New Sexy Beasts dating show for Netflix filmed in Hertfordshire

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts.

A scene from the first season of Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix

Netflix's new dating show Sexy Beasts was filmed in Hertfordshire.

Launched on the streaming site on Wednesday, July 21, Netflix subscribers will see Hertfordshire's Knebworth House take a starring role on screen in the bizarre reality TV show.

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed inside Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed inside Knebworth House in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Netflix

Hoping to say goodbye to superficial dating, real-life singles sport elaborate makeup and cutting-edge prosthetics in the programme to put true blind-date chemistry to the test.

Narrated by actor and comedian Rob Delaney, Sexy Beasts is produced by All3Media’s Lion TV.

The first series of six episodes was released globally on Netflix on July 21, with a second season of six more episodes due later this year.

A scene from an episode of Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed inside Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

A scene from an episode of Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed inside Knebworth House in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Netflix

Lion TV previously produced Sexy Beasts for BBC Three in 2014, and for American cable network A&E in 2015.

Filming of the new Netflix series took place in the UK last year, and all COVID-19 guidelines from the UK government were strictly adhered to.

One of the primary filming locations was Hertfordshire stately home Knebworth House, which has previously been seen on screen in Will Ferrell's Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and royal drama The Crown, in which it doubles for the inside of Balmoral Castle.

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Among the other filming locations for Sexy Beasts season one are Hertfordshire zoo Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne and Luton Hoo, near Harpenden on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. 

The Lytton Arms pub was another location used in Old Knebworth as producers 'stayed local' during filming due to the pandemic.

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed at Luton Hoo.

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts filmed at Luton Hoo. - Credit: Netflix

Knebworth House managing director Martha Lytton Cobbold said: "We were delighted to welcome the cast and crew of Sexy Beasts to Knebworth House, Gardens and Barns.

"After a very difficult season during the pandemic where we lost all business and had to close for a significant amount of time, this film location work was a lifeline from September to November of 2020."

Film and TV production was at the time one of the few business activities allowed to proceed in a COVID-safe setting. 

Producers of the show used nearby venues and tourist attractions for filming, keeping production spend in the county.

Dominic as Mantis and Nina as Dolphin on a date in Netflix show Sexy Beasts.

Dominic as Mantis and Nina as Dolphin on a date in Netflix show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix

Martha explained: "Not only did it bring much-needed revenue in and allow us to retain and provide employment for local residents, it also meant other local businesses could benefit from having the production in the area as we worked with the team to keep as much local as possible.

"Secondary spend in Knebworth and Stevenage was strong as the crew were staying in Stevenage for over seven weeks and purchasing local where possible.

"Sexy Beasts does a brilliant job of showing off what Hertfordshire has to offer. 

"The production filmed at other local attractions such as Luton Hoo, The Lytton Arms, The Farmhouse at Redcoats and Paradise Wildlife Park. Film tourism is a fantastic economic driver to the region."

Visit Herts is currently developing a screen tourism strategy for the region, so that businesses can capitalise on the county's strong film and TV heritage as well as potential opportunities presented by new productions being made in the area.

"Since the release of the show on Netflix we have found our new title of ‘Sexy Beast Manor’ amusing," added Martha.

"We have played Balmoral, Wayne Manor, and even a Russian oligarch’s mansion, but Sexy Beast Manor is our quirkiest role yet."

Emma as Demon in Netflix show Sexy Beasts.

Emma as Demon in Netflix show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix


What happens in Sexy Beasts?

Playing Cupid, in Sexy Beasts the single men and women have their real looks completely hidden, as they are transformed into all manner of animals and fantastical creatures before their romantic adventures begin.

Explaining the series, Netflix says: "Each episode features a new single 'picker' searching for true love based purely on personality.

"They will date three potential love matches out in the real world, all in full prosthetic make up (and with stunned members of the public looking on).

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts.

A scene from Netflix dating show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix

"Only when the dating is over and our picker has chosen their chosen their love match – their Sexy Beast – will everyone’s real faces be revealed."

In one episode, a party professional and temporary panda, Kariselle from New Jersey, is searching for forever with tin man Ethan, Tyler the alien or Josh the bull. 

Kariselle as date picker Panda in Netflix show Sexy Beasts.

Kariselle as date picker Panda in Netflix show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix

Aptly, one of the dinner dates was filmed in front of the Land of the Tigers pool at Paradise Wildlife Park, as the official trailer shows.

The couple also feed the meerkats at the Hertfordshire zoo in White Stubbs Lane.

A couple on a date feeding meerkats at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire in an episode of Netflix show Sexy Beasts.

A couple on a date feeding meerkats at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire in an episode of Netflix show Sexy Beasts. - Credit: Netflix

Sexy Beasts is executive produced by Lion TV's director of entertainment, Simon Welton (Horrible Histories, Big Brother, Playing It Straight), and the series producer is Sarah Clarke (Body Fixers).

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