Television crew in Falkirk to film new show on Roman activity in area

A television crew and expert archaeologists have rolled into Falkirk in search of further evidence of Roman activity in the area.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:45 pm

Various Roman forts and artefacts have been discovered across the district over the years, however, producers of The Great British Dig: History in Your Garden believe more gems are waiting to be unearthed.

Presenter and comedian Hugh Dennis arrived in the town this week – the only Scottish location in the new series of the More4 programme – to start shooting scenes.

Aimed at uncovering the lost history buried beneath lawns and flowerbeds, residents of Hodge Street were approached by researchers who were eager to take a look under their gardens.

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The Great British Dig presenter Hugh Dennis with Falkirk residents Gail and Ian Jones and their Golden Retriever, Zucca. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Among those who signed up to take part in the programme, which is due to be broadcast in spring 2022, were Ian and Gail Jones.

The couple, who are 60 and 55 respectively, are “thoroughly enjoying” the experience.

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Ian said: “They’ve also dug in two neighbours’ gardens and they’re doing a dig at the back of the Girlguiding hall and somebody else’s garden over towards the Pleasance.

The Great British Dig host Hugh Dennis alongside Tracey Gow, senior charge nurse, Ward 5, Falkirk Community Hospital (FCH); Andrew McGowan, head of estates, NHS Forth Valley; Ryan Mulholland, student nurse, Ward 5, FCH; and Frances Heeps, nursing assistant, Ward 5, FCH. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“They picked this area because they thought it was most likely they might come across something.

“We weren’t aware we were on a Roman location. We were aware of the Antonine Wall and Rough Castle. We’ve all done a bit more research into the history around the area!

“They were filming me coming down the garden with the archaeologist and she was explaining how to trowel and asked if I’d like a shot.

“Hugh is great, he’s blethering to us all.”

The production team behind the show has based itself at Falkirk Community Hospital.

Rather than paying a location fee, the crew made a £300 donation to Unit 5 at the Westburn Avenue facility.

Emily Dias-Geoffroy, senior production co-ordinator, said: “We’re digging in people’s back gardens where we believe there’s archaeology relating to a Roman fort.

“We’re finding interesting things. We’re searching for evidence of the Romans and we’re hoping to find stuff in the next few days.

“The show’s probably going to be out in about April or May 2022. It’s part of a ten-episode series.

“It’s very exciting to be here and hopefully we find more exciting things.”

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