What a year it's been: Hosting TV stars at the castle

Published: 23 Dec 2012 17:300 comments

FROM hosting an array of television stars to entertaining Her Majesty The Queen, it has been quite a year for Noel Johnston and the staff at Crom Castle.

Amanda, Noel and Luke Johnston with David Walliams enjoying a boat trip on Lough Erne.

There was much excitement when Jennifer Saunders, David Walliams and Timothy Spall began filming their new BBC comedy, 'Blandings', at the castle earlier this year.

The famous trio were joined at Lord and Lady Erne's house outside Newtownbutler by Harry Potter actor Mark Williams and singer Paloma Faith who also star in the six-part series.

"It all started back in January and at that stage we didn't realise how big it was going to become," said Mr Johnston, manager of Crom Castle.

"The preparation commenced in January, in February the team started to arrive and then in March they started filming. We were very proud and honoured to have all the celebrities with us, including David Walliams who we have become great friends with since," he said.

'Blandings', a comedic period-drama set in 'Blandings Castle' in 1929, is adapted from the novels of acclaimed author P.G. Wodehouse and will air on BBC One in the New Year.

Mr Johnston joked that Crom looked a lot like "Heathrow Terminal" first thing in the morning, with stars and crew coming and going during the period of filming.

He also said he found it amusing to note that the sound of birds chirping in the castle grounds stopped the crew from filming, which was a little different to the noise of aeroplanes, trains, and traffic which usually hold them back in England.

"Having them here was not only good for us but for Fermanagh. Each and every one of the stars fell in love with the county and the surroundings and that can only be a good thing for the area.

"I found them all really down-to-earth and at the end of the day, they just wanted what we all want after a long day at work -- a bit of comfort," he said.

Then in June, following her historic visit to Enniskillen, Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a private visit to Crom for lunch with Lord and Lady Erne.

"It was astonishing to have The Queen and the Duke with us; it was actually one of the biggest things that my wife, my mother, the children and my family have experienced. It was historical.

"Growing up and hearing about the Royals all my life and then to meet the Queen in person in my own back garden was amazing; it will be something that my wife Amanda and I will never forget, particularly as we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on the same day," he said.

Jump to first paragraph.


comments powered by Disqus

Get more stories from our Roundup section

23 Apr 2014 22:30 • Editorial Department

In tomorrow's Impartial Reporter:

The phone call no mother wants as Ruby Brown tells of the moment she learned of the death of son Richard in a motorbike accident. Read her in-depth and moving interview.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 21:30

Late Breen strike sends Town into final

Enniskillen Town Utd came from a goal down to book their place in the final of the Impartial Reporter Mulhern Cup with a 2-1 win over Kesh at Ferney Park tonight.


23 Apr 2014 15:35

Car stolen in "creeper burglary"

A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.


23 Apr 2014 13:15

Castle Archdale hosts Dawn Chorus event

LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.


23 Apr 2014 11:30

Radio DJ includes Fermanagh stop in marathon challenge for charity

A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.


23 Apr 2014 09:30

Arsonists responsible for 15 gorse fires since beginning of April

Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.


22 Apr 2014 17:00

Mallards slip into bottom two

Ballinamallard United slipped into the bottom two in the Danske Bank Premiership on goal difference following today's 2-2 draw with Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.


22 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department

Opinion - Kylie Noble - Why I’m excited to vote for the first time

The rites of passage of growing up vary from person to person but throughout my own life events such as turning 13, my first formal, my GCSE and A level results, my 18th birthday (and my first and to date only hangover that followed), getting into university and moving away from home are just a few which I imagine are pretty common landmarks among my generation.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 15:00

Rucksacks stolen in car break-in

A car was broken into at Navar Forest near Derrygonnelly last night (Monday).


22 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Farm Watch designed to prevent rural crime - O'Neill

FARMERS in Fermanagh are being encouraged by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Enniskillen to take part in the Farm Watch Scheme, an initiative endorsed by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.


22 Apr 2014 12:00

Lisnaskea home attacked

A house in Lisnaskea has been attacked.


22 Apr 2014 11:00 • Rodney Edwards

Stormont Files: Litter droppers approach MLA to quash £75 fine

A NUMBER of people in Fermanagh have been fined £75 for “dropping a cigarette butt or a sweet paper” on the street, according to UUP MLA Tom Elliott.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 09:00

Motorist knew insurance shown to police had been cancelled

A 47-year-old factory worker has admitted fraudulently using a certificate of car insurance by showing it to the police, knowing it had been cancelled.


21 Apr 2014 22:30

Man(20) took father's car without consent

A 20-year-old man thought he was being “sensible” when he got behind the wheel of a crashed car to drive it home.


21 Apr 2014 19:00

Jail sentence for driver caught without insurance four times in two weeks

A 30-year-old car dealer caught driving without insurance four times in two weeks despite paying out £3,500 in premiums has been given a jail sentence.


21 Apr 2014 17:30

Number out of work in Fermanagh fell by 2.4 per cent in March

Unemployment in Fermanagh fell by 2.4 per cent last month.


21 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan

Steering a safe path of expansion through the downturn

Liam Connolly Road Freight (LCRF) provides groupage services (i.e. from single pallet collections to full double-deck trailer collections) for over 300 customers throughout Ireland and the UK each day.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards

Irish President is latest to commend work of Enniskillen church leaders

THE work of Enniskillen’s two main church leaders, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, has received a warm acknowledgement from yet another head of state.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department

Not against a community centre but not on ‘our doorstep’

“WE are not against a community centre, we just don’t want it on our doorstep.”

Social: Comments0 comments

20 Apr 2014 19:00

'We want to do it for the supporters' - Davy Black

Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.