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Footballer's Wives @ The Lane

Posted on 11 February 2004  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

With the manager's rallying cry ringing in their ears, the players come out of the dressing room all fired up for the big game. Led by their skipper, they trot down the tunnel shouting encouragement to each other, adrenaline pumping as they wait for the roars of the crowd.

Except on this occasion, there is no crowd and this group of players have to stop when they reach the edge of the pitch. They are not allowed to go any further as the groundsman is in the process of preparing the pitch for the next game.

In fact, these guys aren't even footballers, they are actors and they are at White Hart Lane to film the new series of ITV's popular drama, Footballers' Wives.

During the last few months, various parts of the Club have been transformed into a film set after we agreed with the show's production team to be the venue for much of their filming for series three.

For Tottenham Hotspur, read Earls Park - the fictitious Premiership team around which the series is based although, as viewers will know and as the show's title suggests, it's more of a tongue-in-cheek insight into the players and their partners rather than the actual football.

The programme approached us a while ago as they wanted to give the third series "a really first-rate glamour as well as the genuinely realistic look of a Premiership football club", said its producer Sean O'Connor.

Filming has only recently finished and, as Philip Cartwright, the Club's Corporate Hospitality Operations Manager, explains, it's been a great success all round.

"This has been a very big project for us behind the scenes here and we're delighted with the way it has gone," he says. "We're fortunate that we have the facilities here to provide the producers with everything they needed and we became one of the main filming locations for the whole series.

"It was a very flexible arrangement where we worked with them to create the sort of sets they needed," adds Philip. For example, the Oak Room became their Players Lounge, the Boardroom was transformed into the manager's office and of course the dressing room and tunnel area were used for the more football-orientated scenes.

"The sheer logistics of it all made it such a big project, but we worked together and made it a success. It was a good thing for us to do and we would be delighted to have them back again. Now we're just looking forward to seeing it on screen!"

On filming days, not only did the show take over parts of the stadium but also the main West Stand car park as well. As well as bringing along trucks carrying filming equipment they also brought a catering truck, a dining car, mobile dressing rooms for the stars of the show, a make-up truck and a costume van including its own on board washing machine and tumble-dryer!

Footballers' Wives, with its outrageous and controversial storylines and glamorous stars, was certainly a big hit by the end of the last series. Now, producers are hoping that the added touch of a real Premiership club will make the new series an even bigger success.

* The third series of Footballers' Wives starts on ITV tonight.