BBC Elstree Studios bound in blue; formally ‘Central Independent Television’ in Hertfordshire, UK. The area bound in red to the west (the backlot) currently houses the EastEnders outdoor film set where the German ‘BECO Building Site’ film set once stood i
Aerial site plan illustrating the BBC EastEnders film set as it stands today. However, the face of this site is soon set to change given the BBC's approved plans to relocate the film set to the east of the site. Aerial site plan illustrating Central Televisions ‘BECO Building Site’  film set as it would have looked back in 1982 Dennis, Oz and Bomber along with their German co-workers during the opening scenes of Series 1, Episode 1 at Elstree Studio backlot doubling at the German BECO Building Site. Arial map illustrating both German and UK filming locations used throughout Series 1. Aerial view of BBC Elstree Studios backlot illustrating EastEnders film set as it stands today
So what’s all this got to do with Auf Wiedersehen, Pet? Well,   it   was   right   here   back   in   1982   prior   to   the   construction   of   Albert   Square   that construction   commenced   on   Auf   Wiedersehen,   Pets   ‘BECO   Building   Site   Film   Set’ (left)   which   would   go   on   to   become   the   focal   point   of   televisions   no1   comedy   /   drama of all time. Various   building   materials   were   imported   from   Germany   including   several   tons   of bricks and blocks for added authenticity. Five    partly    constructed    buildings    were    erected    [below    right    buildings    #1-5]    each forming the backdrop to the majority of the scenes used throughout the first series. The   film   set   was   designed   in   part   to   block   lines   of   sight   to   adjacent   residential properties    in    Borehamwood    and    mimicked    architectural    features    of    the    real    life construction sites in Norderstedt, Hamburg. Pivotal   to   the   story   line   was   the   ‘Admin   Hut’   [8],   ‘Turks   Hut   [7]’   and   home   of   our magnificent   7   -   ‘Hut   B’   [6]   which   was   featured   heavily   prior   to   its   demise   following Wayne’s   carelessly   discarded   cigarette   in   the   13 th ,   final   explosive   episode   ‘When   the Boat Goes Out’ It    was    the    magic    of    television    that    interweaved    wider    incidental    scenes    shot    in Germany   together   with   close   up   scenes   shot   in   the   UK   offering   series   continuity   and convincing   our   minds   that   Dennis,   Oz,   Neville,   Wayne,   Bomber,   Barry   and   Moxey were far from British soil.
The BECO Building Site; the film set backdrop to Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Series 1. But where was it filmed and what does it look like today?
The   Elstree   site   (left)   was   later   purchased   by   the BBC   in   September   1983   by   which   time   Central   had moved   to   brand   new   purpose   built   studios   at   ‘Lenton Lane’     in     Nottingham,     where     series     2     would eventually be filmed. Whilst   many   hugely   popular   television   shows   were filmed     at     the     BBC     Elstree     Studios     such     as ‘Morceambe   and   Wise’,   ’The   Muppet   Show’,   ‘Top   of the   Pops’,   ‘Grange   Hill’   and   ‘Holby   City’,   it   is   perhaps best    known    as    the    production    hub    for    the    BBC’s flagship multi award winning soap ‘EastEnders’. To   the   west   of   the   site   and   bound   in   red   (left   & below)    lies    a    magical    2-acre    back    lot    -    currently home     of     ‘EastEnders’     outdoor     film     set     ‘Albert Square’   located   in   the   fictional   London   Borough   of Walford.
Right: Aerial map illustrating both German and UK filming locations used throughout Series 1. Image courtesy of Google Maps / Andrew C Patrick
Above:   BBC   Elstree   Studios   bound   in   blue;   formally   ‘Central   Independent   Television’   in   Hertfordshire,   UK.   The   area bound   in   red   to   the   west   (the   backlot)   currently   houses   the   EastEnders   outdoor   film   set   where   the   German   ‘BECO Building Site’ film set once stood in 1982. Image courtesy of Google Maps / Andrew C Patrick
Right:   Aerial   view   of   BBC   Elstree   Studios   backlot   illustrating   EastEnders outdoor film set as it stands today. Image courtesy of Google Maps / Andrew C Patrick
Above: Aerial   site   plan   illustrating   the   BBC   EastEnders   film   set   today .   Image   courtesy   of Google Maps / Andrew C Patrick
Above: Aerial site plan illustrating Central Televisions ‘BECO Building Site’  film set in 1982. Image courtesy of Google Maps / Andrew C Patrick
The backlot is bound to the east by ‘BBC Elstree Studios’ and to the north, south and west by typical English terraced housing – in keeping with the soaps gritty ethos. Central to the plan is the ‘Queen Vic’ Public House (right) with its distinguished façade commanding views over ‘Albert Square’. Whist   the   face   of   this   site   is   soon   set   to   dramatically   change again   in   the   very   near   future   given   the   BBC’s   approved   plans to   demolish   and   relocate   the   current   film   set,   it   will   go   on   to make      television      history      in      its      continued      evolution encompassing   the   very   latest   technologies   in   set   design   thus securing the long term future of the soap.
Above:   Dennis,   Oz   and   Bomber   along   with   their   German   co-workers   during   the opening   scenes   of   Series   1,   Episode   1   at   Elstree   Studio   backlot   doubling   at   the German ‘BECO Building Site’.
BECO BUILDING SITE - location
Whilst    the    first    series    was    set    in    Düsseldorf Germany,   only   a   handful   of   external   scenes   were in   fact   filmed   there.   Further   north,   the   small   town of     Norderstedt     in     Hamburg     served     as     the backdrop   to   a   number   of   long   distance   incidental shots   together   with   several   close   up   scenes   across two partly constructed ‘real’ building sites.  But   it   was   in   Hertfordshire   UK   –   some   12   miles north   of   London   -   that   the   vast   majority   of   scenes were   in   fact   filmed   on   a   purpose   built   outdoor   film set offering production filming control and flexibility. Whilst   the   first   scripts   were   written   for   Associated Television   (ATV),   it   was   in   1982   when   the   company restructured      under      the      guise      of      ‘Central Independent   Television’   that   Auf   Wiedersehen,   Pet was produced.
Five    partly    constructed    buildings    were    erected    [below    right    buildings    #1-5]    each forming the backdrop to the majority of the scenes used throughout the first series. The   film   set   was   designed   in   part   to   block   lines   of   sight   to   adjacent   residential properties    in    Borehamwood    and    mimicked    architectural    features    of    the    real    life construction sites in Norderstedt, Hamburg. Pivotal   to   the   story   line   was   the   ‘Admin   Hut’   [8],   ‘Turks   Hut   [7]’   and   home   of   our magnificent   7   -   ‘Hut   B’   [6]   which   was   featured   heavily   prior   to   its   demise   following Wayne’s   carelessly   discarded   cigarette   in   the   13 th ,   final   explosive   episode   ‘When   the Boat Goes Out’ It    was    the    magic    of    television    that    interweaved    wider    incidental    scenes    shot    in Germany   together   with   close   up   scenes   shot   in   the   UK   offering   series   continuity   and convincing   our   minds   that   Dennis,   Oz,   Neville,   Wayne,   Bomber,   Barry   and   Moxey were far from British soil.
BBC Elstree Studios bound in blue; formally ‘Central Independent Television’ in Hertfordshire, UK. The area bound in red to the west (the backlot) currently houses the EastEnders outdoor film set where the German ‘BECO Building Site’ film set once stood i
Aerial site plan illustrating the BBC EastEnders film set as it stands today. However, the face of this site is soon set to change given the BBC's approved plans to relocate the film set to the east of the site. Aerial site plan illustrating Central Televisions ‘BECO Building Site’  film set as it would have looked back in 1982 Dennis, Oz and Bomber along with their German co-workers during the opening scenes of Series 1, Episode 1 at Elstree Studio backlot doubling at the German BECO Building Site. Arial map illustrating both German and UK filming locations used throughout Series 1. Aerial view of BBC Elstree Studios backlot illustrating EastEnders film set as it stands today
So what’s all this got to do with Auf Wiedersehen, Pet? Well,   it   was   right   here   back   in   1982   prior   to   the   construction   of   Albert   Square   that construction   commenced   on   Auf   Wiedersehen,   Pets   ‘BECO   Building   Site   Film   Set’ (below)   which   would   go   on   to   become   the   focal   point   of   televisions   no1   comedy   / drama of all time. Various   building   materials   were   imported   from   Germany   including   several   tons   of bricks and blocks for added authenticity.
The BECO Building Site; the film set backdrop to Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Series 1. But where was it filmed and what does it look like today?
The   Elstree   site   (below)   was   later   purchased   by   the   BBC   in   September   1983   by which   time   Central   had   moved   to   brand   new   purpose   built   studios   at   ‘Lenton   Lane’   in Nottingham, where series 2 would eventually be filmed. Whilst   many   hugely   popular   television   shows   were   filmed   at   the   BBC   Elstree   Studios such   as   ‘Morecambe   and   Wise’,   ’The   Muppet   Show’,   ‘Top   of   the   Pops’,   ‘Grange   Hill’ and   ‘Holby   City’,   it   is   perhaps   best   known   as   the   production   hub   for   the   BBC’s flagship multi award winning soap ‘EastEnders’. To   the   west   of   the   site   and   bound   in   red   (below)   lies   a   magical   2-acre   back   lot   - currently   home   of   ‘EastEnders’   outdoor   film   set   ‘Albert   Square’   located   in   the   fictional London Borough of Walford.
Above: Aerial map illustrating both German and UK filming locations used throughout Series 1. Image courtesy of Google Maps
Above:   BBC   Elstree   Studios   bound   in   blue;   formally   ‘Central   Independent   Television’   in   Hertfordshire, UK.   The   area   bound   in   red   to   the   west   (the   backlot)   currently   houses   the   EastEnders   outdoor   film   set where   the   German   ‘BECO   Building   Site’   film   set   once   stood   in   1982.   Image   courtesy   of   Google   Maps   / Andrew C Patrick
Above: Aerial view of BBC Elstree Studios backlot illustrating EastEnders outdoor film set as it stands today. Image courtesy of Google Maps
Above: Aerial site plan illustrating the BBC EastEnders film set today Image courtesy of Google Maps
Above: Aerial site plan illustrating Central Televisions ‘BECO Building Site’  film set in 1982. Image courtesy of Google Maps / A C Patrick
The backlot is bound to the east by ‘BBC Elstree Studios’ and to the north, south and west by typical English terraced housing – in keeping with the soaps gritty ethos. Central to the plan is the ‘Queen Vic’ Public House (below) with its distinguished façade commanding views over ‘Albert Square’. Whist   the   face   of   this   site   is   soon   set   to   dramatically   change   again   in   the   very   near future   given   the   BBC’s   approved   plans   to   demolish   and   relocate   the   current   film   set,   it will   go   on   to   make   television   history   in   its   continued   evolution   encompassing   the   very latest technologies in set design thus securing the long term future of the soap.
Above: Dennis, Oz and Bomber along with their German co-workers during the opening scenes of Series 1, Episode 1 at Elstree Studio backlot doubling at the German ‘BECO Building Site’.
BECO BUILDING SITE - location
Whilst   the   first   series   was   set   in   Düsseldorf   Germany,   only   a   handful   of   external scenes   were   in   fact   filmed   there.   Further   north,   the   small   town   of   Norderstedt   in Hamburg   served   as   the   backdrop   to   a   number   of   long   distance   incidental   shots together with several close up scenes across two partly constructed ‘real’ building sites.  But   it   was   in   Hertfordshire   UK   –   some   12   miles   north   of   London   -   that   the   vast   majority of   scenes   were   in   fact   filmed   on   a   purpose   built   outdoor   film   set   offering   production filming control and flexibility. Whilst   the   first   scripts   were   written   for Associated Television   (ATV),   it   was   in   1982   when the   company   restructured   under   the   guise   of   ‘Central   Independent   Television’   that   Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was produced.