A new Sky 1 comedy, which was filmed at New Mills Football Club but features the Rovers, not the Millers, made its on-air debut this week.
The new series, entitled Rovers, focuses on a struggling lower league football team and its supported. But the clubhouse and grounds will look familiar to locals, as it was filmed on site at Church Lane, New Mills.
New Mills secretary Sue Hyde said: “One day last year we were sat outside waiting for a match to start and someone said ‘is that Dave from The Royle Family’ - it was all very surreal.”
Producer and actor Craig Cash then introduced himself and explained about the new sitcom he was making.
Filming took place at New Mills FC in October 2015. The TV show is based around the Redbridge Rovers fans and their lives in and around the failing football team.
Well-known actress Sue Johnston is also in the show playing Doreen, whose late husband was a legendary player at the club in the 70s and. She is the heart and soul of Redbridge’s clubhouse.
She said: “It’s the biggest laugh I’ve had since doing The Royle Family.
“What I found wonderful were the actual lower league footballers who came in who seemed to enjoy the whole thing as well.”
Sue Hyde said: “Sue was a legend, lovely to work with and very polite.”
The series was written by comedians Joe Wilkinson from 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and David Earl. It took three days to get everything ready and The Millers club house had a ‘make-under’ for the show as set designers put up blue boards and a clock tower and made the outside look used and dirty. It then took only five days to film all the scenes for the six-part series.
Secretary Sue joked: “Only the outside was used, the shots inside were done else where and those dirty toilets certainly don’t belong to us!
“They asked us to grow our grass but we were in the middle of a season so we couldn’t.”
The plot follows a club that has seen better days, but its fans are passionate and tenacious. Together they make for a hilariously dysfunctional family who are bound together by a misjudged love of the perennial underdogs that are the Rovers.
This is Craig’s first time in front of the camera since the Royle Family and he said: “It’s just a story of a disparate bunch of crackers individuals who’ve not got much in common other than Redbridge Rovers, but they all get along very nicely. It’s warm and full of laughs.
“I’ve written, produced and starred in series’ before, but it is difficult. I didn’t really want to act in this because there’s so much to take on.”
It was only after he was persuaded by fellow co-stars that he agreed to take on the challenge.
He added: “The best way to get the best out of everyone is to be a helping hand and not an iron fist. You’re there a long time when you’re filming.
“You’re doing 16-hour days. It’s hard enough as it is, so I want it to be a pleasant experience.”
Sue Hyde added: “This has been a great thing for the club and a truly unique experience to be part of.”
The Rovers is on Sky 1 on Tuesdays at 10pm.