Filming has just wrapped on the latest production to receive vital investment from Liverpool Film Office’s Film and TV Production Fund.
The Family Pile is a brand new ITV prime-time comedy set in Liverpool and tells the story of four sisters who have lost their parents and are packing up the family home to sell. It stars Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, Mr Selfridge), Clare Calbraith (Downton Abbey), Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley), and Alexandra Mardell (Coronation Street). Kieran O’Brien, Richard Pepple and James Nelson-Joyce round up the cast.
The six-part, 30-minute-long show is produced by Hat Trick Productions (Derry Girls, Stuck) and has been written by Liverpool-born Brian Dooley who previously won a BAFTA for his work on BBC3’s The Smoking Room. The show is executive produced by Angela Sinden alongside TV comedy legend and Walton-born Jimmy Mulville.
Filmed across the Liverpool City Region, the producers created a full-size family home interior set inside the now-empty Pensby High School for Boys in Wirral Peninsula. Other locations included exteriors in Crosby and Bebington.
The Family Pile is the first sitcom that the fund has supported, adding to an impressive investment portfolio that includes recent acclaimed dramas The Responder, Time, Help and The Ipcress File.
As well as spending a significant proportion of the show’s budget on local crew and businesses, the production has also provided a number of high-quality training and professional development opportunities for up-coming talent in areas such as costume, make-up, production accountancy and camera grips.
Managed by Liverpool Film Office, the fund is supported by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund. Since the fund launched in 2019, it’s estimated to have delivered more than £12 million of direct inward investment into the region’s economy.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet Member responsible for Liverpool Film Office, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:
“Since the Production Fund launched in 2019 it has been a runaway success – we’ve produced award-winning dramas, supported local talent, created jobs, improved skills and had a positive economic impact across the city region.
“It continues to go from strength to strength and The Family Pile is an exciting addition to the stellar list of funded productions. It will be fantastic to see some of that renowned Scouse humour on the small screen.”
Head of Liverpool’s Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said:
“With its unique brand of humour, Liverpool has been the cradle of some legendary TV sitcoms over the years including The Liver Birds, Bread and Watching. Hot from their Derry Girls success, we’re delighted to welcome Jimmy and the Hat Trick team to the city with a new show that keeps the gags and punchlines flowing whilst at the same time dealing with some potent emotional issues. It’s been a long wait but The Family Pile finally puts the Scouse sitcom back on mass audience prime time where it belongs.”
Executive Producer Jimmy Mulville said:
“The Family Pile was the first time we’d produced a series entirely on Merseyside and I can tell you it won’t be the last. Chris Moll and Lynn Saunders at Liverpool Film have been hugely supportive, the script by the brilliant Brian Dooley was full of Scouse heart and humour, the cast and crew were magnificent and if there were any Liverpool fans on the show they kept it very quiet so all good. See you soon!”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“Our region is a vibrant, innovative hub of creativity and talent. Through devolution, we can direct investment to help it continue to grow and flourish. That is exactly what we have done by pumping millions of pounds into the LCR Production Fund, which has led, in turn, to more than £12m of wider investment in our region.
“Our heritage, architecture, talent and people mean that we will always be able to attract film and TV productions from across the globe, but I think it’s also important to nurture local projects, promote local writers, directors and actors and help showcase them to the rest of the country – and beyond. The Family Pile looks set to be the latest in a long line of local productions doing exactly that.”
For more information visit the official Film Office Liverpool website.