Behind the scenes
Lights, camera, action! From classic movies to blockbuster franchises, Covent Garden has been the backdrop of some of your favourite flicks.
Set the Scene: In London, Professor Henry Higgins, a scholar of phonetics, starts the music of the movie asking "Why Can't the English?" as he proclaims that the accent of your voice determines a person's prospects in society. During the evening in Covent Garden Professor Higgins sets a wager with a fellow phonetics expert to which bets he could teach anyone to speak so well he could pass them off as a duke or duchess at an embassy ball. Enter Eliza.
The iconic moment of Eliza Doolittle selling her flowers in Covent Garden Market and singing "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" is the start of her relationship with Professor Higgins which develops as the movies goes on.
With the Market Building still standing exactly how it has been for centuries it is easy to feel transported to the time of Eliza and Higgins and burst in to song.
Location: The West Piazza and St Paul's Church Portico
Set the Scene: For any Potter Head, walking around Covent Garden is a bit like being a wizard surrounded by muggles as the neighbourhood has so many great moments from the films. From the resemblance the Tesco building on Bedford Street has to Gringotts to the secret way to Diagon Alley around the corner there are so many nods to the iconic film franchise.
Discover Goodwin’s Court where the alley way opens up to bow-fronted windows and a magic atmosphere most certainly feels like it was the place that inspired Diagon Alley. There is Cecil Court round the corner which many think is the real Diagon Alley, but we will leave that to the fans to decide.
One you can visit but not go inside is Australia House, where the interior scenes of Gringotts were shot. Peep through the window to see the chandeliers and the marble banking hall.
Location: Goodwin Court, Cecil Court and Australia House
Set the Scene: Whilst on the way to visit Mary’s eccentric cousin Topsy, the children, Jack and Mary fly down Chandos Place loaded up on Jack’s bike before arriving at Goodwin’s Court. A topsy turvy turning turtle ensues before they leave the bowl in the careful hands of Topsy to get fixed.
Location: Chandos Place and Goodwin Court
Set the Scene: In the trailer for his penultimate film, Frenzy (1972), Hitchcock stands in a marketplace loading a sack with potatoes. “This,” he intones, “is the scene of a horrible murder—it’s the famous wholesale fruit and vegetable market, Covent Garden. Here,” With the majority of Frenzy being shot on location in Covent Garden, Hitchcock fans are sure to feel transported to the set from the first moment they step in to the Market Building.
Location: Market Building
Set the Scene: Last Christmas was filmed on location in Covent Garden where the crew built a whole new shop in the Market Building. Directed by Paul Feig, screenplay by Emma Thompson and Bryony Kimmings and starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, we’re not saying it is going to ever replace Love Actually but it will most certainly give it a run for its money and become an instant Christmas classic.
Locations: West Piazza and Market Building
Set the Scene: Heading to his mission briefing in the traditional Aston Martin, James Bond pulls up to MI6 HQ which is in its everyday life Somerset House. The car driven in this movie can now be seen IRL at the London Film Museum's Bond in Motion exhibition.
Location: Strand and Somerset House
Set the Scene: Daniel Craig returns to this iconic role and whilst on his majesty’s service, James Bond is summoned to a meeting with his team of Moneypenny, Q and M at the oldest restaurant in London; Rules.
Location: Rules, Maiden Lane
Set the Scene: Bridget Jones suddenly became a hard hitting journalist ruthlessly committed to promoting justice and liberty. Nothing could distract her from dedication from the pursuit of truth well that was until she needed to pop to the shop for some cigarette. The shop she runs to is round the corner from the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand and still sells polos and wheat crunchies.
Location: BK News, Strand
Set the Scene: In the search for Tewksbury, Enola deduces that his love of flowers would take him to the only place in London he would go to and of course her search takes her to Covent Garden Market.
Location: Technically Covent Garden Market Building, but the Hollywood version
Set the Scene: Based on the true story of James Bowen, whose life changed when he met a street cat named Bob. The pair are known for their love of Covent Garden, with James and Bob returning to their old Big Issue pitch much to the delight of fans visiting the area hoping to get a glimpse
Location: West Piazza and London Transport Museum