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Drama in Belfast's Village as Line Of Duty TV crew hits the town

By Amanda Ferguson

The sight of heavily armed police on a south Belfast road may not be unusual - but for one former DUP Lord Mayor it was all a bit much.

Billy Dickson - now a TUV member and tour guide - said filming of critically acclaimed BBC police drama Line Of Duty yesterday had caused massive disruption on Tates Avenue.

Many residents took it in their stride, taking in both the sun and the filming around the bridge. But Mr Dickson (69) said others were annoyed they had not been warned about the disruption.

"When people went away there was no place to park when they got back and people's social workers and various services couldn't get down the street," he said.

Mr Dickson said he was in a "heated exchange" with a crew member - leading to him being escorted to the other side of the street by police. He said he hasn't seen Line Of Duty but said someone told him: "It's like The Bill but better' - but I have no idea."

Among those soaking up the live action was Maureen Jamison from Donegall Parade. She can't wait to see the show on TV.

"You couldn't meet a nicer bunch of guys and girls," she said of the production team. "Two days is no big deal. It gives me something to nosey about." World Productions said around 125 letters were delivered to residents on Sunday advising them of possible disruption in the Village.

Cait Collins, line producer for Line Of Duty, said: "It it is like the circus coming to town. It will always be slightly disruptive.

"All we can do is ask people for their co-operation and help and inform people about what is going on."

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