The Ribble Valley became a film set recently, for a forthcoming global, feel-good movie that has an all-star cast and Take That band members as executive producers

The cast and crew for the new Take That feel-good movie, Greatest Days, were spotted filming at various locations in Clitheroe.

In one scene, the actors playing the band members, looked to be having fun as they excitedly bounded down the steps of a local church, wearing matching blue suits.

The first week of filming in Clitheroe ended with one of the major scenes from the film – a big song and dance number at Clitheroe Castle. Acclaimed producer Kate Solomon of Elysian Film Group, who was present at the shoot, said: “I’m writing this while we film our characters dancing down from Clitheroe Castle in the bright sunshine.

“We began filming on Monday morning and the rain finally relented on Thursday, but the spirit of the town has shone throughout. We are loving shooting here and we can totally see why this is one of the happiest towns in England!”

Following filming in Clitheroe there will be further shoots in London and Athens.

The film is based on the hit West End stage musical, The Band, which made its world premiere in 2017, before embarking on a UK tour.

The production will feature some of Take That’s biggest hits including Greatest Day, Patience, Back for Good, A Million Love Songs and Shine.

The story will follow five best friends who have the night of their lives while at a concert of their favourite boy band. The group then reunite after 25 years, reminiscing on their past and how their lives have changed in a myriad of ways and what lies ahead in the future.

The band members are played by newcomers Aaron Bryan, Dalvin Cory, Joshua Jung, Mark Samaras and Mervin Noronha. They join a star line-up including comedian and actress Aisling Bea, who won a TV Bafta in 2020, Alice Lowe (Black Mirror), Amaka Okafor (The Responder, The Split), Jayde Adams (Serious Black Jumper), Marc Wootton (Nativity), Lara McDonnell (Belfast), Jessie Mae Alonzo (Little Joe), Nandi Hudson (Army of Thieves), Carragon Guest and Eliza Dobson.

When her casting was announced, Aisling Bea said: “I am ready to Relight My Fire and get singing and dancing in this feel-good, joy fest of a movie!”

Producer Danny Perkins added: “Greatest Days is a film about people coming together, with nostalgia, friendship and joy – the beating heart of this universal story.

“This movie will resonate with audiences worldwide and I am delighted to welcome Aisling Bea to our exceptional filmmaking team. We are determined to honour The Band musical and Take That’s legacy with our new film.”

Tim Firth, screenwriter and playwright (The Band and Calendar Girls) is no stranger to Clitheroe having spent holidays there as a child. He recalls how he set his first TV series in the region: “It wasn’t by chance I set my first BBC TV series, Preston Front, in the vicinity. We filmed three series in Padiham, Darwen, Colne and Haslingden over a period of some five or six years back in the nineties.

“I later returned to shoot Calendar Girls up the road near Skipton.”

Speaking about filming in Clitheroe, he added: “It’s a joy to get an opportunity to show off the beauty of this town in the same way those earlier scripts celebrated other parts of the area.”

The Greatest Days movie adaptation follows hot on the heels of the recent success of music-based films such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and Mamma Mia!

Take That who have had 12 number one singles and have sold more than 45 million records worldwide, are rumoured to be writing a new song for the film and it said that band members Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald are very much involved in the movie as executive producers.

They have dedicated the film to those who have supported the band over the years. Describing it as a celebration of their music, their fans and friendships, they said: “This is a really exciting time for us. We’re really looking forward to working with such a talented and creative team on the film and we’re absolutely delighted to have such a brilliant cast on board.”

Delighted that Clitheroe had been chosen as one of the filming locations, Ribble Valley Borough Council leader, Stephen Atkinson, said: “Our officers have worked behind the scenes for some years to bring this major feature film to Clitheroe. The cast and crew received a warm Ribble Valley welcome from enthusiastic residents and businesses, and sizeable crowds have gathered to watch the filming.

“This film will showcase Clitheroe and the surrounding countryside to a global audience and our officers are developing some fantastic ideas to build on its legacy.

“The last two years have been the most challenging the borough has ever faced and there are truly some ‘greatest days’ ahead as we move forward and show the world that we are open for business.”

Jonny Shelton, production liaison manager for national screen agency Filming in England, added: “We are always on the lookout for unique locations and Clitheroe certainly fits the bill. It has been a delight working with Ribble Valley Borough Council staff to support this prestigious project.”

Reflecting on the cast and crew’s time in Clitheroe, as filming came to a close, producer Kate Solomon, concluded: “From the joyous wedding scene in the beautiful church with Andy the vicar, to the scenes in Swales cafe and Ironing Maids, everyone has been wonderful!

“The residents and businesses have gone out of the way to help us, Modern Mobility have lent us scooters, Brioche cafe gave our crew toasties when they saw we were working late and the Doe Bakery have been incredible. Thank-you Clitheroe!”



Tedd Walmsley

Be the first to know

To get exclusive news, be the first to know about our special offers and competitions, sign up to Live Magazines for FREE.

Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn to join the conversation