Published: 10:00, 13 September 2017
Deal and its landmarks were unmissable in the opening episode of new television drama Liar.
The first installment of the six-part ITV thriller, produced by the same people behind hit TV shows Broadchurch, The Living And The Dead and Poldark, aired at 9pm on Monday, leaving millions who tuned in scratching their heads.
Starring Joanne Froggatt, known for her role in Downtown Abbey and Ioan Gruffudd, of Hornblower, viewers were left trying to work out who was lying after teacher Laura Nielson claims she was sexually assaulted following a first date with widowed surgeon Andrew Earlham.
Providing the backdrop throughout the hour-long episode was Deal and Kingsdown.
The makers of the show took over two houses in the town during filming last November, one towards the north end of the Marina, which is the home of character Laura, and the other in Wellington Parade in Kingsdown, which is the home of her sister.
Fantastic drone footage showed off Deal’s popular pier landmark as well as providing the setting for more tense scenes between Laura’s sister and ex-boyfriend, with the waves crashing over the lower fishing decks adding to the drama.
Jasin’s Restaurant on the Pier, decorated with white table cloths and romantic lighting was the setting for the main characters’ first date.
Scenes were also shot in Deal Beach Parlour and cafe Hope and Lane.
Producer Eliza Mellor told Kent Online: “I knew Deal from having spent time with friends there, so when director James Strong was looking for a seaside town, Deal came to mind as a place which hadn’t been over exposed on television.
“The strong, structuralist element of the pier, in particular, appealed to us for visual reasons and we liked the idea of the first date taking place here.
“It was such a pleasure working in Deal, everyone was incredibly helpful and supportive – we just wish we could have spent longer here.”
It is hoped the positive image of the town projected in the drama could result in an influx of tourism.
Hotelier and restauranteur Ian Dunkerley said: “It’s all good for Deal. Apart from filling hotel rooms in the area during the winter when they were filming, it seems to have shown Deal for all of its strengths and that can only be good for the future of the town.
“It especially showed off the pier. I thought it was excellent.”
Having closed her establishment for filming for a day and a half, Deal Beach Parlour owner Louise Grinstead was pleased with how Deal was represented.
She said: “I think the pier, the seafront and the houses along the Marina looked lovely. I’d like to think this has put Deal on the map.”
She added: “They wanted a traditional ice cream parlour for the scene and there are only two in Kent so it was nice that they chose us. The crew were lovely.”
Another brand new drama, Rellik, made by the same production company and the same writers as Liar, aired on BBC1 at the same time as Liar.
Liar came out on top with more than a quarter (26%) of people watching television at that time tuning in.
Rellik got 3.6 million viewers which was 18.1% share of the audience watching TV that night.