Film and TV production in Liverpool trebles

North West Vision, the region's screen agency, organised 240 filming days between January and end-March, up from 74 last year, while the number of productions trebled to 61 from 21 in the first quarter. The Merseyside economy has benefited by more than £5 million so far and another £5 million-worth of projects are in pre-production up to the middle of the summer, according to North West Vision. Council leader Warren Bradley commented on the "unprecedented interest" in the city as a location for both TV series and full feature films and welcomed its impact on the economy and jobs. Among the productions filmed or in pre-production for 2006:

Across the Universe, a feature starring Bono, Eddie Izzard and Joe Cocker, is a romantic 1960s musical told through Beatles songs by Columbia Pictures. It's the largest production ever shot in Liverpool and features 150 extras. Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, it's due for release in November.

Lilies, a prime-time BBC drama series set in Liverpool's 1920s docklands  

Casualty 1906, another BBC drama centred on the A&E ward in the former Liverpool Infirmary

Ruby in the Smoke, a BBC period drama based on Philip Pullman's novel and starring Billie Piper, Robert Glenister and Julie Walters.

And there are more. All of which is great news for the city in the run up to 2008 and beyond. So look out for a star appearing near you soon.

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