It's a wrap: Filming of Sky One's The Heist in Northumberland comes to a conclusion

TV producers in Alnwick have wrapped up filming for the next series of Sky One’s The Heist.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 11 July, 2019, 06:00
Filming for The Heist in the fictional police station on Bailiffgate, Alnwick.

The police investigation into the Fenkle Street ‘bank robbery’ concluded on Wednesday – with the outcome being kept a closely guarded secret until the series airs early next year.

Shine TV’s series pitted a team of 15 real detectives, active and retired, against a team playing the part of criminals. Over the past two weeks they have tried to evade capture and, if successful, will keep their share of the money.

Filming of Sky One's The Heist in Alnwick.

Matt Bennett, Shine TV executive producer, said: “We’re keeping the result under wraps until the series is broadcast next year but the investigation at our end has been really thorough which has been pleasing.

“I think the Alnwick community have accepted it and taken it on in the spirit we hoped they would. They understood we were making a TV programme and all those people who have been involved have engaged well with it.

“A huge thanks goes to the local community who allowed us to come into their town with a team of 150 people to film our series. I’m sure they’ll be pleased to know all those CCTV cameras will be coming down shortly!”

The team were particularly pleased with the way they were able to transform the former Duchess’s Community High School on Bailiffgate into a police station for this series.

The Heist involved a 'bank robbery' at the fictional Bank of Northumbria in Alnwick.

They are also delighted with the drone footage they have taken of the Northumberland countryside.

Shirley Jones, Sky One’s commissioning editor, said: “I think it will look amazing. We had a great drone team working on the series and I’ve already seen some of the incredible footage they took.

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“I come from the north west and didn’t realise how lovely it is around here. I was on Cresswell beach the other day which was fantastic and I was the only person there!

“I really hope we will be able to show viewers from other parts of the UK how beautiful it is. I think it really will help to inspire a few more people to visit.”

Shine TV head of casting Kathryn Burke, who has been in Alnwick since February in preparation for the series, added: “I’ll be quite sad to leave. It’s been brilliant and everyone has been so lovely, warm and welcoming. I’ve really felt part of the community.”

The success means Shine TV has left the door open for a return visit in the future.

“We filmed the first series in Thirsk and had a list of 35 possibles to whittle down before we chose Alnwick for this series,” said Matt. “I would love to do more series’ here. It’s an area full of great characters and great sites. It’s a beautiful part of Britain and an inspiration place to be in.”

He also gave special thanks to Alnwick Town Council clerk Bill Batey and Coun Gordon Castle from Northumberland County Council for their help and advice.

Now, the lengthy task of editing some 3,500 hours worth of footage begins.

“We’re making six, 45-minute programmes so it takes a long time to package together,” said Matt. “We’ve got 3,500 hours worth of material.

“We’ve also used a lot of cutting edge filming techniques using a variety of covert cameras through to iPhones and traditional TV cameras. The 4G phone network is now also so good that we’re able to use that to view footage from the field.”

Detectives did not reveal how much money was stolen in the raid on the fictitious Bank of Northumbria on Fenkle Street but several charities and good causes received donations from the ‘bank robbers’ including HospiceCare North Northumberland, Duchess’s Community High School and Alnwick Playhouse.