Thursday, 21 July 2011

Now is the hour

Did you know that Dominic "McNulty" West is a resident of Shepherd's Bush? Many a time have I heard of mere mortal local residents running into him or nearly running over him in W12. I am yet to achieve a sighting but considering my unhealthy obsession with him (or rather his character Jimmy McNulty; so flawed, so hot) this is probably a good thing, certainly for him.

Source: Digital Spy

I mention this as a side note to introducing you to another piece of Shepherd's Bush history, soon to be televised in The Hour, which features aforementioned Bush resident Mr West. It is a drama set in 1956 in what was once Lime Grove Studios, which very sadly no longer exist. The Hour is written around fictional program The Hour at Lime Grove which was at the centre of a news revolution; the reporting of the (not at all fictional) 1956 Suez Crisis.

Source: Bafta

Source: Guardian

Source: Telegraph
Hailed as UK's answer to MadMen for it's historical accuracy to detail and it's tribute to the fashion of the day, though I've only dipped into the first episode (and plan to finish it off tonight) The Hour is worth watching. Though the six part series begins with broadcasting taking place in Alexandra Palace the following episodes follow the news desks move to Shepherd's Bush so watch out for any possible shots of local landmarks. I'm not sure how much was shot in the Bush though as they reportedly recreated Lime Grove Studios in Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End. Bet Dominic was a bit peeved with that as he could have had a nice easy journey home from Lime Grove. (For any law enforcement officers reading this, I do not know precisely where he lives. Honest.)

Opened in 1915, when Lime Grove wasn't the through road between Goldhawk Road and Uxbridge Road, that it is now, the studios housed BBC TV studios from 1949 until 1991. They were demolished in 1993. It was a purpose built studio featuring a tall glass stage area which towered over nearby streets. When the road became primarily residential it apparently stuck out considerably. Prior to this the vast space was used by the Gaumont Film Company where many successful and iconic films were shot including The 39 Steps and The Wicked Lady.

I could go on bringing together scraps of fascinating history I have found online but instead I will refer you to this site History of TV Studios which has painstakingly pulled together first hand accounts and photographs of not just Lime Grove but many other television and film studios in and around Shepherd's Bush.

Here are some spectacular photographs of Lime Grove as it was.

All photos from History of Television Studios.


  1. We have seen Mr West in the Princess Victoria on Uxbridge Road a few times. I always have to be careful not to say an Wireisms loudly in my excitement!

    I have recorded The Hour. Will have to give it a watch.

  2. And guess where I'll be every evening from now on...

    Bird x