From selling beds to film set for Melvyn

An Ashington business owner has landed a top role as part of an all-star cast in a crime series, which will be filmed in the region.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 9:54 am
Updated Friday, 19th July 2019, 1:10 pm
Melvyn Barnes.
Melvyn Barnes.

Melvyn Barnes, who landed his first ever acting role aged just 13 in the highly-acclaimed BBC show Our Friends in the North, is part of Moreland’s Firm that is being produced by North East Films.

Since the 1990s programme, he has featured in small roles with several London-based films and appeared in TV commercial spots for BT Sport and Hovis.

However, travelling to London regularly for castings and auditions with very little production activity in the region meant Melvyn, born and raised in Lynemouth, placed his dreams on hold and carried out regular work for a living when he decided he would stay in Northumberland.

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Today, he runs The Divan Clan - a furniture and bedding business in Ashington town centre.

Moreland’s Firm will also feature a number of well-known actors including ITV’s DCI Banks Stephen Tompkinson, Kim Tiddy of The Bill and Hollyoaks fame and regional stars such as Craig Conway, Bill Fellows and Victoria Hawkins.

North East Films says it is ‘very confident’ that the series will reach a successful commission with one of the main UK broadcasters or global streaming services in early 2020.

Melvyn said: “I can’t wait to get started filming. This is the role I’ve been waiting to land for many years.

“I just never thought I would get to work as an actor in my part of the region, so I am very excited that I get to act alongside some well-known names in a production that’s being made on my doorstep.

“I’m telling people that Moreland’s Firm is like our own modern-day version of Peaky Blinders, but a bit more gritty and Geordie.

“It’s a story about a family's rise to the top of the underworld and I will play one of the brothers of lead character Michael Moreland, played by Craig Conway.”

Filming for the eight episodes begins in September.

If you are interested in joining the production team or future cast, you can find out more and apply at