BBC SCARBOROUGH: 'It's a love letter to Scarborough,' says Derren Litten during Q&A at world premiere

New BBC One comedy show 'Scarborough' will be broadcast on television screens tonight.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 10:52 am
Derren Litten at the premier of Scarborough

The location of the world premiere was chosen as Scarborough, at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, where director Derren Litten and cast members visited the town once again.

BBC received over 10,000 applications from members of the public to attend the screening of the first two episodes.

Around 300 people attended the premier, with the majority from Scarborough but other people travelling from Nottingham and Middlesbrough.

The lucky ticket holders were the first to see the first two episodes of 'Scarborough' as well as ask Derren any questions surrounding the new show.

Following the two episodes, a Q&A chaired by BBC Look North’s Peter Levy took place with writer and director Derren Litten and producer, Gill Isles.

Opening the showing, Derren thanked guests for attending the showing at the Stephen Joseph Theatre yesterday (September 5).

Why Scarborough?

The first question was one that residents wanted to know - why their hometown was chosen as the location.

Derren said: "It's a love letter to Scarborough. It's not about Scarborough it's set in Scarborough.

"We are so fortunate to have this beautiful part of the country on your doorstop. It shows what we have here and not everyone knows."

He even thanked residents for their patience and kindness during filming which generated quite a lot of interest earlier in the year, "everyone was so kind to us here while we were filming in town. It will show people what's here and hope people take the characters into their hearts."

Is it different to Benidorm?

Derren is best known as the creator and writer of the award-winning sitcom Benidorm - so as a comedy show on a coastal town people wanted to know if it would follow in Benidorm's footsteps.

"I wanted to make something different to Benidorm. I would never deny the success of it and love the show it became but it was big, brash and broad.

"Scarborough is the polar opposite. I wanted something set in a village or small town where everyone knows everything - and one place came to mind.

"I used to come to Scarborough on day trips as I live on Hull and there are some hidden gems in Scarborough."

Preconceptions of Scarborough

Derren mentioned that he had showed some of his friends the first episode of Scarborough which he said that "nobody has any preconceptions of Scarborough."

After the show, he added that people said "I want to go to Scarborough" - which is great for tourism and business in the town.

"Not many people know shows filmed here so there isn't any preconceptions."

Choosing locations in Scarborough

Filming started in the town in April and took place across the North and South Bays.

"There are angles in Scarborough you wouldn't see unless you were in a helicopter and there is still so much more to see."

The show features scenic views of the town as well as aerial shots which some residents may not have even seen.

Derren added that there are also options if series two were to be commissioned with the possibility of going out of Scarborough such as Whitby or Cayton Bay as well as going discovering more places in Scarborough.

Gill commented that the first series has only touched the surface of Scarborough and there is still more to see.

"There are great views of the castle as you can always see it from far away but we have got shots up close."

How were the cast chosen?

As Derren is known for creating award-winning sitcom Benidorm, there were some questions surrounding the cast members as some of them feature in both Benidorm and Scarborough.

"There are some cross over of actors and actresses from other shows but I wasn't bothered about that. We just cast the best people for the job.

"When I was writing the script Jason and Steph sprung to mind but some characters we auditioned for."

Will there be a season two?

There were a lot of questions surrounding the possibility of season two and how the BBC would commission another series.

Derren jokingly replied: "I could have season two script on your desk tomorrow morning."

"It depends how the show is received and producers are waiting to see if people like it.

"Gill and I were nervous for people to see the show because when your so immersed in something you just don't know. No one ever sets out to make a bad TV show - who are we to say its a good show?

"So we are waiting to see if people like it and hopefully BBC will want to make another one.

"There is a quite a lot of silence intended when watching the show as the audience are following the story. There is so much I want to know about the characters and so much more to explore."

There were also comments on how TV viewing has changed over the years so a series two may not be confirmed yet.

Gap audience in the market

"I like all different types of comedy. I love being part of team and making of a TV show.

"The script was described as a soap which I think is a compliment as it's a shift on TV and something different.

"They say never make a TV show for someone else make it for yourself.

"The story line and the characters will entertain people. You don't have to be crying with laughter every minute to be entertained.

"I hope people just give it a chance its more of a slow burner. There are funny and quirky charterers."

What did the audience think?

The general audience consensus was that they enjoyed the show and will be tuning in to BBC One tonight to re-watch the first episode.

Richard, who makes makes an appearance in episode six, asked Derren and Gill if they had any plans for "coastal pursuits."

Derren replied: "I might have my tea in Brid," but went on to say that there are local people which feature in the show as he wanted to not only show Scarborough but the people who live here as well.

Another lady in the audience said "it's completely different from Benidorm but I laughed a lot. It's a great script, actor and director."

During the Q&A one lady thanked Derren and Gill for turning the image of the town around. She said: "Scarborough has had a tough time in the press with drug abuse so thank you for turning it right around. You've shown the town in it's best light."