Look familiar? George Gently back on the beat in our neighbourhood

Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw) and John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby). (C) Company Pictures. Photographer: Ed Miller
Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw) and John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby). (C) Company Pictures. Photographer: Ed Miller
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THE cameras are rolling once again as Inspector George Gently goes back on the beat.

Filming has started on the seventh series of the prime-time BBC One drama, with four feature-length episodes shot on location in County Durham and elsewhere across the North East.

The story picks up in 1969 as Gently, played by Martin Shaw, and his Detective Sergeant John Baccus, played by Lee Ingleby, recover from the physical and mental scars of being shot inside Durham Cathedral.

The next instalments include appearances by singer Pixie Lott, who plays a holidaycamp singer, Hebburn star Lisa Mcgrillis as a police constable and Steve Evets, who has appeared in Rev.

Chester-le-Street Police Station will be among the buildings used as sets.

Executive producer Claire Ingham said: “We’re delighted to be filming Inspector George Gently again in Durham and the North East – and it’s fantastic to be able to recreate the world of 1969. There were such vivid and colourful changes in society at that time, and hopefully our series will continue to give a real portrait of the age.”

Writers on the show include Tim Prager, who has written for Silent Witness and Waking the Dead, Mike Cullen, who has been behind episodes of Taggart, and Jess William, who has worked on Call The Midwife.

Jarrow’s Peter Flannery, best known for works including Our Friends in the North, is also involved in the show.

Seaham’s seafront, Biddick Hall on the Lambton Estate near Shiney Row, the terraced streets of Horden and the former Durham Johnston school buildings in Whinney Hill, Durham, have previously been used as the backdrop of scenes.

BBC bosses have not yet said when the new shows will be screened.