Team behind Sky One's The Heist looking forward to sharing 'amazing footage' of Northumberland on TV
Six months on from filming the new series of The Heist, the production team behind it are eagerly anticipating its TV airing.
Shine TV began preparation for the series last January when they decided to bring production to Alnwick and the surrounding area.
Filming took place over three weeks in June and July, with a team of ‘detectives’ on the trail of ‘bank robbers’ who stole £1million from the fictitious Bank of Northumbria on Fenkle Street.
Since then the team have edited some 3,500 hours of footage into eight episodes.
“We’re all really pleased with the series,” said executive producer Matt Bennett. “We were commissioned to make six programmes but ended up making eight because the footage was so good.
“All our ‘thieves’ and ‘detectives’ entered into the spirit of the game and have given us some fantastic footage to play with.
“We are very proud of it and Sky are over the moon with it so we just hope everyone else enjoys it too!”
The series will also be another showcase for the Northumberland tourism industry.
“Northumberland is a beautiful part of the country and it was a real pleasure filming The Heist there last summer,” said Matt.
“We had a full-time drone team with us for the 20 days of the shoot, which is very unusual, and they managed to get some amazing footage of fabulous locations, particularly on the coast.”
Viewers can look forward to seeing the likes of Seahouses, Boulmer and Craster on screen, as well as various parts of Alnwick.
“One of the reasons we chose Alnwick was because it was close to the coast,” said Matt. “We’d filmed the first series on the North Yorkshire Moors so we were keen to get close to the water this time – and we certainly did that with the movements of some of the ‘thieves’!”
Around 200 people were involved in the production process as Shine TV sought to make the new series ‘bigger and better’ than the first.
Line producer Olly Jenkin, who looked after the logistics, said: “When you come up with ideas like recreating the Hatton Garden bank job it’s hard to understand how many resources go into it.
“There was a huge team on location but also a lot of people working behind the scenes. There were effectively three separate teams, one for the ‘thieves, one for the ‘detectives’ and another who knew what was going on in both camps.
“We had to do that to make it as fair as possible and to make sure there were no accusations of bias.”
One of the teams was based at the Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, with another at Percy Wood Country Retreat in Swarland.
“It all went surprisingly smoothly,” says Olly. “Production management on a series like this is largely a reactionary role so you have to plan for possible scenarios.
“That was particularly the case with the heist itself,” he explained. “We had a lot of plans in place but when you have nine people using a core drill to go through a two foot thick wall you never know 100 per cent what the outcome might be.”
Matt revealed: “We actually knocked through the wall ourselves and then rebuilt it, just to make sure it could be done!”
The ‘thieves’ also had no idea the ‘loot’ would be so great.
“They had no idea what was behind that wall, so we had to be prepared for their reaction,” said Matt.
Olly added: “In the first series they ‘stole’ £250,000 but we wanted to make things bigger and better and up the ante. Viewers don’t want to watch the same thing again and again so we had to be ambitious.”
Series 2 of The Heist will be on Sky One and NOW TV from February 6 and will be available on demand.