Unmissable: Framlingham ‘ideal’ location for Mackenzie Crook’s new sitcom

Filming for the new BBC comedy drama 'Detectorists' in Framilngham. Mackenzie Crook on the set.

Filming for the new BBC comedy drama 'Detectorists' in Framilngham. Mackenzie Crook on the set. - Credit: Archant

Over the years he’s had some small parts in hugely successful TV shows and films, from The Office to Pirates of the Caribbean films.

But despite always turning in at the very least a solid performance, Mackenzie Crook hasn’t always struck gold at the box office – or with the critics.

Tube comedy Three and Out – which was based on the morbid concept that an underground train driver who is involved in three fatalities behind the controls will lose their job but receive 10 years’ salary in a lump sum – was a flop, while the less said about Sex Lives of the Potato Men and Churchill: The Hollywood Years the better.

But Crook is a supremely talented comedic actor, equally adept in dramatic roles, and excelled as the snide wildling warg Orell in the third series of Game of Thrones.

His finest work (that I have seen) remains the part of Gareth Keenan in The Office. Gareth was such a wally, such a sneaky lickspittle berk, but he was brilliantly played by Crook, complete with that awful haircut.

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His latest project sees him step up to become writer, director and star of Detectorists, a new sitcom on BBC4 that starts this week.

What’s more, the show was filmed right here in Suffolk – in historic Framlingham.

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Detectorists follows treasure-seekers Andy (Crook) and pal Lance (played by the equally excellent Toby Jones) as they search for undiscovered loot in the countryside.

With the potential to become one of TV’s great odd couples, Crook and Jones are top-notch stars and this six-part series, which you may remember reading about in the EADT while it was being filmed earlier in the summer, is a perfect platform for their talents.

Speaking to the Radio Times this week about his first big directing gig and the challenge it posed, Crook said: “With everything in place we all headed out to the Suffolk countryside to start filming at the beginning of June.

“The beautiful town of Framlingham was our base and it couldn’t have been more ideal.

“I’ll always remember those six weeks in the countryside as one of the best times of my life. After the initial nerves wore off and I relaxed a bit, it became an idyllic summer holiday. A hard-working summer holiday, but a holiday nonetheless.”

So if you fancy some low-key comedy in a truly picturesque setting, what more could you wish for? Detectorists starts on BBC4 at 10pm on Thursday, October 2.

What do you think? Email me at elliot.furniss@archant.co.uk or follow me on Twitter @Elliot_Furniss

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