting as models to promote new t-shirt collection. Took place at West Bay Harbour and Beach in June 2021.

Dorset Echo: Billie Faiers shared a photo with her family near Weymouth Beach. Picture: InstagramBillie Faiers shared a photo with her family near Weymouth Beach. Picture: Instagram

BBC Sport interview – Crews filmed a litter picking feature with Olympic sailor Hannah Mills, who is leading the 'Big Plastic Pledge' for international athletes going into the games this summer.  She was joined by a small group of school children who asked questions about how they can go plastic free.  The feature was set to be featured within the BBC’s Olympics Games coverage as a preview to the Sailing competition. Filming took place in June 2021 on Weymouth Beach.

Robson Green: Fishing Coast to Coast (TV Series) – Crews filmed presenter Robson Green taking a boat out from Weymouth harbour to fish for conger eel.  Filmed at Weymouth Harbour in summer 2021.

Untitled ITV series - Filming a documentary for ITV which shows a scent maker will be taking a new scent to Weymouth Beach and asking the public what they think of it. Took place in summer 2021.

George Clarke's Old House New Home (TV Series) – Presenter George Clarke is following the renovation of a residential property in Weymouth for George Clarke's Old House New Home. He discussed the design history of a coat stand in an outdoor location in Weymouth before it is seen styled into the final interior design. Filming took place in Preston Beach in summer 2021.

BBC Bitesize (Online video) – Crews filmed education videos on Geography for BBC Bitesize to act as revision aids for the website. Filming took place on Chesil Beach in summer 2021.

Untitled Channel 5 TV series - Pacific filmed mainly on a private farm in Bettiscombe but also filmed in the surrounding area of Dorset with various shops and local businesses for a TV series for Channel Five.

Great Coastal Railway Journeys (TV Series) – A new documentary series for BBC2 called Great Coastal Railway Journeys, presented by Michael Portillo. Film crews were across Dorset at iconic buildings and views of landmarks, namely Weymouth, Portland Stone, Isle of Portland, Dorchester, Wareham, Corfe Castle, Sandbanks and Brownsea Island in summer 2021.

Wild Isle (TV Series) – Film otters from the banks of the River Stour for a major blue chip wildlife series for BBC One. A camera operator was filming with a long lens camera and tripod and joined by a spotter to help look for the otters. He aimed to film along Dorset Council owned stretches of River Stour.

Social media shoot – Temperley London shot a model for social media stills in July 2021.

Billie and Greg: The Family Diaries (TV Series) – Crews filmed the new series of ITVBe's 'Billie and Greg: The Family Diaries', which saw Billie Faiers and Greg Shepherd having a family day at the beach. Took place on Weymouth beach or West Bay beach.

Escape to the Country (TV Series) – Crews filmed a picnic and a walk on Weymouth Beach. Filming took place in July 2021.

The Perfect Pitch (TV Series) - Avanti Media filmed a series for Channel during which caravaners travel the length and breadth of the country exploring and discovering the best the UK can offer. Filmed along the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Bay Rib Charters took the show’s contributors out on the water from Burton Bradstock to Monmouth Beach. Shots along the Esplanade in West Bay and using the location to do shots from the shore and operate a drone over the sea to follow the boat. Filming took place on Wednesday, July 28.

Tourist boost linked to filming as Dorset Council encourages film crews to area

A Dorset Council spokeswoman said: “Dorset Council is keen to support the creative industries and welcomes requests from production companies wanting to film in the area.

“In recent years for example, our harbour offices and parking teams have helped to facilitate major Hollywood films such as Dunkirk and Ammonite at Weymouth and Lyme Regis, and high end TV dramas such Broadchurch at West Bay.

“We do this because we recognise the huge benefits these high profile projects can bring to Dorset, in terms of helping to boost tourism and to generate income for local people and indeed the council.

“While these production opportunities can be lucrative, they tend to be rare. We receive many more applications from small production companies with limited budgets and it is currently our policy not to charge crews who are producing documentaries or educational materials.

“We are keen to encourage more high-end productions in the area, but there have been recent challenges which both the creative industries and the council have had to overcome, not least COVID-19.

“As we start to recover from the effects of the pandemic we are looking at how we can best promote the assets we have and make Dorset the best location for filming to take place.”