Find out how JK Rowling's TV adaptation got a Cotswolds village over-excited

Thinking it was real, racy passers-by tried shopping at a lingerie boutique run by TV star Keeley Hawes which had been set up for the TV adaptation of JK Rowling novel The Casual Vacancy.

Curious shoppers mistook the film set for a real shop front as programme-makers recorded the drama in the Cotswolds and wandered in to browse the stock.

The underwear boutique is run by character Samantha Mollison, played by actress Keeley, in the BBC One show with those scenes shot in the Gloucestershire town of Painswick, standing in for the fictional village of Pagford.

Keeley Hawes in The Casual Vacancy (BBC)

Keeley Hawes in The Casual Vacancy (BBC)

Director Jonny Campbell said: “There were a couple of occasions while we were filming there where a couple of old ladies with white hair, a stick, were walking past and looking in the window. We were saying ‘Please excuse us’. ‘Oh no, I’ve got all that stuff’.”

He went on: “Someone came in and thought there was a sale on, so there were several people walking around. It was amusing.”

Jonny said the shop did not meet everyone’s approval: “They complained about it at the local parish council meeting – said it was a disgrace.”

The three-part mini-series, about the intrigues and upheavals in a village community caused by a vacancy on the parish council, also stars Michael Gambon, Julia McKenzie and Rory Kinnear.

Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie star in The Casual Vacancy (BBC)

Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie star in The Casual Vacancy (BBC)

JK Rowling praised the work of screenwriter Sarah Phelps for adapting her first novel aimed at adults.

She said: “Sarah Phelps is a writer at the top of her game. Having met Sarah, and discussed the television adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, I was happy and confident to hand over the job of crafting my novel for the small screen.

“Sarah has done a great job and I am delighted with how it has turned out.”


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