GLASGOW is no stranger to stardom. In recent years it has graced our screens in a raft of film and television shows from zombie flick World War Z, biopic Churchill and the rebooted T2 Trainspotting to hit series such as Outlander, The Replacement and Rillington Place.

The latest big budget production to use the city as a backdrop is new Sky Atlantic drama Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Glasgow serves as New York circa 1982 in the opening episode of the five-part series, based on the acclaimed novels by Edward St Aubyn, which will air this weekend.

Cumberbatch, known for his roles in Sherlock, The Imitation Game and Avengers: Infinity War, plays the eponymous troubled but charismatic aristocratic playboy who travels to New York to collect his late father's ashes.

The star-studded cast includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams and Jessica Raine. A joint venture by Sky Atlantic and Showtime, the books were adapted for television by One Day author David Nicholls.

According to Lloret Dunn, who worked as supervising location manager for the scenes shot in Glasgow last autumn, the city's grand Victorian buildings and grid-style layout lends itself well to being cast as a US metropolis.

With 25 years of experience planning and managing filming locations across Scotland, her packed CV includes World War Z, T2 Trainspotting and The Jacket.

Dunn was responsible for obtaining permits, overseeing road closures and liaising with residents and nearby businesses to notify them when filming would be taking place as well as troubleshooting problems should they arise.

"You may want to shoot in a street and then discover there is an underground car park," she explains. "For example, there is one in Cochrane Street that you would never know is there but there are more than 100 cars that use it.

"It is part of my role as a location manager to make sure that all those cars are relocated to a place the residents are happy with. It is not easy. There was a phenomenal amount of liaison involved."

But she clearly thrives on those moments. "I love the challenges," says Dunn. "Every day is different. I learn on every single job I do. That makes it ultimately very rewarding."

Here are the key locations to look out for:

Cochrane Street

As Patrick arrives in New York, there is a four-lane jam of yellow cabs and other vehicles. "We did a similar traffic scene in World War Z," says Dunn. "I keep all my contacts from every job, so I was able to phone up one of the owners in a property overlooking the street and ask to use the building."

Bothwell Street

The Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society building at 95 Bothwell Street became the exterior for the sumptuous five-star Drake Hotel where Patrick stays in Manhattan. The landmark sandstone structure has beautiful golden clocks at either end of its facade.

Nor is it the only spot on Bothwell Street that features in the show. "The building across the road at 100 Bothwell Street appears in a later episode," reveals Dunn. "Patrick's money has run out by that point and he is staying at a budget Midtown hotel as opposed to the luxurious Drake Hotel."

St Vincent Street

The funeral home where Patrick collects his father's ashes was the exterior of 149 St Vincent Street. Two other locations were used nearby.

"One was outside Lloyds Bank and it was simply a shot of Patrick walking along the street in a high wind," says Dunn. "In another scene, he goes into a gentleman's club. The interior was shot in London, but the exterior was 200 St Vincent Street."

The Barras

The areas around Moncur Street, Kent Street and Suffolk Street were transformed into a New York meat market. This was in a scene where Patrick goes to score heroin.

"Margaret McIver Limited, the organisation which runs the Barras, were so welcoming," says Dunn. "The closure for filming was mid-week, so it didn't affect the market.

"Big racks of meat and carcasses were brought in and we had to make the place look dreadful with piles of rubbish everywhere. In fact, there was so much rubbish that the clear up afterwards took us an entire day as we put everything back to normal."


While Glasgow was used largely for exteriors, the famed Rogano restaurant with its Queen Mary ocean liner-inspired decor took centre stage as Patrick decadently wines and dines.

It was, says Dunn, a last-minute addition. "About a month or so before filming began, the production team were still struggling to find something they liked down south," she says.

Director Edward Berger had eaten at Rogano during an earlier recce. "He loved the place," adds Dunn. "From the first approach Rogano said: 'Absolutely.' They were fantastic."

West George Lane

The bold Patrick strides down the lane with a carrier bag containing his father's ashes. Using this location for filming did present some logistical challenges. "That was another place, like Cochrane Street, that had a secret underground car park – in fact it had three," says Dunn.

Sauchiehall Lane

Filmed on the section between Hope Street and Wellington Street, Patrick and Marianne – played by Girls star Allison Williams – emerge from an Armenian restaurant. Dunn says: "That was shot at night and we see her storm off in a taxi."

Hogarth Park

The East End park features as Patrick meets drug dealers beneath a graffitied bridge. "I had been sent reference photographs and started researching what underground tunnels in Glasgow were accessible," says Dunn.

"Hogarth Park was new to me as a location. We sent in an industrial team to sweep the area for glass, needles or anything sharp, then the art department put 'clean rubbish' in its place for filming."

The first episode of Patrick Melrose will be available from Sunday, May 13 exclusively on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW TV