We're being driven mad by filming for Disney series – they're taking our parks & forcing us to walk a mile to our homes | The Sun

FED-UP locals say they have been driven round the bend by filming for a new blockbuster TV series starring David Tennant, Danny Dyer and Emily Atack.

The stars and film crew have been using the historic Cotswolds town of Tetbury to make a Disney+ adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s romp novel Rivals.

For several days this summer, the town has been taken back in time to the 1980s, where the iconic story is set.

Streets, homes and shop fronts have been given a makeover to make them look more ‘eighties’ while filming for the series take place.

And the roads have been lined with dozens of cars and vans from the period.

But that has meant that residents and visitors to the town, which is just down the road from King Charles’ Highgrove estate, have been unable to park their own vehicles in the streets while the film cameras are whirring.

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Home-owners in the town’s Silver Street last week were banned from parking there for two days while scenes were shot in the area.

Instead, they were ordered to park half a mile away up a steep hill on the outskirts of the town in a makeshift car park and either walk to and from the facility or ask members of the crew for a lift.

Several locals expressed their outrage to the Rivals crew and had to be calmed down by security staff drafted in while the series was being shot.

In one instance, an 86-year-old man told he could not park in his usual disabled bay was so upset a local invited him into her home to calm him down.

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The peace-maker resident, retired teacher Penny Dobson, 71, said the man was “very, very stressed” when he was told he would not be able to park in his customary spot while he visited his local building society round the corner.

Widow Mrs Dobson said: “The poor man was very worked up and rather confused by what was going on.

“I could see how stressful he was finding it all so I stepped in and tried to gently explain why he was unable to park where he wanted due to the filming.

“He was very, very stressed so I invited him in for a glass of water and a sit down. He was so upset he needed to use my bathroom too.

“Thankfully I managed to calm him down and a member of the crew drove with him to the car park and brought him back in her car, then returned him to the car park after he’d been to the building society.

“He was very apologetic afterwards and much calmer.

“I must say, the TV people were courteous and considerate, and as helpful as they could possibly be at all times while they were here in our lovely town.”


But, she said, the elderly man she met was not the only local to lose his cool.

“Another man, in his 60s, who lives in the street, behaved very unreasonably,” she said.

“He went berserk with the crew and security team because he’d arranged for a builder to do some work at his house on one of the days the filming was being done. He was raging at them because these builders weren’t going to be able to park their van in the street outside his home.

“He was shouting and very aggressive. I felt so sorry for the crew and security staff.

The poor man was very worked up and rather confused by what was going on."

“In the end, they let the builders park opposite, but the problem then was that they were making so much noise when they carried out the building work. I don’t know how they’ll edit the racket out of the audio.”

Another local, retired businesswoman Wiene Grant, 83, whose home overlooks the green where the action was filmed, said she had to park her car at the temporary car park, but said staff were “helpful”.

She said: “Whenever I asked them for a lift to or from the car park, they were always happy to help.

“There must have been 100 people involved in the filming and it was right outside my front windows, It was better than watching it on the television.

“The crew were incredibly friendly and it was lovely to see so many famous faces from other shows I’ve watched.”


Another Tetbury resident banned from parking near his home during filming was Andrew Cole Bulgin, himself a film and TV producer.

He said he was “ok” about having to park on the edge of town while filming took place outside his property and joked that Disney+ should reimburse local residents.

“If Disney want to pay us a thousand pounds each for the inconvenience, we’d be very happy.”

Rivals, which is being produced by Happy Prince as part of ITV Studios, is expected to be screened later this year or early 2024.

Set in "Rutshire", Rivals' plot features the town of Cotchester, for which location scouts found the perfect real-life double in Tetbury.

If Disney want to pay us a thousand pounds each for the inconvenience, we’d be very happy.”

The drama, which delves into the dog-eat-dog world of independent television in 1986 follows the story of Rupert Campbell-Black, played by Alex Hassall, and his rivalry with Tony Baddingham (David Tennant) and charts how a longstanding rivalry comes to a head.

Filming in and around Tetbury began in March this year and has involved six visits to the town.

A roadside sign in the town states the crew has now made the final 'wrap' and thanks the town for its patience.

The presence of the production unit, the business told Punchline, had caused headaches for some businesses in the town.


Some business owners say filming has been disruptive to their ability to trade.

One, Gulliver Bristow, whose company, Art-Tiques, imports and sells Central Asian antiques and carpets, said:

"It was difficult because there was no notice given and all the car parks were shut off to normal visitors, with the road from the Snooty Fox pub down to the main car park also out of bounds for access."

Transforming Tetbury road signs into 'Cotchester' signs also left visitors to the town confused.


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But Mr Bristow added: "We have no doubt that when this finally goes out for broadcast, it will be a benefit for Tetbury.

“It is easy to see this is Tetbury despite the film transformation, and it will cause a new level of curiosity about our town, but there were some ruffled business brows as the film crews came and went. We were lucky because we often trade via appointment consultations, but some traders were unable to get people in to their shops.

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