Kenneth Branagh films scenes as Boris Johnson in Norfolk for Sky drama

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle,

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle, in character as prime minister Boris Johnson coming out of Coxford's Butchers in Aylsham's Market Place. - Credit: Paul Matthews

Emma Thompson, Kristen Stewart, and now Sir Kenneth Branagh.

Locations in Norfolk have become a mecca for Hollywood A-listers in recent weeks, and now it's Aylsham's turn in the spotlight. 

The town is being used for the filming of This Sceptred Isle, a Sky production based around the UK's coronavirus response. 

Undated handout photo issued by Sky UK of Kenneth Branagh as Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Sky

Kenneth Branagh as Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Sky Original drama 'This Sceptred Isle', scenes from which are being filmed in Aylsham. - Credit: Sky UK/PA Media

For the filming of one scene on Friday, Branagh, in his role as the prime minister, was seen emerging from Coxford's Butchers in the Market Place.

Johnny Payne, who runs Coxford’s along with Jason Gibbons, said the crew was in the butchers filming for about two hours. 

He said: “What an honour for us to host the scene in the shop. An opportunity like this doesn't come up every day.

“When they called us to ask a few weeks ago we weren’t going to say no, although we didn’t know what it was about then. 

“It was an honour to meet someone so big in Aylsham.”

 Jason Gibbons, left, and Johnny Payne, of Coxford's Butchers in Aylsham's Market Place. 

Jason Gibbons, left, and Johnny Payne, of Coxford's Butchers in Aylsham's Market Place. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

Paul Matthews, from the town, saw the filming and said the scene involved a crowd of people outside the butchers. He said there was "a lot of chanting" before Branagh came out of the shop. 

The action then moved off towards the Church of St Michael, Aylsham's parish church.

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Mr Payne said Covid-safe measures were being followed and cast and crew were being tested for Covid-19 three times a week, a measure which has allowed filming on various productions to go ahead throughout the pandemic.

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle, in character as prime minister Boris Johnson

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle, in character as prime minister Boris Johnson coming out of Coxford's Butchers in Aylsham's Market Place. - Credit: Paul Matthews

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle, in character as prime minister Boris Johnson

Sir Kenneth Branagh, filming a scene for the political drama This Sceptred Isle, in character as prime minister Boris Johnson coming out of Coxford's Butchers in Aylsham's Market Place. - Credit: Paul Matthews

Aylsham's drill hall, town hall and other spots around the Market Place were also used for scenes before the crew left town late on Friday. 

Thompson, along with Peaky Blinders star Daryl McCormack, have been in Norwich recently filming a new comedy drama called Good Luck to You, Leo Grande.

Stewart, best known for her role in the Twilight movies, plays Princess Diana in in an upcoming film called Spencer which is being partly filmed in Norfolk.

She was spotted along with co-star Sally Hawkins filming scenes on Hunstanton beach last month. 

This Sceptred Isle is expected to hit the screen in August 2022.

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