More gameshows could be in store for Bottle Yard Studios as Noel Edmonds’ new project hits TV screens

August 11, 2017
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Bristol’s Bottle Yard television and film studio complex is hoping to become a major player in the TV gameshow market as Noel Edmonds’ latest project – made there earlier this year – prepares to hit the small screen.

Cheap Cheap Cheap, which was filmed at the South Bristol studios in January, makes its debut on Channel 4 on Monday.

Since then The Bottle Yard has attracted interest from production firms behind similar shows as its reputation for accommodating their unusual filming methods grows.

Noel Edmonds, pictured in the new show, is no stranger to the Bottle Yard, having made his hit gameshow Deal or No Deal there from 2013 until it completed its final run last autumn. He also chose the studio to make Noel Edmonds’ Sell or Swap, which was broadcast live on December 30.

Cheap Cheap Cheap is made by London-based Hat Trick Productions, the well-established independent production company behind iconic titles Have I Got News For You, Room 101 and Outnumbered.

The new series of The Crystal Maze was also recently shot at the studios – a former winery and bottling plant – and site director Fiona Francombe believes its facilities are perfect for the intense nature of gameshow filming.

Fiona said: “It was a pleasure to host Hat Trick at The Bottle Yard in January and to have Noel back on site for the making of Cheap Cheap Cheap. This is the second new Channel 4 gameshow made at The Bottle Yard Studios to launch this year after the new series of The Crystal Maze launched earlier this summer.

“Our facilities and location suit the needs of gameshows well and we’ve certainly seen a rise in interest from this format. We hope to welcome more bookings of this kind in future.”

A purpose-built maze of more than 30,000 sq ft was created by the original Crystal Maze designer James Dillon and built in previously un-filmed areas of the studios. Some 18 tonnes of sand were brought in for its Aztec Zone and 5,600 gallons of water to fill its waterfall and water rooms.

During April and May nearly 140 production staff were based at The Bottle Yard to shoot two episodes a day of the cult show. In total, 100-plus hours of film where produced.

Fizz, RDF Television’s entertainment label and the firm behind The Crystal Maze, said it chose the Bottle Yard because it offered the largest volume of flexible production space for film and TV production in the West of England. 

Fizz also made use of the site’s workshops, gallery facilities and production offices.

Hat Trick filmed 30 one-hour Cheap Cheap Cheap shows at The Bottle Yard over two weeks in January. 

Presented and created by Noel Edmonds, Cheap Cheap Cheap is set inside ‘Noel’s Store’, an eccentric general store filled with weird and wonderful items, and even quirkier staff.

Contestants try to win £25,000 while manager Barry, health and happiness guru Marijana, sales assistant Kelly and delivery man Keith, pictured above, ensure there’s never a quiet moment in this craziest of comedy game shows. 

Cheap Cheap Cheap will be screened on weekdays at 3pm on Channel 4, starting this Monday.

Other productions recently made at The Bottle Yard include BBC One drama Poldark, STARZ period drama The White Princess, E4/Netflix comedy-horror Crazyhead, CBeebies’ Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures and Emmy award- winning BBC One drama Sherlock: The Abominable Bride.

As well as its eight sound stages, the site includes a giant green screen studio, extensive back lot, workshop areas, production offices, costume and make-up rooms, dressing-rooms, storage, private roadways and parking.

Cheap Cheap Cheap photos courtesy of Channel 4 & Hat Trick Productions

 

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