Published: 00:01, 24 November 2018
If ever you questioned the benefit of the arrival of TV and film crews in the county, consider the Midsomer Murders effect.
The long-running TV show has been filmed in south Oxfordshire; setting its regular dose of multiple killings amid the picturesque towns and villages of the area.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it has fuelled an enormous tourism industry as fans from the 100 countries and estimated one billion (yes, billion) audience it plays to flock to the quintessentially English locations.
Little wonder, then, that despite a host of A-listers and major TV shows which have used Kent as a backdrop over the years, the dream of being at the heart of a global hit remains strong.
Pluckley experienced something of it 30 years ago from the Darling Buds of May, and the Historic Dockyard at Chatham has started to cash-in on its Call the Midwife locations, but the hopes of a new hit - think Downton Abbey - remain high.
Not that Midsomer hasn't come knocking - on more than one occasion.
Gabrielle Lindemann is the Kent Film Office manager at Kent County Council. She forms precisely half of a two-strong team which for every pound of taxpayers' money invested in it, delivers £30 back into the local economy. One imagines she must be rather popular around County Hall.
"Normally what happens is we get a phone call from the British Film Council, via Creative England, and they ask for locations," she explains of how the process normally starts.
"So when Disney's Christopher Robin came [starring Ewan McGregor], they wanted a railway station, so we suggested the Dover Cruise Terminal to them, which was previously Dover Marine station.
"Then they needed accommodation which we help provide. It was something like 400 hotel rooms over three weeks, so we worked with hotel chains and Dover council to provide that, using hotels all the way up to Ashford.
"They ended up spending £600,000 into the local economy and that's a conservative estimate. It’s not taking into account what the crew spent while they were here on food and drink.
"Every time there's a new Archbishop of Canterbury I put in a call to see if they will change their minds," Gabrielle Lindemann
"We frequently get calls from the location officers on Midsomer Murders about filming in Kent," she reveals. "But I know the producer doesn't want to travel that far so I have to point that out to them."
The film office gets paid nothing for assisting, but a successful production delivers significantly in terms of local spend.
In the summer, a production crew descended on Cranbrook to shoot Queens of Mystery - a new series designed to capitalise on the US market's love of the Midsomer-style whodunnit.
"It's a modern day Agatha Christie type thing," the film officer explains.
"But they have the potential for a 10 year commission for three 90 minute shows a year.
"It has a Midsomer Murders feel. We'd love a Heartbeat, Midsomer or Downton."
A shame, then, that Canterbury Cathedral's refusal to allow any commercial filming, other than for factual shows, has seen it have to turn down the chance to appear in the Harry Potter movies (the cathedral would have been part of Hogwarts) and the Narnia films.
"Every time there's a new Archbishop of Canterbury I put in a call to see if they will change their minds," smiles Ms Lindemann.
But for all the near-misses - Disney was at one stage keen to film Star Wars The Force Awakens at a quarry near Bluewater; Robin Hood featuring Russell Crowe was to have been shot at Knole Park in Sevenoaks until director Ridley Scott "decided he didn't want to go too far from Pinewood" and Brad Pitt had to pull out of shooting World War Z in Tunbridge Wells after it leaked out (although he did return for scenes at the Discovery Park in Sandwich) - there have been plenty of notable successes.
From the ultra big-budget The Avengers shooting in Dover to Wonder Woman on the banks of the Medway at Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne.
Not that it passed off without some issues.
"Someone locally who had been advised of the filming mentioned it to someone else and it got leaked," explains Ms Lindemann.
"The film starred Chris Pine, who has a major mad following - they call themselves Pine Nuts - so the company then had to pay to close footpaths and extra security and that doesn't leave a good taste."
"I think I have one of the best jobs in the universe...” Gabrielle Lindemann
It was a rare blemish on an otherwise enviable reputation the film office has developed for the county as an efficient and well organised operation.
"Production companies always tell me they're happy to come to Kent because they know we can turn it round for them and quickly," she adds.
"It has a placemaking impact - if they go there to film, the local community is flattered and if organised well it binds communities together and makes them proud to live there. And sometimes it has a tourist impact which brings more money in."
"It's an amazing draw if you can get a series or feature film," agrees David Curtis-Brignell, deputy chief executive at Visit Kent. "I've spoken at conferences before about the benefits of screen tourism - it really can make a big impact."
With the value of the pound and some enticing tax breaks, international productions have identified Kent as a county to film in.
It's likely there will be an active campaign to try and pull in cricket fans from India, coming over to the UK for next year's Cricket World Cup, to follow a Bollywood trail - a tour of locations used in a number of the genre's recent visits to the UK, which includes the likes of Leeds Castle.
Just don't expect the Kent Film Office to flag up when the big productions are heading our way.
"We provide a level of confidentiality up until they've finished filming,” she explains.
So does she enjoy it?
"I think I have one of the best jobs in the universe,” Ms Lindemann says, “certainly I think it's the best job in the council.
"Every day I get asked something strange and something new. And I enjoy that. I had a martial arts film from Hong Kong wanted a basement with a tunnel into a house - and I love trying to solve those challenges
"This year, since April, we've brought in about £2m into the economy and by the end of the year we tend to average £3.5-4m."
Highlights of Kent on film in 2018
ITV's gritty detective drama filmed on Shellness Beach, Leysdown
BBC's impressive cat-and-mouse drama filmed scenes at Nell's Cafe in Gravesend, just off the M2
Big period drama on ITV shot scenes on the promenade in Deal, Sevenoaks, and filming regular, the Historic Dockyard Chatham.
King of Thieves
Based on the Hatton Garden jewellery robbery, Michael Caine starred in a film shot extensively on location in Margate.
Disney's Christopher Robin
Starring Ewan McGregor, the movie sees the return of Winne the Pooh to help out his old friend. Filming took place in Dover.
Released earlier this year, Gary Oldman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in a movie which shot scenes at Fort Amherst and Churchill's Chartwell home.
At a cinema near you now, Ethan Hawke and Chris O'Dowd in an adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel. Filmed in Faversham, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.
Out now, and starring Rory Kinnear, it is based on the Peterloo massacre in 1809. Filming took place at the Historic Dockyard Chatham and St Mary's Marches on Grain.
Spin-off from BBC's hit The Missing series, it stars Tchéky Karyo as Julien Baptiste, the grizzled French detective. Filming took place at Kingsdown, near Deal.
Queens of Mystery
Made initially for the US market, this Midsomer Murders-style drama filmed extensively in Cranbrook and the surrounding areas.
Previously on Channel 4, Netflix is reviving this series with rapper Drake as its executive producer. Filming took place in Margate and Ramsgate.
Another drama which started life on Channel 4 and is now on Netflix. Charlie Brooker's latest series filmed in Cobham in June.