Johnny English and his links to Hertfordshire

11:58 15 October 2011

Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English

Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English

Giles Keyte

BUNGLING spy Johnny English has returned to the big screen.

And, if you’ve already been to the cinema to catch Rowan Atkinson’s inept MI7 agent, did you recognise anywhere familiar on screen?

You quite possibly did – for the Welwyn Hatfield Times can reveal that a number of scenes for Johnny English Reborn were filmed at Brocket Hall.

Hertfordshire can be considered a bit of a home-from-home for English, with the 2003 original having been shot on location at St Albans Cathedral and Leavesden Park in Watford.

This time around, it was the turn of the Lemsford stately home.

Helicopter and golf scenes, as well as interior shots involving the hapless spy, were filmed within the 543-acre Brocket estate – with the movie’s production team deeming the hall as providing a perfect backdrop.

Jeanette Edwards, event co-ordinator at the estate, said: “We were delighted to welcome Johnny English to Brocket Hall.

“The stately home itself provides countless period and modern filming opportunities, while those available on the estate are simply endless.

The scenes shot at Brocket Hall for Johnny English Reborn showcase the jewel in our crown – the hall, but also feature one of our two beautiful golf courses and the stunning Capability Brown-inspired parkland.”

Brocket Hall is no stranger to both the big and small screen.

Oscar-winning film The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, was part-filmed there, as well as 1988 movie Willow, starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer, and the Bafta and Emmy Award-winnning TV series Pride & Prejudice, which featured a then-relatively-unknown Colin Firth, as Mr Darcy.

Mrs Edwards added: “We always welcome filming opportunities at Brocket Hall, as they are such a fantastic way of publicising the estate to such a wide, global audience.”

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