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Location, location, location! Iconic University building bidding to get its own place on the Hollywood walk of fame


One of London’s most iconic buildings is also one of the city’s biggest draws as a movie and television location, according to new figures.

Senate House, which is owned and maintained by the University of London, generated £848,700 in income in 2020/21 alone. That means this one building attracted almost as much income from filming as the entire Square Mile in the City of London, which expects to generate some £1m in 2022.

Best known for being the inspiration for the Ministry of Truth in 1984 (George Orwell’s wife worked at Senate House during WWII), in recent years the 209-foot high building has been used as a location for heroes from Bond to Batman. During the pandemic the University took advantage of the empty building to attract even more production companies hoping to make use of its austere structure.

Movies to have used Senate House include Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Fast & Furious 6, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and as the reception of MI6 in the latest Bond film, No Time to Die. On television it served as MI5 in Killing Eve, it was blown up for the BBC’s The Bodyguard and starred as itself in television classic The Day of the Triffids.

While many of the most recent movies and TV shows now making use of Senate House are subject to NDAs, the University can reveal they include a major Amazon Prime series, as well as productions made by Warner Bros, Netflix, Disney/Marvel, NBC/ Universal Studios, the BBC and Paramount.

Tom Hopkins, Head of Events & Hospitality at the University of London, said:

“Senate House is a centre of learning, the home of our world-renowned library collection and a historical listed building… but it is also a burgeoning film star in its own right. Anyone who has ever set eyes on our beautiful building, let alone set foot inside, will understand why Senate House continues to draw production companies in search of a uniquely unforgettable location.

“Over the past year it has had a secret side-line as an Eastern European palace, a New York theatre, a Midwestern train station and a crime lab, among others, so its versatility knows no bounds – so perhaps the next stop is that Hollywood walk of fame!”

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