I Spy Film Location

Local building features in new release starring Colin Firth

Related Items

Colin Firth in a scene from the film

blythe house
Rooftop of Blythe House

Film London

Local Landlord Hopes Buyers Will Go Gaga

Get a free newsletter from ChiswickW4.com and HammersmithToday.co.uk

A local location will feature in the new adaptation of John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy along with Chiswick-based actor Colin Firth.

In the film the home of MI6 is in Blythe House near Kensington Olympia station which is normally the Victoria & Albert Stores building. The store is used by the V&A, the British Museum and the Science Museum to keep artifacts in.

The location is often used for filming and allowed the production team to give an authentic 1970s feel to the setting. It has previously featured in several classic British TV series including the New Avengers and Minder.

During the four days of filming last October, Glenn Benson, Site Manager for Blythe House, remembers that "a crew of around 70 and a 140 ft crane rolled in". Although it was quite different to an average day on site, which usually houses quiet academics, Benson confirms "it was great fun and the staff were very supportive."

Designed by Sir Henry Tanner, Blythe House was built in 1898 as the headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank. Its interiors are of a traditional Victorian public service building with tiled walls, iron railings and details on the main staircases and spiral staircase and it still has the original sash windows.

Although the design of the building was considered the height of modernity at the time with its electric lifts, extensive staff facilities and even staff tennis courts, there was also a distinctly Victorian aspect to it. Male and female staff worked in separate areas of the building and were subject to dismissal if they were caught having a secret liaison. As a result, Blythe House has two sides a grand facade through which the male staff entered the site, and a far more functional back of house side that was for the female staff.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's cast includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy and John Hurt and is directed by Tomas Alfredson who also made Let the Right One In. It was released in UK cinemas on Friday 16 September following a premiere in Venice

September 18, 2011