Framlingham welcomes back cast and crew for filming of series three of Detectorists

Toby Jones, as Lance, and Mackenzie Crook, as Andy, in Detectorists. Picture: MATT TILLER/Channel X

Toby Jones, as Lance, and Mackenzie Crook, as Andy, in Detectorists. Picture: MATT TILLER/Channel X North and Lola Entertainment - Credit: BBC/Channel X North and Lola Ent

A Suffolk town is playing host to the cast and crew of an award-winning sitcom for the third time.

Mackenzie Crook on the set in Framlingham during filming for the first series in 2014. Picture: PHIL

Mackenzie Crook on the set in Framlingham during filming for the first series in 2014. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Filming for series three of BBC Four’s Detectorists has taken place in Framlingham – where writer, director and actor Mackenzie Crook was joined by co-star Toby Jones in sharing appreciation for the historic Suffolk setting.

A day off for Mr Jones included a walk he’d meant to complete since shooting the first series in 2014 – taking in the mere at the foot of Framlingham Castle.

“I was in love with Suffolk before the show,” he said. “It’s almost jaw-droppingly beautiful.”

Mr Crook set the action in Essex but wanted to film further afield to foster community among the cast and crew – away from the familiar amenities of London.

“As soon as I came to here, I knew it was the place,” he said.

“People have welcomed us with open arms.”

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The two leads said sharing a home town with Ed Sheeran meant locals were unperturbed by coming across well-known actors.

Mr Jones added: “We’re almost second division stars here. People aren’t fazed by a film crew.”

Among the returning crew was Megan Ingold, from Halesworth, who was on the set of the first series for work experience but is now full-time production staff.

Mr Crook said he had been surprised by the reception and recognition the show had received – including best sitcom and comedy writer BAFTA awards.

“I didn’t necessarily expect anyone would watch or enjoy it,” he said. “To find myself receiving a BAFTA was amazing.”

Since creating the series, Mr Crook and his children have visited nearby Sutton Hoo – regarded one of Britain’s most important archeological sites.

His respect for the hobby of metal detecting and attention to detail has ingratiated him with real-life detectorists and fans of the show, which is set in small fictional town of Danebury and tells the story of friends Andy and Lance.

Daniel Spencer and Harry Bain of The Searcher magazine, who travelled to Framlingham to meet the stars, gave the series top marks for accuracy.

Mr Spencer said: “Anyone in the industry with a sense of humour will find it so lifelike – it’s uncanny.

“If you went to a metal detecting rally and spoke to anyone, you’d think you were on the set of the series.”