Written by Shona Smith on Feb 11, 2020. Posted in Production News

Wales based Sex Education renewed for a third series by Netflix

The international Netflix hit produced by the UK’s Eleven Films is predominantly shot on location in Wales. The setting remains ambiguous as American and British elements are combined against the Welsh backdrop. Netflix has confirmed a third series will go ahead, less than a month after releasing its second series.

Written by Laurie Nunn and directed by Ben Taylor, Sex Education has been praised for its funny and heart-warming take on teenage identity and sexual discovery. The series sees awkward teen Otis, played by Asa Butterfield (Boy in the striped Pijamas, Hugo), son of a candid sex therapist portrayed by Gilian Anderson (The Crown, War and Peace), who teams up with rebellious classmate Maeve played by Emma Mackey (Death on the Nile) to set up an underground sex therapy clinic at school.

The Wye Valley, on the Welsh side of the English-Welsh border provides scenic backdrops for the series. The student’s homes, which vary in size and style include a large Grade II listed mansion, a mobile home on a caravan park and Otis’ idyllic home on the banks in Symonds Yat on the banks of the Wye River (pictured right), were found in the region.

Set predominantly at Moordale Secondary School, americanised elements of the series sees students wearing letterman jackets instead of dreary school uniform, and pupils gathering around locker-lined halls. A large, empty campus was found near Newport, at the decommissioned Caerleon university campus University of South Wales. The second series also doubled Margam County Park, a 19th century gothic mansion set in ten acres of land on Wales' south coast, as a military academy.

The creative industries are one of Wales’ fastest-growing sectors, with an annual turnover of more than GBP2.2 billion and employing over 56,000 people – 40% more than 10 years ago. Recent projects to have shot in Wales include His Dark Materials, The Accident and bilingual dramas such as Hidden/Craith and Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher.

Recent series The Pembrokeshire Murders from World Productions (Line of Duty, The Bodyguard) has been commissioned by ITV and will receive support from the Welsh Government.

In addition to project-based funding from the Welsh Government, productions filming in Wales can access the UK Film & High-end Drama incentives. For scripted television to qualify, projects must have a minimum core expenditure of GBP1 million per broadcast hour, and spend at least 10% of the projects core expenditure in the UK.

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