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Filming of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle's Sex Pistols Hulu TV series Pistol comes to Dover


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Never Mind the Bollards, Here's the Sex Pistols!

Filming of a Danny Boyle-led punk TV drama is underway – and residents will have to park their cars elsewhere after spaces were coned off.

Pictures from Dover seafront show closed streets around Marine Parade as the all-star cast of Pistol move in to the seaside town while work is starting in Deal to create a set at King Street.

Parking is suspended from 12.01am to 11.59pm in Marine Parade, Dover between the junctions of Douro Place and Waterloo Crescent (taking about 67 parking spaces), Wellesley Road from Marine Parade to Camden Crescent and Camden Crescent between the junctions with New Bridge and Wellesley Road.

1970s vehicles are used in the seafront set as a treat for classic car enthusiasts - if they can get to them...
1970s vehicles are used in the seafront set as a treat for classic car enthusiasts - if they can get to them...

The limited series will be based around the life and career of punk rock legend and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Produced under the watchful eye of the award-winning director, the series is based on his 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, and will consist of six episodes.

Camera crews set up for the filming of Pistols watched by residents in the Gateway Flats above
Camera crews set up for the filming of Pistols watched by residents in the Gateway Flats above

Our reporter on the scene Sam Lennon said: "Cars that they've brought in would have existed in the 70s.

"So far I've seen a green Hillman Avenger, a brown Volvo and a Vauxhall Viva."

On Friday, we reported how dozens of residents will have to park their modern cars elsewhere so as not to obstruct the '70s set.

Today, people Kent Online spoke to seemed able to adapt tor the upheaval.

Camden Crescent resident Jim Thomas
Camden Crescent resident Jim Thomas

Camden Crescent resident Jim Thomas, 88, speaking from his window to stay socially distant, said: "I have had to move my car for the filming.

"It is usually right outside my house but it is now just 100 yards away in a car park, so it's turned out okay.

"I hear this is a production about the punk era. I suppose they have to film somewhere."

Filming on four wheels
Filming on four wheels

Jade Jeffreys, who works at the Inchwater care home in nearby Waterloo Crescent, said: "I only live in Dover so this hasn't affected me. I was able to walk into work. It's nice to see no cars on the seafront."

Meanwhile in Deal, a carpenter is busy at work outside the former Royal Snooker Club in King Street.

He's creating objects with wood that can be dressed up to cover anything that's too modern for the 1970s-feel set.

Marshals in hi-vis vests are keeping watch on the site
Marshals in hi-vis vests are keeping watch on the site

Marshals are keeping watch over the building, which was also a former arcade, now earmarked for demolition and housing.

Filming will begin there on Wednesday when there will be a road closure that night.

Shops in King Street are to have work done to their signage to make them fit in with the period.

Steve Lavery of Mr Dapper Master Barbers opted for a retro theme when he moved to the town centre space from his Just Gents site in Mill Hill. That theme fits in well with what producers need and they may be filming from his salon.

The retro appeal of Steve Lavery's barber shop fits in with the 70s era when the Sex Pistols emerged
The retro appeal of Steve Lavery's barber shop fits in with the 70s era when the Sex Pistols emerged

He said: "On my shop I think it's the artwork facing the Royal either side of my large window that they will be using, and they will be putting some 70s style signage above the window.

The artwork was created by his wife Amanda whose work has amassed a following in lockdown.

Mr Lavery added: "They're also decorating the outside ATM, making it look like brick on my shop.

"The desk in Mr Dapper also uses to belong to Vivienne Westwood (punk era fashion designer) as her art desk."

A first look at the Sex Pistols biopic (bottom), alongisde the original band (top)
A first look at the Sex Pistols biopic (bottom), alongisde the original band (top)

But as preparations for filming move on, lead singer John Lydon - Johnny Rotten - is threatening to legal action against the show.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the 65-year-old punk icon claimed the production was being done without his consultation.

Crowds gather inside the coned off filming area, watched by marshals
Crowds gather inside the coned off filming area, watched by marshals

Oscar-winning Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director Boyle will be joined by a stellar cast including Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams, who will play punk icon Jordan (aka Pamela Rooke), and Babyteeth‘s Toby Wallace as Jones.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, of Game of Thrones, Love Actually and The Maze Runner fame, has also recently joined the cast.

Anson Boon is Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge is Sid Vicious and newcomer Jacob Slater is drummer Paul Cook.

Marine Parade, Dover, absolutely cleared of cars this morning before filming began
Marine Parade, Dover, absolutely cleared of cars this morning before filming began

After the scenes are shot in Dover crews will be coming to both Deal and Folkestone.

Producers have approached Graham Stiles of the King's Head in Deal, with a view to setting up a crew base at Channel View Bed & Breakfast which he owns.

The outdoor terrace, known as The Square, has also been booked and will be taped off while actors are filmed.

Mr Stiles said: "It's going to be great for the area. The crew will be staying at the B&B and this area [the Square] will be closed off while they film."

Businesses in King Street have also been approached, including Mr Dapper Master Barbers and the Royal Leisure Centre.

Coned-off streets in Dover. Picture: LKJ Media
Coned-off streets in Dover. Picture: LKJ Media
A security guard keeps watch at the location at Camden Crescent. Film crew lorries are also seen
A security guard keeps watch at the location at Camden Crescent. Film crew lorries are also seen

Shortly after visiting Deal, filming will move to The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone.

The hotel will host an interior scene in which the protagonists perform to a restaurant and the windows will be blacked out to help provide a night-time setting.

In an announcement with FX, which commissioned the series, Boyle described the Pistols’ breakthrough as “the moment that British society and culture changed forever.”

The director and executive producer added: “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent...This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever.

“It is the detonation point for British street culture… where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion… and everyone had to watch and listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols."

Coned-off streets in Dover. Picture: LKJ Media
Coned-off streets in Dover. Picture: LKJ Media

Pistol, which has been created for TV by Craig Pearce (The Great Gatsby) and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell-Boyce (24 Hour Party People), is reported to have begun filming on March 7 and is due to appear on streaming service Hulu in 2022.

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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