A week after riots in Ealing and Lavender Hill (Battersea/ Clapham junction) this clip from BBC News mentions both London locations in its celebration of 80 years of Ealing studios, which predates the current building to 1902. Among famous examples of “Ealing Comedy” are classic London-type austerity b/w classics like “Passport to Pimlico” and (as can be seen in the report) “The Lavender Hill Mob”. The town has always attracted cameras (there were three filming Tuesday’s council meeting) and the studios still operational. I was once in the audience of a Suede video filmed there (The Drowners) then I remember in about 1996ish bumping into Rik Mayall nearby who was filming something and took me to lunch when I recognised him. Apparently the latest Downton Abbey has just been wrapped up there. The show’s Hugh Bonnevile has attributed its runaway success to a yearning for old values in tough economic times. Come of think of it in 1981 Brideshead was a ratings smasheroonie too but then it could all be coincidence.

Shocking that Ealing, so famous in celluloid history currently has no cinema in the centre of town – at Tuesday’s council meeting someone or other cited that as a reason for bored local youth to rampage the streets. Figures on the night show that most people charged with local post-riot offences are not from the borough let alone town of Ealing itself, nevertheless the return of a cinema would be much welcome (sign this petition if you agree) – hell there were three in W5/W13 when I was growing up.

Happy Birthday Ealing studios in any case.

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