There’s a new Netflix crime drama in town; Stay Close made its worldwide debut on New Year’s Eve and has since skyrocketed to the top of the most watched list.
An adaptation of Harlan Coben’s best selling novel, the new thriller series follows the lives of four strangers who all harbour their own dark and dangerous secrets. These secrets will eventually unravel and link the strangers in ways they once never thought possible.
Yet while Coben’s original novel was set in Atlantic City in America, Netflix’s adaptation was all set on location here in the wonderful North West of England, much like Coben’s other smash-hit series The Stranger.
Here are some of the locations you might recognise…
The show’s main character Megan lives in an enviable home in an idyllic looking village… Which actually turns out to be Manchester’s very own Didsbury village. Who’d have thought it?
The property is located just a stone’s throw away from Wilmslow Road, where a number of action scenes were also filmed.
Manchester’s Impossible bar and club, located down Peter Street, stands in as ‘Vipers’, the swanky nightclub at the centre of many dark events.
Though it is worth noting that the exterior of the club was shot a little further afield in Formby, Liverpool.
Another popular Manchester venue made the cut in the series in a scene where lead character Megan heads out on her hen do.
The Refuge, found down Oxford Road and a part of the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel building, stands in as the backdrop for the hen party scene in the first episode.
A fictional pet shop in the series known as Hannibal’s Animals is actually a carpet shop in the borough of Ashton-under-Lyne, on the corner of Stamford Street Central and Warrington Street.
The Feathers pub in Ashton-under-Lyne also features in the series as its true and unapologetic self.
The Stoller Hall
One of Manchester’s most iconic and recognisable concert venues The Stoller Hall – part of the Chetham’s School of Music – makes a grand appearance in Stay Close.
It stands in for a scene in which police officer Brian – played by Jack Shalloo – watches his daughter play the piano in an empty auditorium.
The Edwardian Manchester
During the first episode, character Dave can be seen being led blind-folded through a hotel lobby on the day of his impending stag do.
And if the scene looked a little familiar, you wouldn’t have been mistaken; Dave was actually being led through The Edwardian Manchester, a Radisson Collection hotel on Peter Street.
Arley Hall & Gardens
Warning: Some mild spoilers ahead!
In the final episode, Megan and Dave finally tie the knot in a gorgeous and historical country house… Which actually turns out to be the magnificent Arley Hall in Cheshire.
And this isn’t the first time Arley Hall has made it onto the big screen, with it also featuring in Peaky Blinders as Tommy Shelby’s house.
The Heaton Moor suburb of Stockport stood as the backdrop for a number of scenes where Megan meets up with Lorraine.
Though die-hard brunch fans will have instantly spotted the interior of Pokusevski cafe and deli, where one of the scenes was filmed.
The Drill Hall
Bury’s Grade II-listed Castle Armoury Drill Hall was dramatically transformed into the sinister Fourways Prison, and made an appearance in several episodes of the hit series.
Love Island’s Jacques reveals hateful comments made him ‘want to go into hiding’ after leaving villa
Jacques quit the show amid controversy over his behaviour in Casa Amor
Love Island star Jacques O’Neill has opened up about his shock exit from the villa, revealing that he ‘wanted to go into hiding’ and was initially ‘angry’ with his mum.
The twenty-three-year-old came onto the show as a bombshell on day seven, and was quick to strike up a romance with Welsh paramedic Paige Thorne.
However, his behaviour with new arrivals while the girls were away in Casa Amor caused a rift between the pair and, after twenty-nine days in the villa, the former rugby player announced he would be leaving, saying he felt he could ‘no longer be myself’.
Since his departure from the show, Jacques has been inundated with hateful comments on social media, something he has now said made him ‘want to go into hiding’.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain yesterday (August 4th), Jacques discussed his experience in the aftermath of the show, saying: “When I first came out, I was very scared. I was scared of life and what was to come next for me.
“All I wanted to do was go into hiding with my mum. I was getting so much hate. We were getting death threats so I said to my mum ‘we just need to stay indoors’.”
He added: “I planned to delete social media and never been seen again.”
However, Jacques also admitted he was initially ‘angry’ with his mum after finding out she’d spoken about his ADHD in an Instagram post while he was in the villa, something he says he didn’t want used as an excuse for his behaviour.
He said: “When I got out, I was so ready to delete that [Instagram post]. I was angry at my mum… I didn’t want an excuse for my behaviour. It wasn’t that at all. My mum was getting hate, I think she felt she had to.”
But once the dust had settled, Jacques said he was able to see all the positive messages being sent to him, with fans calling him an ‘inspiration’ and a ‘role model’ for others living with ADHD.
He explained: “I then started to get messages saying I’m a role model with the ADHD thing and I decided I need to stand up and be there for them. I was overwhelmed with it all.
“I’ve been posting a lot saying thank you because if it wasn’t for them, I would still be in that dark place, if it wasn’t for the people giving me love I would be in a bad place.”
“I suddenly thought if people are thinking this about me, I can’t just turn my back on it. I need to stand up and do something. I was getting fully grown men message me and say I was an inspiration. It was overwhelming.”
He then revealed that he plans on using his new platform to help those living with the condition, that affects behaviour and concentration.
He said: “My plan moving forward is to work with kids with ADHA, disabilities. A lot of people come out thinking about money but if I can put a smile one someone’s face it makes my day.”
Visit the NHS website for more information on ADHD, its symptoms and various treatments available.
ITV confirms Big Brother will return in 2023 with ‘back to basics’ reboot
The revived show will reportedly be aimed at a ‘legion of younger fans’
Big Brother will officially be making its come back with a ‘back to basics’ reboot next year, ITV has confirmed.
The reality show originally aired in 2000 on Channel 4, where it enjoyed ten successful years until its axe in 2010. Channel 5 temporarily revived the show the following year, but that too faced the chop seven years later in 2018.
But now, ITV has confirmed it will be the one to bring Big Brother back to screens once more, with the series going ‘back to basics’ on ITV2 next year.
Much like the former seasons, ‘housemates’ from across the country and all walks of life will be homed in a brand new Big Brother house, with the eyes of the nation watching their every move across a six week period.
According to the show release, ‘the action will all play out under the roof of the iconic Big Brother house, which will be given its own contemporary new look ready for this reimagining of the show.’
The release added: “Clever tasks, nail-biting nominations and live evictions will be back, with the public once again playing a crucial role, voting throughout the series and ultimately determining the winner, who will walk away with a life changing cash prize.”
ITV2 Controller Paul Mortimer said of the news: “This refreshed, contemporary new series of Big Brother will contain all the familiar format points that kept viewers engaged and entertained the first time round, but with a brand new look and some additional twists that speak to today’s audience.
“We’re beyond excited to bring this iconic series to ITV2 and ITVX where it should especially engage with our younger viewers.”
Reports back in April suggested the revived Big Brother would replicate the success of ITV2’s smash hit dating series Love Island, with the aim to open up to a legion of younger fans.
A TV source said: “ITV is the home of big appointment telly. They know better than anyone how to put on big live events.
“They think putting it on ITV2 will open it up to a new audience and legion of younger fans. They are really keen on getting the deal done on Big Brother, and hope to have something firm to announce soon.
“It needs the full treatment and they’re confident they are the ones who can return it to its legendary former glory. It has millions of fans and is one of the most iconic TV shows of its generation.”
An exact release date is yet to be announced.
Love Island’s Liam Llewellyn breaks silence on his decision to leave the villa
‘I took a chance but I realised I can’t live on TV’
Love Island star Liam Llewellyn has broken his silence on why he chose to leave the villa after just six days on the reality show.
The twenty-three-year-old student, from Wales, was originally coupled up with Gemma Owen before she was put into a new couple with new boy Davide Sanclimenti.
Following the recoupling, Liam became the first contestant to quit the show, with him announcing his departure to fellow islanders six days into the series.
He revealed at the time: “I don’t really think I’ve been giving 100% Liam… I’m miles off that.”
And now, as this year’s Love Island draws to a close, Liam has broken his silence on his decision, putting his early departure down to the show’s production.
Speaking to the MailOnline, Liam explained: “I thought I was going to have the summer that everyone dreams of but now I’m living with no regrets, I took a chance but I realised I can’t live on TV.
“I was expected to do things for a TV show and I couldn’t be myself. I didn’t want to do it. It is a TV show and it is produced. It’s not all natural.
“In my head I was not in the right position to take part in a TV show because that’s what you’re doing. You have to go on dates, do challenges, and you’re not in control of any of it.”
Liam went on to reveal that during his dates, producers would make him repeat certain sentences because they ‘didn’t quite come through’.
He continued: “I had loads of meetings with the execs, the series editor, and professional physiologists but after a couple of days of feeling the way I did, I made the decision on my own behalf that it wasn’t right for me to carry on.”
In response, an ITV spokesperson said in a statement: “As anyone who watches the show regularly would know, Love Island is a combination of reality and produced elements that are reflective of what’s happening in the villa, and is a fair and accurate representation of villa life.
“We have always been completely transparent about this and the way the show is made. This is often acknowledged in the voice over by Iain Stirling.
“The opinions they have and the relationships formed are completely within the control of the Islanders themselves. As we have said since series one, Love Island is a combination of reality and produced elements.”