Beeb go down t’ market with Prisoners’ Wives

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FIRST it was Downton Abbey but the latest hit TV show is strictly Down t’Castle Market.

Keen-eyed viewers who tuned into BBC1 to see the new drama Prisoners’ Wives this week will have noticed something very familiar.

That’s because Tiger Aspect Productions chose Sheffield’s Castle Market to shoot the new six-part drama series called Prisoners’ Wives.

Andy Ward, head of Sheffield Markets, said: “It’s always great to be chosen as a movie set. It adds a new dimension to the vibrancy and everyday buzz that Castle Market already has.

“Recently our very own and famous Warp Films with Shane Meadows revisited their multi-award-winning film This Is England with the directors second television series This Is England ’88.

“Again, we were chosen to play a set part which included our cafes, offices and the unique building features made famous by J Lewis Womersley, the city architect and his designer Andrew Derbyshire.”

Prisoners’ Wives, with its female-led cast, is billed to be the BBC’s new Mistresses.

Written by Julie Gearey, the relationship-based ensemble drama is set and filmed in and around Sheffield and stars Emma Rigby, Polly Walker, Pippa Haywood and Natalie Gavin. They are supported by Jonas Armstrong of Robin Hood fame and Iain Glen from Downton Abbey.

The show follows four very different women struggling to cope with having a loved one serving time in prison.

Hollyoaks star Emma Rigby plays pregnant Gemma, whose perfect life comes crashing down when armed police storm her house and arrest her husband Steve – Jonas Armstrong – on suspicion of murder.

Gemma struggles to make sense of the judicial system but she’s certain of one thing – her husband’s innocence.

When Gemma visits Steve for the first time, she meets three other women – Francesca, played by Polly Walker, a career criminal’s wife, Lou, played by Natalie Gavin, a drug dealing young mum, and Harriet, Pippa Haywood, a visitor who sits outside the prison but never ventures in.