Award winning actress Gemma Arterton was  on the town hall steps this afternoon filming for the second series of Sky's Funny Woman.

The  Bond star was photographed taking part in a protest scene at around 4pm, causing much excitement in the town.

The first series aired in February of last year on Sky and is based on Funny Girl, the best-selling novel by Nick Hornby.

The Bolton News: Gemma Arterton filming in Bolton

Gemma takes the lead role in the series which is set against the backdrop of the Swinging Sixties.

She plays Barbara Parker with audiences following her journey from Blackpool beauty queen to comedy superstar and nation’s sweetheart.

Series two finds Sophie on a high.

She is the nation’s favourite TV comedy star, she’s got a group of good friends and her romance with Dennis is full of promise.

But trouble is just round the corner - Dennis's divorce will take three years; Sophie’s new sitcom flops and she uncovers a devastating family secret.

The Bolton News: Gemma Arterton filming in Bolton

Sophie escapes the turmoil by taking a leading role in a film opposite a glamorous French movie heart-throb. The film is a hit and Sophie’s slick new US agent offers her a fresh start in Hollywood.

But Sophie returns to London, determined to get the gang back together and to create a new show which reflects her real life, challenges outdated cultural conventions and proves that she and her mates are Funny Women.

Read more: Sky series Funny Woman takes over Le Mans Crescent

The Bolton News: A routemaster bus and classic cars can be seen on Le Mans Crescent

This morning Bolton was transformed into London with vintage vehicles including a bus parked on Le Mans Crescent, with rumours the star of stage and screen was in town for filming.

Since her breakout role as head girl Kelly Jones in St Trinian’s, Arterton has racked up stand-out performances – whether it’s as Bond girl Strawberry Fields in Quantum Of Solace or Sister Clodagh in the BBC adaptation of Rumer Godden’s classic novel Black Narcissus.

Speaking ahead of the first series, Gemma said:"It was such an iconic time for comedy, for culture, when this whole wave of new comedy started happening,

“More edgy working-class humour started to come through and for a woman to be in that world was unusual at that time.”

“And I just loved the character,” adds the Kent-born star. “There’s something about her I connected with; I think it’s her sense of humour and her wit and what she comes up against.

“She wants more from life than just being a beauty queen, working in a rock shop and becoming a wife. So she goes to London to try and make it as something – and finds herself auditioning for a Comedy Playhouse.

“From there on it’s the journey of her becoming a sitcom star and finding her voice,” said Gemma, whose own production company (Rebel Park) co-produced the series.

Writer, Executive Producer, Morwenna Banks said: “It’s a thrill to dive back into the world of 1960’s London - with the extraordinary cast and crew of Funny Woman series 2. Thanks to the genius of Gemma Arterton as Nick Hornby's heroine Sophie Straw - a whole host of new guest stars have joined us. We welcome stellar performances from Steve Zissis, Marcus Rutherford, Tim Key, Gemma Whelan, Roisin Conaty and many more …Tune in Turn On and don’t Drop Out”.

Viewers can catch up on Funny Woman series 1, ahead of the new series coming to Sky Max and streaming service NOW in 2024. NBCUniversal Global Distribution handle international sales of the series on behalf of Sky Studios.