Visitors to the town centre might have heard some rowdy protesters as filming for a new drama continued this week.

The Channel 4 show Boys was previously in Bolton in October, when filming had just begun.

Olly Alexander, lead singer from the band Years & Years, and newcomers Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells play the three boys, Ritchie, Roscoe, and Colin.

The five-part series, set to air later this year, follows the trio who become friends as they begin their new life in 1980s London.

The drama was written by multi-BAFTA award-winning Russell T Davies of Queer As Folk and A Very English Scandal, and will see the group deal with the rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced as the AIDS epidemic spread.

Yesterday’s scenes bared a lot of similarities to those filmed in October, when the main cast members were spotted filming protest scenes and being bundled into the back of a police van.

Speaking about the filming, Cllr Akhtar Zaman, who represents Halliwell, said: "It puts Bolton on the national scene and makes it attractive - especially around the Le Mans Crescent area.

“It’s a beautiful area in our town centre. Any filming for national television helps develop the image of Bolton and I’m sure it will improve our visitor economy.”

Davies is known for his emotional dramas, frequently featuring gay or sex-related adult themes.

The show is produced by RED Production Company, who describe it as a “series that remembers the boys we lost, and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.”

The series also stars Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, and Keeley Hawes, but none of the trio were spotted in Bolton for any of the scenes.

Bolton has also seen filming for hit drama Bancroft, ITV’s Cold Feet, and a new thriller for Netflix, The Stranger starring Richard Armitage.

The town also hosted Robert Carlyle for Sky’s Cobra, a six-part series following how the British government responds to a huge scale national crisis.

Cobra is set to air at 9pm on Friday.

Bolton Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Martyn Cox, said: “Bolton has a well-earned reputation as an excellent film location, and we have recently welcomed some of the biggest names in TV production.

“In the last few weeks alone, Bolton has featured prominently on primetime television on both ITV and Sky.

“Filming contributes significantly to the local economy, giving a valuable boost to local traders and helping promote our area to a national and international audience.”