Millionaires row owners’ parking fury with film crews

Residents on an exclusive London street have hit out at film crews repeatedly using the location for Hollywood blockbusters which has now seen their parking suspended due to filming of The Apprentice

By Chris Tilbury

It is one of London’s most exclusive streets, where residents pay a premium for a quiet life.

Yet after years of being plagued by film crews, the residents of St John Street in Holborn, London, have said the filming of the new series of The Apprentice along the street is the final straw.

Filming of the show, fronted by Lord Alan Sugar, was rumoured to have begun last weekend with crews recording shots at the ‘candidates’ house’ – but residents are up in arms because their parking permits will be suspended for eight weeks – the duration of the filming period.

Residents have branded the constant filming of the area, which includes the last Mission Impossible movie, 24, Mr. Selfridge and the two part drama about Lord Lucan in recent years, a ‘nuisance’ and declared ‘something should be done about it’.

Robin Self, a Civil Servant at the Ministry of Justice, who lives at the end of the street said: “A film crew always seems to be here. They had to help me out once when I was locked in my house, but in general they are a bit of a nuisance when they’re always coming back. Surely there must be other places in London that they could film.”

The area is popular with the wealthy and a recent property on John Street sold for £8 million.

Edward Wilcox, a jeweller, who has lived on the street for eight years said properties are selling for between £4million and £7million with the road becoming increasingly residential.

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It gets up people’s backs when they’re told a space they’ve used for a long time is not going to be available without any prior warning.

“Last Thursday there was some filming on Bedford Road and the company had a lollipop man holding up the traffic, it’s just inconsiderate. Something should really be done about it.”

It is also popular with lawyers and houses Doughty Street Chambers, the workplace of Amal Clooney.

Film crews were reportedly seen in the area last weekend and an eight week filming schedule is set to have been discussed with the council.

But it’s nothing new for the street or the wider area. Filming took place in John Street in 2013 for the ITV drama Lucan, the retelling of the story of Lord Lucan, and the Dickens Museum is frequently used for period dramas with production company vehicles filling the road.

Labour councillor for the area Julian Fulbrook described it as a ‘Mecca for producers attracted by its historic building and rarified streets’, with Mr Selfridge, 24, and the last instalment of Mission: Impossible all having been filmed in the area.

Filming is still being discussed with the council who have said they are still discussing the suspension of parking with the shows production company.

But one resident said: “It really isn’t fair to suspend so many parking bays over such a long time. The council may talk to the producers about it, but when were we asked whether we’d like The Apprentice house to be in our street and all that that means?”

A spokesperson for Camden Council said: “We are proud that Camden is such a thriving destination for the film and television industry and encourage the economic benefits that filming brings.

“As with all filming requests we receive minimising disruption to residents is our most important consideration.

“We have set out our expectations with the production company and are assessing the impact of different parking plans on local residents to ensure any concerns from local residents are taken into account.”

The warnings come following a long-running debate at the Town Hall as to how often residents in Holborn should have to live with camera crews in their streets. Some critics of the council’s handling say that Camden should be charging more money due to the inconvenience the camera crews cause.

The latest series of the hit BBC reality show will be its eleventh instalment and with see Claude Littner assume his role as an aide to Lord Sugar for the first time since Nick Hewer left the show at the end of series 10.

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