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Filming underway in Armagh today for major new BBC drama

Celebrity spotters will be out in force in Armagh as filming gets underway on a major new BBC drama.

Dougray Scott, star of Mission Impossible II, Game of Thrones’ Charles Dance and X-Men and EastEnders actor Ben Hardy are among the top names who will be on location in the city on Tuesday.

They feature among the cast of period drama ‘The Woman in White’.

Armagh has previously been used as a backdrop for The Frankenstein Chronicles.

And as Armagh I revealed last week, so-called ‘screen tourism’ will play a big part of the borough’s future draw for visitors, as we reported that bids would be made to ‘market’ the city as a possible location for filming.

This is the latest period drama which will use period buildings in the city centre as a backdrop.

The Woman in White also stars, among others, Taboo and War and Peace actress Jessie Buckley, Olivia Vinall (Apple Tree Yard), Art Malik (Sherlock), Joanna Scanlon (The Thick Of It), Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On) and Riccardo Scamarcio (London Spy).

Ben Hardy is excited about the new drama.

He said: “I have always admired and been a fan of the BBC’s period dramas and I’m so thrilled to be playing the leading role of Walter in this classic story.

Jessie Buckley added: “It’s really exciting to be playing a woman like Marion who has such a strength and rooted integrity. In the midst of this Victorian male puppeteered world where suspense, interrogation and speculative intoxication is what drives this story forward you find Marion, who is undefined by her sex and undefined by her society. She is the Janis Joplin of her time and I can’t wait to learn from this wonderful woman.”

After Walter Hartright encounters a ghostly woman dressed all in white on a moonlit road, he soon finds himself drawn into a mysterious and disturbing world.

Romance, suspense, and danger combine as secrets come to the fore in Wilkie Collins’ haunting tale of insanity and identity.

Viewed by many as the first psychological thriller novel, The Woman In White will take viewers on a chilling ride down the shadowy paths and corridors of English country houses and ultimately into the depths of the Victorian madhouse.

Writer Fiona Seres, says: “The Woman In White is a powerful, poignant story and I have absolutely loved adapting this epic for the screen. I’m thrilled it’s attracted such an exciting, high-calibre cast who I know will bring it to life in a unique and intimate way.”

The five-part series – each episode an hour in length – will be produced by Origin Pictures for BBC One.

Adapted for television by Fiona Seres, the series will be executive produced by David Thompson for Origin Pictures and Sarah Stack for the BBC.

Filming got underway this week and will last for 13 weeks, mainly around Belfast, but location shooting will be taking place in Armagh on Tuesday.

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