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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Gracehill looks the part as ‘Hanmore’ as latest TV detective drama series begins shooting

Film crews on location in Gracehill village, Ballymena

Film crews on location in Gracehill village, Ballymena (Images: Jackie Neill)


The beautiful Moravian village of Gracehill, Ballymena, looked the part as filming crews once again rolled in to shoot a new detective drama series for Channel 5 and Acorn TV.


Ellis is a new three part feature length series (120 minutes each episode) commissioned from Company Pictures, in association with Northern Ireland Screen and All3Media International - which will also represent the show internationally outside of the UK.



The series will follow DCI Ellis, played by three-time Olivier Award winner Sharon D Clarke (Showtrial, Lost Boys & Fairies, Rocketman), a tenacious cop who is parachuted into failing investigations.


DCI Ellis played by Sharon D Clarke and DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower

(L-R): DCI Ellis played by Sharon D Clarke and DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower


Each two-hour episode sees Ellis – accompanied by her right-hand man DS Harper, played by Andrew Gower (The Winter King, Carnival Row, Outlander) – arrive at a different police station, where she will have to win over the local detectives and immerse herself in the cases she has come to solve.


As a black female cop, Ellis is used to being dismissed and overlooked, but she is a first-class murder detective, with a determination for justice and a deep well of compassion for those who need it.


Ellis was ordered for Channel 5 by Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK and Paul Testar, Commissioning Editor, Drama, Channel 5 and Paramount+. Both also serve as executive producers for the series.



Filming gets underway in Hanmore village

Filming gets underway in Hanmore village


Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises (AME), commissioned the series for Acorn TV and executive produces alongside Bea Tammer, AME’s Director of Development. Executive producers for Company Pictures are Michele Buck and Lucy Raffety, with producer Chris Martin and writers Paul Logue and Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre.



On this exciting new commission for Channel 5, Sebastian Cardwell, Deputy Chief Content Officer, Paramount UK, comments:


Ellis is a brilliant addition to our scripted slate, and we are thrilled to be working with the teams at Acorn TV and Company Pictures on this gripping new series. I can’t wait to see the incredible Sharon D Clarke bring DCI Ellis to life.”


Packing up after another day of filming in Gracehill

Packing up after another day of filming in Gracehill (Image: Jackson Minford)


Catherine Mackin, Managing Director, Acorn Media Enterprises (Acorn TV), shares:


“Acorn TV is known for compelling, intriguing and invigorating detective dramas, and Ellis delivers on every note. We are elated to have found our ideal DCI in the incomparable Sharon D Clarke, and we are excited to work with both Channel 5 and Company Pictures again.”


Ellis will continue to be filmed through spring in Northern Ireland and will air on Channel 5 and Acorn TV later this year.



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