BBC's new Alan Bennett film lines up writer's home for filming duties

RadioTimes.com understands that the distinctive exterior to Bennett's north London home will be crucial to getting the film version of his play The Lady in the Van right as it tells the real-story of a homeless woman who lived in his driveway

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BBC's new Alan Bennett film lines up writer's home for filming duties
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Alan Bennett's 1999 play The Lady in the Van is about a real life woman who lived in a camper van on Bennett's driveway for 15 years. 

But now the stage show is being made into a feature film - with Harry Potter star Maggie Smith reprising her role as the homeless Miss Shepherd - RadioTimes.com understands that the playwright is ready to allow his real home to be used in the film.

Situated in Gloucester Crescent in Camden Town, north London, Bennett Towers, which the writer shares with his partner Rupert Thomas is very distinctive.

"Any other location would be immediately spotted by Bennett cognoscenti," according to a source on the film where the part of Bennett is being played by Alex Jennings.

Asked whether the location will be as bona fide as hoped, head of BBC Films Christine Langan told RadioTimes.com: “I think it’ll be very authentic, let’s put it like that.”

When asked if that meant  Bennett's own home will be used she added: “Well, I can’t really reveal those kinds of details, sort of, now, but I think it will feel like ... it’ll feel very much like the real thing.”

Sir Nicholas Hytner will direct the film having also directed the first stage production in 1999. He commented, “It is a privilege to bring this extraordinary story to the big screen and to share it with cinema audiences around the world.”

Frances de la Tour, Jim Broadbent, Deborah Findlay, Roger Allam and Gwen Taylor will star in the film. 

The film will be released on 13 November 2015.