Belfast Telegraph

Refusing Bond 'missed opportunity'

The decision to refuse the makers of the latest James Bond permission to film inside the Welsh Assembly's main debating chamber has been labelled a "missed opportunity".

The Welsh Assembly Commission were asked if the Siambr in the Senedd could be used to shoot scenes for the next instalment of 007 called Spectre.

However, officials turned down the request - insisting the main chamber of Welsh politics was not a "drama studio".

But Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said he is not convinced that saying no to the makers of one of cinema's most lucrative series was a wise move.

"From a Welsh tourism perspective, that's the sort of publicity money can't buy," he said.

"TV and film-related tourism is a major industry, bringing fans of Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who to Welsh locations. It's a shame that Spectre won't be added to that list."

It is believed The Assembly Commission, which looks after the running of the institution, was approached by the makers of Spectre late last year.

The film, which sees Daniel Craig return as Bond, has already started filming.

However, Assembly chiefs stuck to their guns, arguing it would be highly unlikely permission would ever be granted to film an action film on the floor of the House of Commons.

It also said other parts of the Assembly's estate had been offered for filming, but were turned down.

"The Senedd's Siambr is the home of Welsh democracy and seat of government for Wales," it said in a statement.

"Some media activity is allowed in the Siambr when it relates to the work of the Assembly (but) it is not a drama studio.

"The request by (the producers of) James Bond to use the Siambr was turned down and they were offered alternative locations on the estate - which they subsequently declined."

The Senedd, which cost £69.6 million, was officially opened in 2006. Sixty AMs sit in its Siambr - with its "mushroom cloud" style wooden ceiling and circular viewing gallery being lauded for its unique architecture and design.

Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, is due for release in November.


From Belfast Telegraph