A new TV drama by the makers of Downton Abbey set in high society London in the mid-19th century is to be filmed in Edinburgh’s New Town this summer.
Its historic streetscape and architecture will stand in for 1840s London in ITV’s new “tale of scandal and intrigue”, which Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes is helping to adapt from his own novel.
Edinburgh has been hand-picked by the producers of Belgravia after scouting for locations to stand in for one of London’s most prestigious addresses for the show, which has also been snapped up by the US network Epix.
Moray Place and Darnaway Street will be among the New Town locations deployed in the drama, which Life on Mars star Philip Glenister, Sense and Sensibility and Downton Abbey actress Harriet Walter and Alice Eve (Star Trek and Iron Fist) have all been cast in.
Carnival Films, producers of the six-part series, said Edinburgh will provide the “perfect backdrop” to Fellowes’ story, which will “see secrets unravel behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode”.
The City Chambers and Parliament Square are also expected to be deployed when the drama is based in and around Edinburgh for several weeks in July. Key scenes are also expected to be shot at Hopetoun House, near South Queensferry, and Manderston country house in the Borders.
Producer Colin Wratten, whose recent credits include Killing Eve and Waking the Dead, said: “Edinburgh is an extremely film-friendly city, which provides the perfect backdrop to Julian Fellowes’ story of 19th-century society, against which intrigue and dynastic power struggles play out.
“In addition to our central Edinburgh locations, we have the privilege of using the majestic stately homes of Hopetoun and Manderston, which will become key characters in this fantastic event series.”
Rosie Ellison, of the Film Edinburgh commission, said: “When the production team visited Edinburgh to scout locations, they immediately realised the architecture of the New Town is ideal for period dramas and fit the brief perfectly.
“The film-friendly response the filmmakers have received from the local community and city council couldn’t be warmer. We’re looking forward to welcoming the crew to the city.”
Gareth Neame, executive chairman of Carnival Films, who was at the helm of Downton Abbey, said: “It’s fantastic to be working once again with Julian, a master storyteller.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with ITV once again and look forward to working with EPIX to introduce US audiences to this fantastic event series.”