Norfolk's Oval Office - see inside the White House replica

A view of the Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

A view of the Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

As the world's eyes turned to Washington DC for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the new US president, Norfolk residents may be surprised to learn there is a copy of his new office in their own backyard. 

What is thought to be the only replica of the White House's famous nerve centre has been created at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park, the former RAF Coltishall air base. 

Steve Murphy, one of two studio heads at the site, said the set was built in 2017 for drama sequences in a documentary focused on Richard Nixon called Watergate - Or: How we Learned to Stop an out of control President. 

The Oval Office set taking shape at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

The Oval Office set taking shape at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

Seeing its ongoing potential, Mr Murphy said they opted to create a permanent set, working off the reams of photos of the Oval Office that are available.

Mr Murphy said: "We saw the opportunity to have one that stands longer term," he said. "So along with the production company we decided to go in on it as well and invest, and built something to a higher standard.


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"We undertook a huge period of research with our designer Joe Barcham. We had to match every prop and every element of what was in there.

The fireplace on the Oval Office set taking shape at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

The fireplace on the Oval Office set taking shape at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

"The oval shape was quite tricky to design, and Joe said the curved doors were particularly difficult. We used real greenery for the area outside the windows." 

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Mr Murphy said they also had the desk Nixon used - called the Wilson desk - handmade by a Norfolk producer. 

Each new president is given the opportunity to redecorate their office, so the decor in October Film's creation does not quite look like the real Oval does in the present day.

A view of the Nixon-era Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

A view of the Nixon-era Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

But Mr Murphy said they could easily re-dress the set for other productions, which included getting carpets custom-made by a producer in Belgium. 

Since Watergate - directed by Oscar winner Charles Ferguson - the set has been used for an October Films/CNN docuseries called First Ladies, and a feature film called The Impact. 

Joe Biden being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.  

The newest occupant of the Oval Office, Joe Bide,n being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. - Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Oval Office set is in the former RAF gymnasium at Scottow.

Mr Murphy said since the studio set up shop there in 2015 they had created a number of other permanent sets including part of a prison, hospital and police station. They also maintain a prop and costume department with thousands of items.  

A 360 view of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

A 360 view of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

An illustration of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park, created by designer Joe Barcham. 

An illustration of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park, created by designer Joe Barcham. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

The most recent occupant of the Oval Office, Donald Trump.

The most recent occupant of the Oval Office, Donald Trump. - Credit: PA

President Bush speaks to reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, after a phon

George W. Bush pictured in the Oval Office during his term as president. - Credit: AP Photo/Doug Mills

A hangar at Scottow Enterprise Park is to be used for a temporary mortuary. Picture: Mike Page

Scottow Enterprise Park - the former RAF Coltishall airbase - is home to a number of businesses, including October Film Studios. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

The main entrance to Scottow Enterprise Park at the former RAF Coltishall
site. Picture: Neil Perry

Scottow Enterprise Park - the former RAF Coltishall airbase - is home to a number of businesses, including October Film Studios. Picture: Neil Perry - Credit: Archant

** FILE ** Departing U.S. President Ronald Reagan is seen shortly after he delivered his farewell ad

Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office during his term as president in 1989, with the famous room designed to his style. - Credit: AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

A historic picture of Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, used in the documentary Watergate. Some dramatised scenes from the documentary were filmed at October Film Studios in Norfolk. 

A historic picture of Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, used in the documentary Watergate. Some dramatised scenes from the documentary were filmed at October Film Studios in Norfolk. - Credit: Supplied by Dogwoof Productions

A view of the Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

A view of the Oval Office at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios

The outer structure of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. 

The outer structure of the Oval Office set at October Film Studios at Scottow Enterprise Park. - Credit: Supplied by October Film Studios


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