'No Return': Where is the Sheridan Smith holiday drama set? Where was it filmed?

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
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Sheridan Smith stars in the new ITV drama 'No Return'. (ITV)
Sheridan Smith stars in the new ITV drama 'No Return'. (ITV)

A family holiday abroad might seem like a dim and distant memory for many of us, but that's the setting for new Sheridan Smith drama No Return.

She plays a mum whose world is turned upside down when her teenage son is arrested for a crime he says he didn't commit while they are on a trip to Turkey.

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Facing a legal system she doesn't understand, she must battle to save her son as well as working out what really happened.

In real life, the ITV series faced obstacles to filming thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but did manage its own trip abroad - here's all you need to know about the locations used.

Where is No Return set? Where was it filmed?

The cast headed to Spain for filming. (ITV)
The cast headed to Spain for filming. (ITV)

The emotional drama sees Sheridan Smith as Kathy, a mum of two who goes on a family holiday to Turkey with husband Martin (Michael Jibson) and teenagers Noah (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) and Jess (Lily Sutcliffe).

She ends up living every parent's nightmare when Noah is arrested for an apparent assault at a party and she has to battle for him through an unfamiliar legal system.

Writer Danny Brocklehurst said: "When you go on holiday you go into a holiday bubble. You usually go to a resort where there are a lot of things set up for tourists and you stay largely within that holiday, touristy bubble. But if you actually get taken out of that and into a foreign legal system, what you realise very quickly is you don’t understand the country you’re in.

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"You don’t understand their rules, you probably don’t understand their culture or their attitude to things. You’ve just gone on holiday to enjoy the sun, the sea, the pool and the booze. But actually you’re stepping into another country."


ITV
NO RETURN
EPISODE 2

Pictured:PHILIP ARDITTI as Rico,MICHAEL JIBSON as Martin,LILY SUTCLIFFE as Jess and SHERIDAN SMITH as Kathy.



This image is under copyright and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes in your print or online publication. This image cannot be syndicated to any other third party.



For further information please contact:
Patrick.smith@itv.com 07909906963
Many of the interior scenes were filmed in Manchester. (ITV)

However, while the drama is set in Turkey, much of the filming actually took place in Spain instead, with the remainder of scenes in Manchester and Liverpool.

Brocklehurst explained: "It would have been too complicated to shoot in Turkey, including the problems of the pandemic. The area of Spain we have chosen looks like Turkey anyway. All you need to do is change the signage, including an exterior prison location near Malaga with hotel and prison sets built in Manchester. It looks amazing.”

Michael Jibson, who plays Martin, added: "We filmed in Spain, doubling for Turkey, for almost four weeks. We flew into Malaga and moved around quite a bit, including to Almeria, a very beautiful Spanish port - not very touristy at all, but a beautiful beach. That’s where we filmed the exteriors for our prison. Filmed at a real working prison.

Louis Ashbourne Serkis plays a teen in trouble with the law. (ITV)
Louis Ashbourne Serkis plays a teen in trouble with the law. (ITV)

"Then we moved to a beautiful Spanish resort called Nerja. My family got to come out and join me for a few nights, which was lovely. And then we moved back to just outside Malaga, in and around Benalmadena, where we filmed scenes of swimming pools and holiday areas."

He continued: "We filmed all of the interior scenes predominantly in Bolton and in the centre of Manchester. Including a lot of the interior of the hotel, filmed at what was BHS in Bolton. We also filmed at Liverpool Airport."

How did COVID restrictions affect filming?


ITV
NO RETURN
EPISODE 2

Pictured:PHILIP ARDITTI as Rico,MICHAEL JIBSON as Martin,LILY SUTCLIFFE as Jess and SHERIDAN SMITH as Kathy.



This image is under copyright and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes in your print or online publication. This image cannot be syndicated to any other third party.



For further information please contact:
Patrick.smith@itv.com 07909906963
Spain stood in for Turkey. (ITV)

Although the pandemic was one of the reasons that production headed to Spain rather than Turkey, it wasn't completely business as usual in the Spanish filming locations.

Jibson said: "It was all very strange that we were working with people around us actually having real holidays. It was quite reassuring. Everything was open in Spain but they were very strict in terms of COVID.

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"Everybody was still wearing masks. You felt pretty secure out there. Everybody was round the pool and then when they got up to go to the bar they put a mask on, in their swimwear. It became quite normal."

How did the cast feel about filming abroad?

Michael Jibson said he loved Malaga. (ITV)
Michael Jibson said he loved Malaga. (ITV)

For Sheridan Smith, who welcomed her first child, Billy, in 2020, having her son with her was key to filming going well.

Explaining that Billy had gone to Spain with her, she said: "I think nowadays you can go away and take (kids) with you. I was in Budapest for six weeks on another job and I didn’t see him because we were just coming out of the pandemic. I missed him so much. So I hope if I do jobs in the future I can always have him with me. Even if it’s just for a little bit of it."

She added: "Eventually one day he’ll realise that mummy is doing it for him and he’ll understand. But at the moment he’s just so young and a bit clingy. I just miss him so much when I’m away. But it’s worth it because it is for him."

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Jibson, whose family also joined him on the shoot, said: "I thought Malaga was going to be this Benidorm type place with high rises. But it’s actually a very beautiful historic Spanish city on the coast with one of the most incredible cathedrals I’ve ever seen surrounded by some beautiful Spanish architecture. With great restaurants and shopping. A great place to be."

The actor says she loves playing a protective mum. (ITV)
Sheridan Smith says she loves playing a protective mum. (ITV)

Smith said that she had appreciated time away, even if it wasn't a holiday: "It was totally surreal to step on a plane for work. Just to get away was nice. They have very strict protocols and we were regularly tested. I was in most of the scenes so I didn’t really get time off in Spain. But it was amazing to be abroad.

"It’s better when you get to lie on the sun lounger in the heat rather than filming. But it was still gorgeous to be in the sunshine. The sun was blazing hot. They would come over with a brolly to try and keep us the same shade. But on the last day of filming I was like, ‘Please, just let me enjoy these last rays! It’s going to be raining when I get home.’ A final bit of sunshine for me.

"And I got back to torrential rain. So it was a joy to be away and the fact that my little man got to come out as well was the icing on the cake."

No Return begins tonight (Monday) at 9pm on ITV.

Watch: Sheridan Smith takes on harrowing role in ITV's No Return

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