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Why the stars of BBC show This Country can get on a roll at Fairford Bowling Club

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 09:00

Kurtan, played by Charlie Cooper, at Fairford Bowls Club during filming of This Country. Picture, Ian Weldon Photography Kurtan, played by Charlie Cooper, at Fairford Bowls Club during filming of This Country. Picture, Ian Weldon Photography

If Kurtan Mucklowe, one of the leading characters in the excellent BBC Three show This Country, ever fancies a game of bowls he’d be more than welcome to have a go at Fairford.

So says David Crookes, who has recently taken over from Brian Morley as chairman of the club after previously serving as secretary.

Regular watchers of This Country, a mockumentary sitcom, will know that Kurtan, who is played by Charlie Cooper, got a job working in a bowls club at the end of the second series.

The filming for those scenes took place at Fairford Bowling Club, although the programme, which is about the day-to-day lives of two young people living in the Cotswolds, is based mainly in Northleach.

There is, of course, no bowls club in Northleach and David Crookes said that Fairford Bowling Club were more than happy to help out when the programme-makers came knocking.

“We got a phone call and they said they were looking to do a story around a bowls club,” he explained. “They came along and had a look and must have liked what they saw.

“The timing suited us because they filmed between the end of the outdoor season and the start of the indoor season.

“They took over the club for about three days. There must have been about 100 people there at one stage.

“It was fascinating to see it all taking place, everybody enjoyed it.”

And some of the club’s members can now also claim to have been on TV.

“I think about 20 of them were extras,” David continued, “there was no shortage of volunteers!”

That was in September 2017 and Kurtan and co returned to Fairford in late August to film a number of scenes for their Autumn Special and it could be that they will be returning to the club again in future.

“Yes, it does seem to be open-ended,” said David. “The last episode ended with Kurtan being invited to do some more work at the bowls club so the thread is there.”

David, like many others, is a big fan of This Country, but he is keen to stress that Fairford Bowling Club are “first and foremost a bowls club”.

Bowls is not something that Charlie Cooper and his sister and co-star Daisy May Cooper, who plays Kurtan’s cousin Kerry in the show, played while filming at the club’s six-rink outdoor green but David said: “They’re very welcome to come along and have a go if they want to.”

And the programme-makers would certainly be welcomed back as well.

“We would be delighted to hear from them again,” added David.

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