Jilly Cooper’s Rivals films in Bristol for Disney+

Jilly Cooper’s Rivals films in Bristol for Disney+

Jilly CooperA lengthy shoot gets underway in Bristol this week (w/c 6 March) on a shiny new Disney+ adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s Rivals. Production is based at the Bottle Yard Studios’ new facility, TBY2

Happy Prince is producing the eight-part series, with the prodco’s Dominic Treadwell-Collins and Alexander Lamb executive producing, along with Elliot Hegarty (who is lead director on episodes 1-3) Cooper, Felicity Blunt, Laura Wade and Lee Mason. Eliza Mellor is series producer.

Rivals is set in the fictional county of Rutshire (as part of the author’s Rutshire Chronicles series of books) and is set in the cutthroat world of independent television in the late 1980s.

Cooper’s regular protagonist, the dashing Rupert Campbell-Black, is at the centre as he comes up against his rival, Rutshire neighbour and TV franchise controller Tony Baddingham.  

Treadwell-Collins has written the series with Laura Wade. The writers’ room also includes Sophie Goodhart, Marek Horn, Mimi Hare, Clare Naylor, Dare Aiyegbayo, Kufi Chadwick, Tray Agyeman and Sorcha Kurien Walsh. 

At the time of the commissioning announcement, Cooper (pictured, above) said of the greenlight: “I am so, so excited. Throughout my childhood, my favourite word was ‘Disney’, and by a miraculous coincidence, greater-than-ever Disney are joining forces with an utterly brilliant drama company, Happy Prince, to turn my novel into a TV series. 

“I know they will bring the boardroom battles and love triangles of my characters to life – particularly those of my devastatingly handsome hero. I cannot wait to see who will be stepping into his shoes…let the hunt for our Rupert Campbell-Black commence!”

TBY2TBY2, which opened last year, is situated less than half a mile from the main Bottle Yard site in south Bristol. It offers three new acoustically-treated sound stages with 20,000 sq ft, 16,500 sq ft and 7,000 sq ft of clear span build space with maximum heights of 34ft. Over 40,000 sq ft of ancillary space is also available.  


The three new stages at TBY2 increase the total number of stages at The Bottle Yard Studios to 11.

Jilly Cooper image: Edward Whitaker, Racing Post.
TBY2 Studios via Bottle Yard Studios.

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