My reaction on seeing half our street lined with bollards, due to the filming of an ITV drama series called Law and Order: London, was the same as anyone’s around here: I hope they clear off before morning. It was a Sunday, and they did. Gone are the days when film crews, with their fairground-like procession of vehicles, would excite glamour.
In SW1, we’re all too worried about our residents’ parking. Only the next day, I walked past another crew on the Embankment. Nobody had even stopped to look at them. I asked the gofer, who was making sure passers by didn’t fall over the cabling, if the film would be a good one. He said he had no idea it was in Polish.
That evening, Barbara Follett, who is apparently our film minister, appeared in Trafalgar
Square to launch an initiative to encourage Indian film-makers to make more movies here. ‘I am delighted to see some of the biggest names in Bollywood filming in the heart of London,’ she said. I can’t think of anything worse.
The capital is a place to live and work, and was, until the credit crunch hit, busy enough, without doubling as a film set. If, in the next Bollywood spectacular, you spot, in the background, an irate man in an estate car, sounding his horn during the quiet bits, that will be me.