When the BBC contacted Middleton Hall to ask whether some residents might be willing to be filmed to depict a happy, planned retirement, the question was put to them.
The Assistant Producer of a Panorama episode initially visited Middleton Hall to give further details about what the programme and filming would entail. A group of residents agreed to help out and at a later date spent a very interesting day with the BBC film crew.
The Panorama programme focused on the challenges and issues within the current pensions sector. Middleton Hall’s role was simply to demonstrate some of the typical daily activities that take place in a retirement village. The programme used interspersed short clips of residents gardening at the allotments, bowling, putting and playing table tennis. The frames were included to highlight the difference between people experiencing the result of a successful retirement plan and others filmed elsewhere in the UK who have suffered from poor and misleading financial advice.
The BBC team consisted of Fiona Phillips (presenter), producer, assistant producer and journalist, and cameraman. It was fascinating to be party to a day of professional filming. How many takes did the team need to capture the perfect bowling frames?! Residents performed perfectly throughout but the team were painstakingly keen to achieve technical perfection.
All the team were extremely considerate, relaxed and happy to answer all our questions. They expressed great appreciation for the cooperation and patience of residents. They were very impressed by the community, its grounds, facilities and the enormous energy that the residents and staff display. A beautiful bouquet of flowers and message of thanks was received following the programme transmission.
“Thanks Fiona and everyone at Middleton Hall for taking part in the filming. You are all stars in the making, including Marion, Sonia and Margaret for their speaking parts!
Best wishes from Charles Young, Joe Casey, Joe Cooper and Fiona Phillips”
Well, thank you for an original and interesting day!