Wolverhampton's Prince Albert named as the backdrop for a new TV pilot about an eccentric scientist.
With its opulent furnishings, including a giant chandelier, wooden fireplace and a wall peppered with photographs from the past, the Prince Albert is no ordinary Black Country pub.
And now its eye-catching interior is set to be showcased to the nation after the Wolverhampton drinking establishment was chosen as the backdrop for a new TV pilot about an eccentric scientist.
A host of big-name stars, including the recently-married TV presenter Melanie Sykes, cage fighter and celebrity big brother winner Alex Reid and comedian Bobby Ball, have all been drafted in to appear in the show titled For The Love of Ella.
Most of the filming is set to take place at the pub in Railway Street, with some rooms being used as laboratories and exterior shots being done in the gardens.
The programme has been penned by Bridgnorth-based Simon Golding and it is hoped filming will get started by September.
The makers are also in talks with Gavin and Stacey star Larry Lamb to see if he will star in the show.
Production firm Salopian Films is now trying to raise £8,000 for the project from donations through website Indiegog – and has already generated half that.
It stars Ewen MacIntosh – who played Keith in The Office – as a scientist who falls in love with Ella, played by Lucy Driver.
He tries to use his chemistry skills to seduce her with ‘disastrous results’, Mr Golding explained.
Scenes have also been filmed at Astbury Hall in Bridgnorth, owned by former Judas Priest guitarist Ken Downing.
Six episodes have been written but first the team is hoping to secure a deal with a TV channel for the pilot.
Mr Golding says the BBC has already expressed an interest.
Mr Golding, of Washbrook Road, is originally from Oldswinford and started out as a freelance writer for magazines before writing novels and scripts for radio plays.
He has just signed a deal to write a trilogy of film scripts but says he believes this latest project could be a ‘big success’.
The cast and crew are only being paid expenses to save cash to make the full series.
He said: “It’s a great script, even if I do say so myself, and everyone seems to love it. I always wanted Ewen to star in it because I knew he was a very innovative performer and I thought he was perfect for the part.”
Mr Golding had recently done some publicity for the Prince Albert when he started working on the TV show – and says he realised it was the ‘perfect location’.
“The staff have been so friendly and accommodating, which is great considering there will be about 40 cast and crew milling around,” he said.
He is appealing for people to donate through the website to ensure the project gets off the ground. Mr Golding said: “Although we have a couple of private investors interested, we desperately need funds to bring this project to life and there are great rewards and investment opportunities for all that want to get involved.
“If people wish to donate £1 or a £1,000 we have every reward including special thanks, framed signed scripts and posters, walk-on parts, including an Internet Movie Database entry, speaking roles and also investment opportunities together with an ‘executive producer’ credit.”
The Prince Albert underwent extensive renovation work in 2012. The £500,000 project saw the striking venue turned into an upmarket club, bar and restaurant after it was restored to its full Victorian splendour.
The Grade II-listed building, owned by Solihull-based Enterprise Inns, dates back to around 1900 when the pub was opened to take advantage of the railway trade in the city.
Meanwhile multi-million pound plans to build a hotel in the grounds of Astbury Hall were unveiled earlier this year.
The scheme could create dozens of new jobs.