Filming begins on Portsmouth's own version of Towie

REALITY TV stars of the future are in front of the camera in Portsmouth's own version of The Only Way is Essex.

Saturday, 1st July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 12:16 pm
Director Jaxon Scott, left during filming. Picture: Sarah Standing (170843-4738)

Filming has started on a new project which is hoped to emulate hit TV shows like Towie and Made In Chelsea.

Called Portside Stories, it aims to shine a light on fictional characters from parts Paulsgrove and the more affluent Port Solent.

It already features a ‘cast’ of about 40 people – including amateur actors, children, lighting engineers and even a professional director.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Director Jaxon Scott, left during filming. Picture: Sarah Standing (170843-4738)

The idea was the brainchild of filmmaker Louisa Hart, who runs Portsmouth-based UK Film Academy – where much of the cast is drawn from.

She said: ‘We’re really looking at boosting the skills and confidence of our children.

‘A lot of them have a real desire to be actors. But television acting now is becoming more and more naturalistic.

‘So getting them in front of the camera and being comfortable with who they are is really important to us.’

Teh cast of Portside Stories - back from left, Emma Miles, Louisa Hart, Max Byford and Lindsey Handley with, middle from left, Tyler Scott, Zachary Miles, Thomas Ennis and, front from left, Jessica Mansbridge, Saskia Handley-Brown and Erin Stemp. Picture: Sarah Standing (170843-4700)

Filming took place at Port Solent last night, and has been going on for the past week.

Most of the children follow a loose script but are allowed to improvise their dialogue.

Adults get more freedom, with director Jaxon Scott giving them a rough idea on topics to talk about.

The 42-year-old from Brighton said: ‘It’s really Made in Chelsea, meets The Only Way is Essex by Port Solent.’

Director Jaxon Scott, left during filming. Picture: Sarah Standing (170843-4738)

Eastney teenager Jack Cottan is the star of the pilot.

The 17-year-old actor plays a rich lad from Port Solent looking to set up a house party with his mates.

Jack, who filmed his part in the show last week, said it has been a challenging role.

‘It’s not like your normal acting job,’ he said. ‘You’re basically taking part of yourself and multiplying it by five. So in my character’s case, that’s his pride.’

Teh cast of Portside Stories - back from left, Emma Miles, Louisa Hart, Max Byford and Lindsey Handley with, middle from left, Tyler Scott, Zachary Miles, Thomas Ennis and, front from left, Jessica Mansbridge, Saskia Handley-Brown and Erin Stemp. Picture: Sarah Standing (170843-4700)

The pilot show is set to screen at Odeon cinema in Port Solent later this year.

It will then air online, with Louisa hoping it might be picked up by TV producers.

She added there is still time to join the cast, with more filming taking in August. To join, see ukfilmacademy.co.uk