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Actor Stephen Fry's 'Norfolk' TV show is axed

PUBLISHED: 17:22 09 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 July 2010

Stephen Fry filming Kingdom, which has been axed

Stephen Fry filming Kingdom, which has been axed

It was a dream job for popular actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, filming on his doorstep and helping bring fame and fortune to Swaffham and other Norfolk towns.

It was a dream job for popular actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, filming on his doorstep and helping bring fame and fortune to Swaffham and other Norfolk towns.

But sadly, after three series of the popular comedy drama, Kingdom, the Norfolk market town of Swaffham will no longer be dressed up as fictional Market Shipborough because the show has been axed by the TV production company that makes it for ITV.

When the first series was screened in 2007 it was watched by millions of viewers across the country every Sunday night and really put its locations of Swaffham (the fictional seaside town of Market Shipborough) and coastal areas like Wells and Holkham on the map. Swaffham became a tourist destination by viewers keen to see it for themselves.

And for Stephen Fry, who starred as solicitor Peter Kingdom, it couldn't have been nearer to home for him with his West Norfolk property a couple of miles down the road.

But today on the social networking site Twitter, Mr Fry expressed his personal sadness that there is to be no fourth series. The last series ended in July with almost five million viewers.

“Our masters at ITV have decided there shan't (sic) be a fourth series of the television drama Kingdom. I am sorry because it was such a pleasure making them in my beloved Norfolk”, he wrote.

Mr Fry, who is often seen in the check-out queues in local supermarkets, said he was sorry the series has come to an end because the crew of mostly local East Anglians were so cheerful, professional and delightful to work with.

He adds : “The cast of local people who cheerfully subjected themselves to the indignities of a background artist's day will all be missed and their memories cherished. But above all the people of those Norfolk towns and villages on which we descended for days on end”.

He talks of the citizens of towns especially of Castle Rising, Wells and, above all, Swaffham, who “put up with our desire to control traffic (something of a vain, Canute-like hope in Swaffham's central butter market - Norfolk's Piccadilly Circus)”.

Mr Fry bids an emotional farewell to the series on his blog.

“It was a charming and cheerful experience for us all. I am lucky to live there much of the time - for the rest of the Kingdom cast and crew it will be sad farewell and that was never properly said.

His parting shot on the matter was “All things must pass. That is why we must be so grateful to Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory and mother of the muses. Heigh ho. Onward and upward.”

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