Written by on Jan 2, 2014. Posted in On Location

Success of new BBC Sherlock series could boost London film tourism

The continuing success of the BBC’s modern-day detective series Sherlock could help boost film tourism in London. Nearly ten million UK viewers watched the opening third-series episode broadcast on 1 January 2014 and the series starts in the US later this month.

Film tourism has been looked at in more detail in a new study published by EuroScreen, a London-based organisation that works towards aligning policies between the tourism and screen industries in eight different regions of Europe.

The report highlights the success of the English-language remake of Swedish crime drama Wallander in boosting UK tourist visits to Sweden (read more about Wallander and The Killing film tourism here). Sherlock could help boost London’s profile, as could the Christmas Day broadcast of period drama Downton Abbey, which was largely set in London and was watched by nearly seven million people in the UK.

“For London in particular, which is a hugely popular filming destination, there is potential to attract more tourists by capitalising on the ready-made promotion provided by the city appearing on screen, delivery significant economic dividends for the capital,” said Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission.

In mid-2013 the UK government launched a new TV tax credit, which is likely to have played a part in attracting new Jack Bauer action miniseries 24: Live Another Day. Studio facilities are, however, in limited supply and Film London recently increased the amount of industrial space available for use by film productions.

The success of the BBC’s Sherlock has also inspired US show Elementary (right), which takes a similar modern-day approach to the famous detective, but relocates the character to New York as a recovering drug addict. Sherlock Holmes remains a British character – played by English actor Jonny Lee Miller – and the show in fact filmed in London for the beginning of its second season.

(Sherlock photos: BBC; Elementary photo: CBS)


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