MORE than two decades ago, soap star Nick Berry graced Bridport and West Bay with his presence as he filmed BBC One drama, Harbour Lights.

First airing on February 18, 1999, the programme followed the protagonist Mike Nicholls, a former Royal Navy officer who returns to his childhood town of 'Bridehaven' to take on the role of harbourmaster. Achieving limited success, Harbour Lights ran for two series, with the final episode shown in May 2000. The programme featured storylines including blossoming romances between lead characters, ruthless business dealings, and inter-family feuding.

The drama was filmed in and around the west Dorset region, with recognisable locations in West Bay including the Riverside restaurant, the harbourmaster's office in West Bay and the Bridport Arms Hotel. Also making an appearance was the Lyric Theatre, St John's Church and both the community hospital and police station in Bridport.

While the area welcomed series one, series two proved to contain more violent and hard-hitting storylines than its predecessor, causing some of the community of West Bay to distance themselves from the false impression shown of their town.

Nick Berry was best known for his roles as Simon Wicks in Eastenders between the years of 1985 and 1990, and as PC Nick Rowan in Heartbeat from 1992 to 1998. He dabbled in music and in 1986 released the single Every Loser Wins, which went to number one in the UK chart and remained there for three weeks.

In Harbour Lights, he starred alongside Tina Hobley, who played a police constable and Mike's immediate love interest, as well as Gerard Horan, Tim Matthews and Freddie Davies.