East Anglian island features in new Jude Law TV show
- Credit: Archant
Everything you need to know about Osea - location for Sky’s The Third Day.
Television fans will no doubt have been glued to Sky’s latest miniseries The Third Day, which stars Jude Law as a man trapped on an island when the tide leaves him cut off from the mainland. But did you know this gripping drama was filmed just up the coast near Maldon?
Situated in the River Blackwater is Osea Island, a 380-acre hidden oasis that has hosted a number of famous faces over the years.
Currently owned by record producer Nigel Frieda, he purchased the island back in 2000 for £6 million, later acquiring the rest of it in 2012.
Accessible via tidal causeway, visitors to Osea can only come and go when the tide is low – making this the perfect bolthole for when you really need to get away from it all. Here’s five fast facts about this fascinating island and some of its previous inhabitants.
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Lights, camera, action
While some of the most recent actors to step foot on Osea Island have been Jude Law, Naomie Harris, Emily Watson and Paddy Considine, this coastal gem has played host to a number of other film and television productions over the years, thanks to its picturesque beauty and secluded location.
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In 2012, ITV1 filmed part of its Superstar talent show on the island, where composer Andrew Lloyd Webber held auditions in his search for the lead in musical Jesus Christ Superstar. A total of 41 contestants were invited to ‘Superstar Island’ for a week of training before being whittled down to 30.
In 1989 and 2012 respectively, both the television and film adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black used Osea Island’s causeway as a filming location. Similarly, the 1979 film Black Island - centred around two young castaway who are trying to escape the island – was also shot on and around Osea.
As well as being a popular filming location, Osea Island is also home to a prolific recording studio that’s been used by the likes of Jessie J and George Ezra. In 2019, it was reported that for a cool £20,000 a day, Rihanna rented the entire island to record some of her still-to-be-released ninth album. However, representatives from Osea Island denied these claims.
Nevertheless, East Point Studios, based in the island’s expansive Manor House, enjoys spectacular sea views and features of range of state-of-the-art recording and mixing equipment.
In between takes, musicians and their teams can unwind as the house also has a gym, sauna, in-home cinema and heated outdoor pool.
Road to recovery
The island also has a long and extensive history of treating people who suffer from addiction problems, going back as far as the turn of the 20th century.
In 1903, social reformer Frederick Nicholas Charrington purchased Osea Island in order to provide free recovery treatment to those who had alcohol and opiate addictions. In return for the treatment, patients would live and work on the island.
Just over a century later, between the years of 2005 and 2010, psychiatric nurse Brendan Quinn and Nigel Frieda founded The Causeway Retreat - a £10,000-a-week rehabilitation clinic that helped the likes of Amy Winehouse, actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Take That’s Mark Owen. However, following an investigation, the clinic was later closed down.
Osea proved to be a valuable resource for the British during both World Wars, thanks to its tidal location. The island was the site of a Coastal Motor Torpedo Boat base during the First World War, with around 2,000 sailors stationed there in temporary huts which have since been removed.
Royal Navy officer Augustus Agar, who fought in both World Wars, was stationed on Osea and received the Victoria Cross during his time there. This, alongside his experiences on the island, were detailed in his 1963 book Baltic Episode.
Your own private getaway
Over the years, a number of high-profile celebrities have made their way across the estuary to escape and unwind on Osea’s idyllic shores - including Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Jamie Winstone.
For anyone who fancies getting in on the action, you don’t need to be an A-lister for the chance to stay at Osea, as there are a number of residences across the island that are available to rent – ranging from its period cottages, six apartments, two beach cottages, Captain’s House and Manor House.
For a two-night minimum stay, prices start from £245 per night for two people sharing one bedroom. Osea Island can be reached via car (during low tide) or water taxi.
For more information, visit www.oseaisland.co.uk