Bradford College plays role in explosive new BBC drama

Kit Harington in the BBC drama Gunpowder, for which Bradford College was a filming location

The BBC’s new Saturday night show Gunpowder looks set to trigger an explosion of opportunities for students at Bradford College.

The Guy Fawkes drama that begins this weekend and stars Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington and Hollywood A-lister Liv Tyler was partly filmed at the college.

A 17th-century set was built on campus and some undergraduates from the college’s Northern School of Creative Industries worked on set as make-up artists while others enjoyed tours of the set and picked the brains of production staff.

The prime-time show was the first production to use the college location following a partnership with Leeds-based Prime Studios - supported by Bradford City of Film – in the newly-named Garden Studio at Bradford College.

But it hasn’t and won’t be the last, with all parties pleased with the collaboration – which is great news for students looking to break into the film, theatre and TV industry.

Nathan Kelly, Head of Faculty, The Northern School of Creative Industries and Bradford School of Art, said: “The relationship with Prime Studios has continued beyond the Gunpowder filming. Other productions have been taking place over the summer and there are more to come.

“We also have industry links with Screen Yorkshire, Rollem’ Productions and Hallmark Cards which allow our students to rub shoulders with industry experts.

“There is a creative skills gap in the region, particularly in respect of craft and technical production skills, but through projects like this and by offering the appropriate creative courses we are perfectly placed to equip students with the skills they need to take up exciting career in the film and TV industry.”

Ben Hepworth from Prime Studios said: “Since partnering with Bradford College on Gunpowder we are looking forward to continued collaboration on projects and helping narrow the skills gap in the industry by giving college students opportunities on productions in the region.

“Bradford has a rich history in film and TV and is well supported by Bradford City of Film whom we also have strong ties with.”

Gunpowder tells the tale of the 1605 plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I with Harington playing the role of Robert Catesby, the leader of the failed Gunpowder Plot.

Filming for the show also took place at Dalton Mills in Keighley, Ilkley Moor and Oakwell Hall in Birstall.

The drama is split into three, hour-long episodes with the first going out on BBC One this Saturday, October 21, at 9.10pm.

Bradford is an increasingly popular location for production companies with the award-winning show Peaky Blinders also having filmed in the city in recent months.