Major TV reality show to be based in Alnwick
A major new reality TV series will be set in Alnwick, and the stars of the show will be the residents themselves.
Casting for the second series of Sky One's The Heist has been launched and programme makers Shine TV are looking for adults of all ages from the Alnwick area 'who can keep their cool under pressure and evade detection from a crack team of detectives to win a substantial and life-changing prize'.
The company is also hoping to recruit from Amble, Craster and Alnmouth.
The new series is due to start filming in north Northumberland in June. A production team from Shine TV, which is also behind BBC1's Masterchef and Channel 4's Hunted and The Island with Bear Grylls, has already scouted Alnwick to judge its suitability as a location and has checked out various potential office and production venues.
Now it is appealing for some wannabe celebrities from the area's population.
A casting advert posted by Shine TV on Twitter says: 'Do you have what it takes to pull off the perfect heist? We are looking for adults of all ages from Alnwick and the surrounding area to take part in Sky One's The Heist. For more information on how to apply, please email us at email@example.com #alnwick #amble #craster #alnmouth'
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The first series was based in Thirsk and started filming in May last year. In it, a number of ordinary people 'committed a heist', stealing £250,000 in a van raid. The gang then had to keep the money hidden from a team of former detectives. If they evaded detection and played by the rules of the game, the contestants kept the money. Local residents were invited to join the chase and, at one point, more than 100 people turned out to help detectives catch the gang of so-called thieves.
The series will inevitably bring the spotlight on Alnwick and its surrounding towns and villages, a fact not lost on county councillor Gordon Castle.
He told the Gazette: "Having been in on this from Shine TV's initial expression of interest, it is wonderful to know that it is definitely going ahead,
"It will be a really fascinating programme as the company was looking for a town with an exceptional sense of identity - how could it not be Alnwick? It's not just passive entertainment either, it involves local people and places.
"Alnwick doesn't need putting on the map, but this programme will show what kind of unique community we have and why it is such a great place to live."