No tans or tattoos please, this is vintage drama: Producers of BBC show The Village unable to cast Derbyshire villagers because they didn't look like ordinary BritonsMakers of the series hoped to cast as many locals as possible as extras
But only one in 10 who turned up to the casting were considered suitableHopefuls looked too modern and removed from 20th Century counterpartsToo many of them had fake tans, tattoos, piercings and plucked eyebrows
The Corporation had to instead rely on 'professional supporting artists'
Ross Slater and Chris Hastings
21:57 GMT, 30 March 2013
09:50 GMT, 31 March 2013
The Derbyshire village of Hayfield, with its cobbled streets and picturesque church, seemed the perfect location for a major new BBC costume drama.
But the producers of The Village, which charts the lives and loves of 'ordinary' Britons over the past 100 years, were unable to cast local residents as extras because of their fake tans, tattoos, piercings and plucked eyebrows.
The makers of the six-part series, which stars Maxine Peake, Juliet Stevenson and John Simm and which begins on BBC1 tonight, had hoped to use as many extras as possible from Hayfield and the two neighbouring villages that stand in for the drama's fictitious village.
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New series: The six-part drama series, The Village, stars Maxine Peake, Juliet Stevenson and John Simm
Leading role: Actor John Simm stars as John Middleton in The Village, which begins tonight
VIDEO See preview of BBC drama The Village starring John Simm
New trailer for upcoming BBC drama The Village starring John Simm
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But in the end only one in ten of the 150 local people who attended an open day casting session were considered suitable.
Many were turned down because they looked too modern and removed from their early 20th Century counterparts.
The shortage of suitable locals meant the BBC had to rely on 'professional supporting artists'.
Too modern: Locals were turned down for roles as extras because they were too modern – with tattoos, piercings and fake tans
The BBC's casting director for the series, one of the most ambitious dramas of recent years, had a long list of no-nos, which also included short or dyed hair and long finger nails.
Linda Baines, who runs the post office in Hayfield, said: 'I would have loved to have seen myself in a prime time drama, as would my husband, but unfortunately we have tattoos and my hair is dyed so we didn't stand a chance.'
Elaine Rose-Fleuriot, a former postlady who did land a role, said: 'They told everyone they would hold a casting at the village hall. You had to take along your measurements and they took a polaroid.
'There was a huge buzz of excitement about the filming and everyone wanted to be involved. The problem was that you needed hair long enough to tie up. It couldn't be dyed, your nails couldn't be too long and you couldn't have tattoos or too many piercings or be too tanned.'
The seven men and eight women recruited locally were joined by 20 professional extras. A BBC spokesman said: 'There are certain criteria that don't fit a costume drama set in 1914.
It was important the series looked real. The things we couldn't have included were dyed hair, piercings, tattoos, tans and plucked eyebrows.'
On location: The village of Hayfield in Derbyshire where some of the BBC One series was filmed
'Ordinary': Only one in 10 of the local residents who turned up to casting was chosen for the series