Blog - News

January 2, 2024

By Jonny Shelton

No.1 in the ‘Netflix Top Ten’ – in over 70 countries. 176,000,000 hours viewed globally in three weeks. 92% on Rotten Tomatoes – and awards and nominations.

Around this time two years ago, Netflix released Stay Close to huge critical acclaim. Stay Close features an all-star cast and was, at the time, the next Harlan Coben adaptation for the streamer from Manchester-based RED Production Company. Until now.

On January 1st 2024, Netflix released Fool Me Once – the latest drama from Quay Street Productions (led by RED’s founder, Nicola Schindler). Complete with a big-hitting cast, a story that will keep you glued to your screen – and locations that serve to underpin the narrative’s drama.

Shooting on location requires input and support from lots of different personnel and organisations, in both the public and private sectors. Our team supported the drama as it shot on location, and brought them into conversations with many of those who held the keys (sometimes literally) to the locations their team desired. We spoke to them some of them about their experience of working on the hit show of January 2024.

© Netflix

Arley Hall, Cheshire

Bridge Roberts from Arley Hall spoke glowingly of the experience:

“Arley Hall was thrilled to be chosen as one of the main locations for the new Netflix drama Fool Me Once. Filming took place in several locations including the formal gardens, the Hall (interior and exterior) and the grounds and roads at Arley from April through to July.

Additionally, we were delighted that some of the cast chose to stay in our holiday accommodation on-site so it really felt like they really made themselves at home.

We were thrilled to meet Joanna Lumley who is as lovely in real life as she is on our screens, and she was particularly interested in the history of Arley and the Hall in which she was filming. Also starring in the production was Michelle Keegan, who is a regular at Arley – with her other series Brassic using Arley as a location.

Arley is often chosen as a film and TV location and we never get tired of the excitement that a large crew bring with them. This production was particularly enjoyable as the crew were all lovely and with stars such as Joanna and Michelle Keegan regularly being spotted around the estate it felt like they were all part of the team.

We are all really looking forward to seeing the series on screen and spotting Arley.”

Oldham Council, Greater Manchester

Scenes took place in Oldham’s parks and greenspaces, and Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said:

“Alexandra Park is beautiful and we’re glad it’s making an appearance on Netflix – we can’t wait for millions of people to see the park in all its glory.

We have fantastic parks and green spaces in the borough and the Christmas period is the perfect opportunity to get out, wrap up warm and go for a walk with friends and family to enjoy them.

The borough has a great resume as a filming location and has been featured in productions like ‘Brassic’, ‘Passenger’, ‘The Full Monty’ and the JD Sports Christmas advert.

We are always working behind the scenes to attract more production companies to choose Oldham – which will boost the economy and bring more eyes to our town.”

Bolton Council, Greater Manchester

Chris Chadwick and the team at Bolton Council are no strangers to supporting HETV Dramas, as we learned:

“Working with a locations team we knew well from previous productions such as Cobra (S3), Nolly and The Stranger, we facilitated the usage of the former police custody and cells area, along with the former Judges Chamber room, all of which are within the former Magistrates Court building which sits on the iconic Le Mans Crescent in Bolton Town Centre.

The former judges chambers room will feature in Fool Me Once as a Headteachers office, whilst the cells and custody area speaks for itself.

Fool Me Once are just one of many HETV shows to have been filmed in Bolton during 2023, including A Gentleman in Moscow, The Power of Parker, Alma’s Not Normal, Sleepover, Kidnapped, Toxic Town and the 2nd series of Ridley.

Bolton is a very filming friendly town, we have some fantastic unique locations and our ability to continue to attract the biggest productions around is a testament to the work that we do. The Filming in England team support us in this and offer dedicated industry experience as and when we need it.”

© Netflix

Salford City Council, Greater Manchester

As one of two cities in Greater Manchester, Salford City Council were ready to help when called upon:

“Salford remains a hugely popular area for domestic and international dramas and features to shoot in. Salford is proud of the diverse range of intriguing, strikingly appealing but highly accessible locations.

From primeval swampy woodlands, isolated canals with sweeping stark vistas to iconic mid-20th century terraced streets, blunt shopping malls, urban highways, alley ways and hidden ginnels that add grit and an edgy authenticity to any thriller. Salford has been wonderfully captured in the

different productions that we have welcomed to the city over the last few years, especially where the master of the dark thriller Harlan Coben is at the helm.

Fool Me Once was shot at various locations in the city, their location team also benefited from support by Salford City Council – who are proud members of Creative England’s Filming in England Partnership.”

Councillor Hannah Robinson-Smith, Salford City Council’s Executive Support Member for Culture, Communications, and Strategic Priorities, said:

“We’re proud that Salford is a film friendly city, we understand the value and opportunities this creates for the local economy and it’s really positive to see more and more thrilling productions like this still choosing Salford for realism and spine-chilling authenticity. The team here at the council work closely with Creative England to facilitate and support productions as much as possible.”

© Netflix

Stockport Council, Greater Manchester

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said:

“It’s great seeing places we are so familiar with taking pride of place on screen. The latest is the new Harlen Coben adaptation Fool Me Once which is currently being broadcast.

The borough has become such a popular location for filming as we can offer such unique locations.

It’s also thanks to the council’s dedicated staff working collaboratively with partner organisations and supportive businesses, which helps to bring real benefits to the local economy by raising our profile and putting us firmly on the production map.”

Trafford Council, Greater Manchester

Trafford Council’s support led to shooting across the borough and extensive road closures put in place, which immensely aided the production in achieving their aims.

“Trafford Council worked with the production team from Fool Me Once, for some scenes shot in the borough. The crew were respectful and easy to work with, and Trafford were able to meet the flexibility needs required. This is one of a number of productions who have filmed in Trafford this year, including After the Flood, Coronation Street, The One Show, Brassic, Sherwood, Waterloo Road, The Bay, Ridley, The Jetty and many others.

Trafford is the natural choice for many productions with its numerous parks and attractions, and its famous landmarks such as Manchester United, Lancashire County Cricket Club, Dunham Massey, and The Trafford Centre.

We are open for business and have a good understanding of your needs, which we aim to meet wherever we can, whilst working closely with the Filming in England Team as proud members of their Filming in England Partnership.”

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Cheshire East Council, Cheshire

Cheshire East Council are a mainstay for drama productions, and have helped each of the previous Harlan Coben adaptations for Netflix amongst many others.

Richard Milkins – Visitor Economy Manager, Cheshire East Council – shared his thoughts with us:

“Cheshire East Council are pleased to support the local film and tv sector wherever we can and have good capacity and options to allow for road closures – as we did with ‘Fool Me Once’ and many others before.

We’re proud to enjoy fruitful relations with Location Managers and Creative UK’s Filming in England Team – and long may it continue!”

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Bolton School, Greater Manchester

Adele Hughes from Bolton School also shared their thoughts with us:

“Having worked with this locations team on many other productions including Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, we knew this would be a great project to be involved with. Their professionalism and collaborative approach made the entire process enjoyable throughout.

Supporting Fool Me Once not only demonstrated the versatility of our location but also played an important role in shaping the future for deserving pupils with the income generated supporting the school’s bursary fund.

Being part of this production reinforced our commitment to building partnerships in the filming industry and we look forward to working on future projects with the Filming in England Team.”

© Netflix

The location team on Fool Me Once worked together before on previous Harlan Coben adaptations for Quay Street Productions and Netflix, and found this one as brilliantly challenging and fun as the previous series too. They told us: “We couldn’t achieve our aims without all of the brilliant people who’ve been quoted in this blog, and so many others – including the Filming in England team at Creative UK!”

Notable mentions

Huge shout-outs to Fiona Ogden at Ashton Old Baths in Tameside (Greater Manchester), and Carol MacGowan from the Reserve Forces and Cadet’s Association for the North West of England, who both supported location shooting for Fool Me Once too! In addition, an acknowledgment to Screen Manchester, Screen Yorkshire and Lancashire County Council for their work on the production.

Each of the organisations who kindly contributed their time and thoughts to us above are members of our Filming in England Partnership.

To find out more, visit our website at www.filminginengland.co.uk.

Watch Fool Me Once on Netflix from January 1st 2024.