Last week we had one of those days when nothing goes to plan. "Stuff it," said my husband, "I'll get chips on the way home". He turned up an hour or so later. "Sorry I was so long, the film crew were all in the chip shop". It was nothing remarkable, a bit of an occupational hazard to be honest, as Eryri is such a regular fixture on the big and small screen.
At the moment the chip shop crew are filming House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones, in some of the local slate quarries. The epic local landscape has featured in many films including my mum's favourite The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Carry On up the Khyber, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, First Knight, Wonder Woman 2020, Willow and no less than 4 of the James Bond movies (so far). Search online for films made in North Wales and you'll find any number of lists of locations. Sue compiled a long list in an earlier blog post; some of them might surprise you!
On the small screen, Eryri has featured in Cold Feet, Dr Who, East Enders and even an episode of Midsomer Murders. More recently, several TV series set in Wales and filmed in Welsh or bilingually have inspired a whole new genre of 'Cymru Noir' which is giving Wallander a run for his money. Y Gwyllt / Hinterland, Y Golau and Craith have been critical successes, and Dal y Mellt / Rough Cut is the first Welsh language drama on Netflix. This takes advantage of the fact that a huge percentage of 16-24 year olds watch with subtitles routinely, as they live their lives online and are used to multitasking rather than concentrating on one information stream at a time.
This week we've had the news that our unofficial Welsh Ambassador to Hollywood, Ryan Reynolds, will be hosting Welsh Wednesdays on his own TV channel with content produced by S4C. I wonder if we can expect more American visitors in the coming months? That would be great for business!
So if you're a film or TV fan keep your eyes peeled - it seems that you're more likely than ever to spot a familiar landscape on the screen. Or an A-list celebrity in the chip shop.