THE grand buildings of Bolton School have been transformed into a film set and pupils into actors for a new BBC drama.

In recent weeks passers-by might have spotted Sarah Lancashire and other stars of television as filming of Antony and Cleopatra has taken place within the historic setting.

The new romantic comedy series has been produced by Red Production Company for BBC One and features an all-star cast including the ex-Coronation Street actress and Derek Jacobi.

It sees would-be childhood sweethearts reunited after 60 years.

Filming this week took place in the boys’ Great Hall with hundreds of pupils acting as extras for an assembly scene.

Miss Lancashire was on set on the day much to the excitement of pupils, who quickly found out that filming was not as glamorous as they thought.

Arran Kenny, aged 17, said: “I was shocked at how repetitive the whole filming process was and how much hanging around there was.

“We had to do 12 takes for a 25 second piece of action.

“It could easily take one and a half hours to produce 30 seconds of footage.

“I’ve been involved in several clips, the best one was when I was talking to the son of Sarah Lancashire’s character.

“The school building lent itself well to the filming and helped to portray a top academic school with a scholarly atmosphere.”

Rebecca Lowe, aged 16, added: “The filming was a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, it took a lot more time than I thought but it was interesting to watch and be a part of.”

In the past the school has been used as a backdrop in the 2007 critically acclaimed film The Mark of Cain, and, 15 years ago, in an episode of Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.