Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Revealed: The Line of Duty locations in Northern Ireland

 

Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) and Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker) dining in The Ivory on Line of Duty
Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) and Gill Biggeloe (Polly Walker) dining in The Ivory on Line of Duty
Line Of Duty location. Tates Avenue.
SUNDAY LIFE NEWS - Line of Duty Series 5 Episode 4 - Belfast Telegraph Little Donegall Street
Line Of Duty location. Belvoir Estate, Downhill Avenue.
SUNDAY LIFE NEWS - Line of Duty Series 5 Episode 4 - Belfast Telegraph Little Donegall Street
SUNDAY LIFE NEWS - Line of Duty Series 5 Episode 4 - Belfast Telegraph Little Donegall Street Frames
Line of Duty season five - Ulster Reform Club on ROyal Avenue
Line Of Duty location. Wheelers Road, Dundrod
Line Of Duty location. Wheelers Road, Dundrod
Line Of Duty location. Tates Avenue.
Line Of Duty location. Belvoir Estate, Downhill Avenue.
Line Of Duty location. Belfast Central Library

By John Toner

BBC hit crime drama Line of Duty is set to give the tourism industry here another huge boost as fans flock to visit filming locations here.

The show, which reaches its season five finale tonight, has enjoyed massive ratings with the first episode of the current series watched by 7.8 million viewers alone, which also made it the most-watched episode in the history of the show.

Game of Thrones-related tourism in Northern Ireland has brought huge visitor numbers here and Derry Girls tourism is also soaring in the north west thanks to the popularity of the Channel 4 show. Now plans are in the pipeline for Line of Duty filming location tours.

Freelance location director David Cooke (43), who worked on the latest series, told Sunday Life that he would be supportive of such an initiative.

He said: "I think someone should really organise something because it's so popular and loads of people are talking about the show.

"It's a little different from Game of Thrones as the sets and locations might not still be there in a few years' time."

As series five reaches its dramatic conclusion, the bookies are taking bets on who will be revealed as the bent cop known only as H amid frenzied speculation but Mr Cooke was keeping tight-lipped about the big secret.

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He added: "I was obviously very involved with the script because I needed to be in my role. I needed to be aware of what exactly each scene involved and the physical characteristics of each scene are very important.

"I couldn't possibly comment on anything that hasn't yet been aired. I'm afraid you'll have to wait and see!"

Devotees of the show have been sharing conspiracy theories online as to the identity of H and the other big questions that have kept an average of 10 million viewers glued to BBC1 every Sunday night but are no closer to the truth.

Last week, Fermanagh man Adrian Dunbar, who plays superintendent Ted Hastings, said he still doesn't know the identity of the mysterious H, despite being a prime suspect.

He said: "No, I don't know. It's difficult, you know… We might find out at some point."

With the climactic episode due to air tonight, Sunday Life tracked down some of the iconic locations used in Northern Ireland, including the old Belfast Telegraph building, Belfast Central Library, the Ulster Reform Club, country roads around Dundrod, Invest NI headquarters off Bedford Street, the Harbour Estate, Katy's bar, The Crown Bar and the Stix and Stones and Ivory restaurants in Belfast city centre.

Locations specialist Mr Cooke told Sunday Life Belfast had been an ideal fit for the gritty crime drama because of its size, surroundings and historic buildings.

The Larne man said: "My job was working with the director and the production manager, they would give me a brief and I would go and find locations for them here in Northern Ireland.

"It was all centered on this criminal gang so we wanted spots where you can still see the city in the background.

"Upper Queen Street and Carrick Hill were particularly good for being able to give us a sense of city life without being too specific, it was useful being able to use the city for filming whilst keeping the real location ambiguous.

"It's strange when you see some of it out of context and was funny when people from here started watching it and realised they were seeing something they recognised. Belfast has been very good for the series, it's very compact which is great for filming in terms of logistics, it's a big advantage.

"The Belfast Telegraph building was very versatile we used it for various scenes and you're always looking for little things like that where locations can be multi-use - if you can use the same location several times it's very useful.

"We did a couple of scenes on Wheeler's Road in Hannahstown, including the hijack in episode one of the last series and it was a joy, we were lucky to have good weather and the locals were very helpful."

Line of Duty will be back filming in Belfast next year with series 6 already commissioned.

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