New sitcom Nowhere Close filmed in heart of Blackpool tells story of feisty Sandgrown'un with big dreams

The filming of Nowhere Close
The filming of Nowhere Close
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In a dog-eat-dog world, a small-town girl with big dreams hopes to break out and become the next glowing star of the Hollywood stage.

It may be a tale as old as time, but this small-town girl is Blackpool through-and-through - and her reports of her own talents are... exaggerated, to say the least.

Laura Yates as Kelly

Laura Yates as Kelly

The first episode of sitcom Nowhere Close, shot in the heart of Blackpool, is expected to hit screens later this year.

Fanni Compton stars as Tracee Tanner, a down-on-her-luck Northern lass determined to leave her life of poverty behind. Along for the ride is her childish, lollipop-sucking best friend Kelly (Laura Yates), and Father Colin (Mickey Jones), a holy man with a dark secret. Kelli Hollis, known for playing Yvonne Karib in Channel 4's Shameless and Ali Spencer in Emmerdale, also stars.

Fanni, 35, who produced, co-directed and co-wrote the show, said: “Tracee wants to escape her poverty-stricken circumstances by any means necessary, and she will go to any lengths to make that happen - often with disastrous consequences.

“I would say it’s like a cross between Shameless and The League of Gentlemen. It’s quite vulgar in parts, but I believe it’s very true to life.

Fanni Compton as Tracee Tanner and Laura Yates as Kelly

Fanni Compton as Tracee Tanner and Laura Yates as Kelly

“On first meeting Tracee you may think she’s rather bolshy and crass, but that’s to hide her real vulnerabilities. She’s quite hardened, and I think people will come to understand why that’s so.”

Filming of the pilot episode of Nowhere Close began in October last year and wrapped up in December, with the majority of work taking place on Erdington Road and Keswick Road.

Sandgrown’uns who watch the episode may spot a few familiar faces in the background, as many of the extras were played by local people and schoolchildren, including Revoe School pupils Lee Junior Garforth, 11, and Finley McKenna, ten.

Some of the costumes were provided by Cabaret Costumes Fancy Dress Hire on Dickson Road.

Fanni Compton as Tracee Tanner

Fanni Compton as Tracee Tanner

Now in the editing stages, the pilot is expected to be completed this Spring and, if successful, will continue its story spanning a further seven episodes.

Fanni said: “It was a very surreal experience, and incredibly hard work. Aside from childbirth, it has to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It has been difficult, and wonderful. I’ve been stunned by the people in Blackpool who came on-board at the last minute to offer their help.”

Watch the trailer for Nowhere Close online here