Film crews could return to Suffolk next year for Magpie Murders season two

Magpie Murders driving scenes around Ipswich, which doubled for London locations

Magpie Murders driving scenes around Ipswich, which doubled for London locations - Credit: SCREEN SUFFOLK

Film crews could return to Suffolk next year to work on the second series of an Anthony Horowitz whodunnit, it has been teased. 

Kersey villagers came together with Suffolk-based author Anthony Horowitz on Friday night to see their village on the small screen in the first series of Magpie Murders.

Shooting on the Anthony Horowitz whodunnit took place over two weeks last year, with Kersey acting as the fictional Suffolk town of Saxby on Avon.

Magpie Murders filmed in Kersey

Magpie Murders filmed in Kersey - Credit: SCREEN SUFFOLK

On Friday night, more than 100 village locals gathered at St Mary’s Church for a special screening of the first two episodes of the Britbox six-parter, joined by novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz and his wife, executive producer Jill Green, for a Q&A.

“It’s been so great because the village was so hospitable for us when we were shooting – they were so friendly, so welcoming, so helpful, and so supportive. That doesn’t always happen,” Anthony said.

“A lot of my writing is a love letter for Suffolk because I have been here for 30 years and inspired so much for what I do.

The programme is based on a series of book written by Anthony Horowitz

The programme is based on a series of book written by Anthony Horowitz - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“One of my favourite shots in this show is when Alan Conway, our writer, turns up at Woodbridge Station – one of the greatest and most attractive stations in the whole world.

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“I love this county and I think the shots of Lesley Manville driving around it speak for themselves, it is so beautiful.”

During the filming, residents noticed some changes to their village.

The Kersey Bell pub, for example, was renamed the Queens Arms as part of the production. 

Speaking to this newspaper at the time, landlady Wendy Gray said the changing of the watering hole's name has confused a few customers.

The Bell Inn in Kersey has been renamed the Queens Arms for the television series

The Bell Inn in Kersey was renamed the Queens Arms for the television series - Credit: Alex Goss

As well as Kersey, the production also filmed in Ipswich for shots doubling as London, sweeping tracking shots of the Mid Suffolk countryside for driving sequences and the aforementioned Woodbridge Station.

And the 66-year-old author has hopes there is more of Suffolk on screen to come.

Filming in Ipswich near the Willis Building, doubling for London in Magpie Murders

Filming in Ipswich near the Willis Building, which doubled as London in Magpie Murders - Credit: SCREEN SUFFOLK

“I am very hopeful because Magpie Murders has a sequel, Moonflower Murders which is also set in Suffolk, in Woodbridge largely, and we very much look to be shooting that next year,” he said.

The Orford-based couple revealed they had a list of 13 Suffolk towns and villages on their location scouting for the series, before falling in love with Kersey for the key village location.

Indeed, part of the filming takes place in Dublin and the team lobbied for the church to be included as part of the local shots instead of those originally planned in Ireland.

Jill said that the series is coming out in the US in September, and explained that industry chiefs across the pond “cannot believe this village is a real place”.

Screen Suffolk director Karen Everett

Screen Suffolk director Karen Everett - Credit: JASON NOBLE/LDRS

Screen Suffolk director Karen Everett said: “It’s so brilliant so many people came out to watch it tonight, the whole village has come together.

“It was clear it was a really well-received shoot – everyone was on side, and you can see as we flip into the 1950s we have had to clear the streets, no more new cars, no signage and those things we have to deal with, everyone was happy for that to happen.

“We are a big believer in screen tourism and we know the projects we have worked on that Screen Suffolk are having an effect on the county. People want to come to Suffolk and I am sure Kersey will have a lot of visitors – certainly from the US.”

Magpie Murders which was filmed across Suffolk will air on Britbox later this month

Magpie Murders which was filmed across Suffolk aired on Britbox - Credit: Peter Cutts

The parish council were supportive of the filming, with a spokesman saying "it will raise the profile of our beautiful village, the iconic church and our lovely local pub, The Bell Inn".