‘Large US feature film’ to be shot in Kent
Sheppey's Kingsferry Bridge is to be used again for filming. Production company Stinger UK is planning to take over the bridge in October to shoot scenes for a 'large US feature film'.
The Sheppey Crossing and Kingsferry Bridge
The bridge's most recent starring role was in ITV's drama Too Close in April last year when a car was driven off the road during a dramatic GBP100,000 night stunt and plunged into the Swale. During the shoot, dad Ryan Woodard was forced to ride over the Sheppey Crossing on his bike in a gale to get home from Sittingbourne to Sheerness.
Cyclists, pedestrians and moped riders are not allowed to use the high-rise crossing. This time, producers have promised to provide a shuttle service.
The Kent Film Office announced the latest closure was for a "large US feature film". The producers, who are based in Covent Garden, London, have written to residents warning them of the disruption but have so far not refused to release any details about the film, its title or who will be starring in it.
Location manager Patrick Brown has warned residents that the lift bridge will be closed from 4am on Saturday, October 29 to 10pm on Sunday, October 30, weather permitting. The Sheppey Crossing will remain open. There will be no train services to Sheerness on the Sunday.
Filming of the ITV drama Too Close on the Kingsferry Bridge, Sheppey. Photo: Phil Drew
Denise Gough drives her car towards Sheppey's Kingsferry Bridge in the ITV three-part drama Too Close. Picture: ITV
Mr Brown explained: "In consultation with Network Rail, who own the bridge, it was decided that on the Saturday the Kingsferry Bridge will be closed to traffic but train services to Sheerness will operate as normal.
"As Network Rail had already planned engineering works on the line on the Sunday, there will be no train service to Queenborough and Sheerness on that day." He added: "We will use these pre-planned engineering works to raise the bridge to film the final element of our scene."
He said: "We are aware that pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycles under 50cc are not allowed to use the Sheppey Crossing so we will be providing a shuttle service in the form of a minibus or pick-up truck at each end to drive those affected across it while Kingsferry Bridge is closed." Kent county councillor Cameron Beart (Con, Sheppey) welcomed the news.
He said: "Sheppey has become a popular location for filming with music videos, TV shows and big budget Hollywood blockbusters filmed on the Island in recent years. "This puts the Island on the map. Recent productions have been estimated to add around GBP16,000 per filming day to the local economy."
He added: "This closure will cause minimal disruption with access maintained to residents and businesses who require it. The Sheppey Crossing will be open throughout." The producers added: "We are still in discussions with Kent Highway Services, Network Rail, Medway Ports and various landowners regarding our finalised schedule but we wanted to make everyone aware of the probable closure as early as possible.
Should there be any changes we will send out an update." Sheppey has been used by Robbie Williams for his Love My Life music video, Jeremy Clarkson for an episode of Top Gear when he set blew up a caravan and Michael Crawford for his 1975 Christmas special of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em when he got stuck on top of the Kingsferry Bridge and later drove a car off a pier and into the sea at Sheerness. The Kingsferry Bridge was opened on April 20, 1960, by the Duchess of Kent Princess Marina. Click here for its history and how it works.
Robbie Williams filming his music video in Leysdown
Michael Crawford starred as Frank Spencer in the 1975 BBC comedy Christmas special of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em called Learning To Drive filmed on the Isle of Sheppey.
Picture: BBC TV
If the Sheppey Crossing has to be closed because of high winds or a traffic incident, filming will be suspended, the Kingsferry Bridge will reopen and the shoot will be rescheduled.