TV crime duo follow clues in Compton Dando village churchyard

VILLAGERS in Compton Dando got a sneak preview of the fourth series of popular ITV crime show McDonald & Dodds when filming took place in their local church and churchyard.

Churchwarden Clive Howarth said: “It started when a location scout asked to look at St Mary’s vestry. She liked it and sent a few people to do a look-see.

“They realised that the church and churchyard had more to offer so one day’s filming turned into four, plus two days of set-up and take-down.”

“The crew numbered between 60 and 70 every day, and together with actors and extras (now called supporting actors, SA) the onsite caterers fed lunch to 145 people on one day alone.

The unit took over the parish hall both for dressing, make-up, and hair as well as a set for a registry office. They also used two local houses for dressing and make-up.

The pub hosted some of the crew after filming each day, and the village has been full of cars, lorries and vans. Behind the church in Kelly’s yard was also an 18-ton generator vehicle supplying power for all the lights.

The two principle actors, Jason and Tala, were very approachable and friendly, and the crew said they loved working here in Compton because we have all been so helpful. They, too, were great to work with, friendly and helpful.”

The new series will be shown in March 2024, with Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins as the lead characters.

Also returning to the cast this series are Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as Chief Superintendent Ormond, and Charlie Chambers (EastEnders) as DC Goldie. Bhavik C. Pankhania (World On Fire) joins the line-up as DC Lee.

Guests stars include singer/songwriter Pixie Lott, Toby Stephens, Daniel Lapaine, Ace Bhatti, Lydia Leonard, Dipo Ola and John Gordon Sinclair.

Pictured, Jason Watkins and Tala Gouveia with church warden Clive Howarth (centre) in the garden at Compton Dando churchyard