Today I am going to shamelessly plug the BBC’s entertaining detective show that is Death in Paradise – Tuesdays at 9pm and then on iPlayer, no excuse to miss it, especially as it was filmed in good old Guadeloupe!
When we went last summer I cherished a small hope that we would see it being filmed, but I had no idea if they were filming and with our lack of car, couldn’t see how we would get over to its location in any case.
Well, after two weeks of waiting, a car finally became available – note to self, book in advance in future! To say it was no object of beauty would be an understatement, but at least it moved – though its habit of stalling meant that I was very nervous on any hills! We then got a slightly better car the following week, phew!
On Ascension Day (bank holiday for the French) Bertie’s sister invited us to les hauteurs (literally ‘the heights’, and believe me, they are high!) of Deshaies on the west side of Guadeloupe to meet an in-law, and hope sprang in my heart, just maybe….! Having finally found the house (road names are significantly lacking in this land, our direction for one house we visited was “by the breadfruit tree hanging over the road”!!) and somehow having made it up the incredibly steep drive that so many Guadeloupeans manage to deal with on a daily basis (thank goodness we were in car no. 2!), we enjoyed a quick visit then set off down into Deshaies to investigate. As you can imagine, we were thrilled to discover that the quiet beach we usually visit was overrun with lorries, cars, people, cameras – all very positive. A quick look at an official document stuck up in the car park confirmed that yes indeed, filming was going on there that day. We were amused to see that they had taken over a usually rather elegant beachside restaurant as the mess room, and from previous experience, we wondered if they too had to pay nearly five euros for a cup of tea??
We had a quick chat with the director, wandered around a little, and were told filming would start in an hour, so off we went for some food. Unfortunately for us (but good for them!), Guadeloupeans take bank holidays seriously so we arrived at the Supermarket just as they shut the doors for the day. We ended up with some odd assortments of food from the only open shop in town, including rolls that turned out to be mouldy, but at least they were stocked up with magnums on a special one euro offer!
Back to watch the filming, and we were delighted to receive a warm welcome from the cast members we met, Fidel and Dwayne, also Londoners. Then we were as silent as we could possibly be once the cameras started rolling…. Actually, watching filming in the boiling sun with three children is not that fun, who would have known it such a long, drawn-out process? Soon they were clamouring to be going in the water, not simply watching random policemen who weren’t really policemen being pushed in! So after an hour or so we set off for the next part of our trip, looking forward to seeing it on screen in the not so distant future.
I mentioned this visit to my brother-in-law that evening and he told me that he had actually been employed as a driver for their huge vans lugging all their equipment up into the mountains during series one. He had even been offered a part as an extra but had turned it down as other work came up – what a pity, he could have been gracing our screens!
Thursday night we were catching up with this week’s episode and there it was in the advert for next week, the very scene where Dwayne takes his dive! We were there! Recognise any of these?