Channel 5 thriller Desperate Measures stars Sherlock's Amanda Abbington as a woman on the edge.


Rowan Taylor is a cashier at a bank and a single mum to a teenage boy. She's experienced hardship in her life, with her dad abandoning her to clear up his sizeable debts, but that pales in comparison to her current predicament.

After a lapse in judgment, her son winds up owing a local gangster a significant sum of money, which prompts Rowan to resort to desperate measures: rob the bank to save her child.

You might have assumed that the series was filmed in the UK, where it's set, but the cast and crew travelled to a popular European destination to shoot the Channel 5 thriller.

Read on for everything you need to know.

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Desperate Measures: Where was the Channel 5 thriller filmed?

"We were in Budapest," Sunetra Sarker (Varisha) told "Budapest is a beautiful part of Hungary that I'd never been to. It's full of history that I knew very little about. We went to so many locations and in every place there's a plaque and some information and I'd think, 'Wow.'"

Sarker went on to say that it shares "a lot of tonal similarities with the UK", adding: "There are a lot of shows that are being shot there that remind people of the UK."

Channel 5 dramas Deadline and The Teacher were also filmed in Budapest.

Varisha using her key card to enter the vault at the bank
Sunetra Sarker as Varisha in Desperate Measures.

Sarker added: "The reason we shot it in Budapest is that this story isn't city specific. It could happen in London, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Scotland, Cardiff.

"It's a story about people who are getting on with their lives and then something really dramatic happens, quite far-fetched, and then push comes to shove in terms of what do you do? Do you help your friend rob a bank to save her son, or don't you?"

Abbington said that it was "weird" filming in Budapest "because in everybody's head we were in Manchester", adding: "The building that we filmed in was amazing – this very, very old, cavernous place.

"It was a real bank with a proper vault and when the production team went on the recce, they got locked in, which would have terrified me because I'm really claustrophobic – I am not good with small spaces at all.

"They were there for about an hour and a half; I would have had a meltdown. But I always love filming in places like that where it's really authentic. It makes the job a lot easier."

Desperate Measures starts tonight (Tuesday 21st February) and is stripped across the next four nights. Looking for something else to watch? Visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide, or take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage.


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