Over the years, Beamish Museum has appeared in everything from adverts and children’s television programmes to documentaries and even feature films!
We’ve had huge drama crews, one man and his camera, documentary makers, children’s programmes, live outside broadcasts and podcasts – crews of all shapes and sizes.
Sometimes the programme is all about Beamish, sometimes we may just get a namecheck in the script or credits. And then there are the dramas… we’re simply a location, but to anyone who knows the museum, it’s a great opportunity for a bit of Beamish spotting.
Here’s a list of some of the many TV shows and films we’ve been a part of…
Matt Baker: Travels with Mum and Dad
We were thrilled to welcome TV presenter Matt Baker to Beamish Museum for the filming of his latest television show, Matt Baker: Travels with Mum and Dad.
In the series, Matt and his parents, Janice and Mike, enjoyed various days out in the North East, and they chose Beamish Museum as one of their destinations as the focus for an hour-long episode.
The War Below
Beamish fans may spot a few familiar locations when watching The War Below.
The First World War film tells the story of a group of British miners who were recruited to tunnel underneath no man’s land and break the deadly stalemate at the Battle of Messines in 1917.
More than 100 cast and crew came to Beamish in October 2018 for the filming, including Allen Leech (who plays Tom Branson), Lesley Nicol (Mrs Patmore), Sophie McShera (Daisy), Kevin Doyle (Mr Molesley) and Mark Addy (Mr Bakewell).
Beamish also featured in the last ever episode of the global hit TV series, the Christmas special in 2015.
The museum appeared on an episode of Something Special on CBeebies. Mr Tumble, played by Justin Fletcher, visited the museum and sang the Hello Song from the top of tram 31 before getting into Edwardian costume and exploring The 1900s Town. He visited the photographers, did a spot of shopping in the Co-op and even baked some bread in Herron’s Bakery.
Visitors of all ages were extremely excited to see Mr Tumble at Beamish and enjoyed being able to watch the filming taking place.
Ricky and Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip
Beamish featured in an episode of Ricky and Ralf’s Very Northern Road Trip. Ricky Tomlinson and Ralf Little, who played The Royle Family’s father, Jim and son, Antony donned their flat caps and stepped back in time for filming at the museum.
The pair spoke to members of staff and volunteers and learnt about the history of coalmines and even stopped off in our photographers’ studio in The 1900s Town for a quick photo to remember their day out at Beamish!
Walking Britain’s Lost Railways
Television presenter Rob Bell spent a day at the museum while filming Channel 5’s Walking Britain’s Lost Railways. The episode, which aired in February 2020, looked back at the history of the Durham coalfields. Rob investigated the very early rail network, which carried coal from the county’s mines, during a footplate ride on our replica of Puffing Billy at Pockerley Waggonway.
Filming for the episode also took place in The 1900s Pit Village as Rob learnt more about how a colliery railway would have worked in 1913 – the peak of coal production in the North East.
Tony Robinson’s History of Britain
We also appeared on two episodes of Tony Robinson’s History of Britain on Channel 5. Sir Tony spent two days at the museum and during that time, filmed segments of the Victorian and Georgian episodes which aired in January 2020. Sir Tony drove a Beamish steam engine at the Colliery railway, rode in a Georgian coach and learnt about the Co-op’s Lamson-Paragon ball cash carrying system.
Beamish, The Living Museum of the North tells the story of life in the North East in the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s, and as such, is popular with filmmakers and photographers.
We receive many requests from broadcasters and TV production companies. We look at each of these requests on a case-by-case basis to ensure that filming fits around museum operations. Find out more about filming at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North here.