Motorway Services Online

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Services on TV

Below is a list of service areas which have had a prominent role in TV programmes and films. Some minor clips with service areas in the background have been overlooked, but many more are missing and you would be welcome to add them.

A list of roads that have appeared in TV programmes can be found on SABRE.

Programme Services Notes
The Motorway Map of Britain (2024) Newport Pagnell Documentary discussing how the UK's motorway network was developed and evolved during the 1900s. Newport Pagnell features around discussions of the first motorway service areas on the network, with both internal and external shots used.

Northampton briefly features when a HGV driver pulls in for a break.

ITV Evening News; 5 News at Five (Channel 5) Watford Gap News reports featured on both main evening news programmes relating to the announcement for the redevelopment of Watford Gap. The Services King features in the ITV report.
A Cotswold Farmshop (2023) Gloucester A follow-up to the previous year's Lake District series, 'A Cotswold Farmshop' was a six-part documentary entirely about Gloucester services, focusing on the staff and suppliers.
Inside Man (2022) Fleet northbound Beth Davenport and Morag stop for a coffee at Fleet northbound, sitting outside under the trees.
Motorway Cops: Catching Britain's Speeders
Knutsford, Saughall, Lymm (2022) Saughall appears when a driver is taken off the M56 into the service area and arrested on suspicion of drug dealing.

Knutsford and Lymm appear throughout the series as Cheshire Police deal with several incidents at Lymm whilst also having an outstation within Knutsford southbound.

Chester, Knutsford (2021) PC Amy Hollis pulls into Chester services for a pit stop and ends up ticketing a Lamborghini owner for a missing front number plate and an incorrect rear number plate. Amy refers to the services as 'Hapsford' when she arrives.

Knutsford also makes a brief appearance in the same episode.

Police Interceptors Trowell (2022) Truck thieves slashed curtains on a truck parked in the northbound service area and attempted to steal the load before running off onto the rear access road to escape.
Top Gear Chippenham Pit Stop (2022) The presenters sampled the facilities as lorry drivers, where they called it "way too nice".
Hilton Park (2019) Southbound services featured when Freddie and Chris stopped and charged their cars to wait for Paddy to catch up after running out of electricity in his electric car.
Blyth (2015) Jeremy Clarkson tried charging up the BMW i8 using the Ecotricity charging point at the service area, and failed.
Cambridge (2010) Fuel stop during the British roadsters challenge.
Fleet (2010) Southbound service area formed the start of the motorhome challenge. They stopped briefly at Barton Stacey and Podimore on the way.
Wisley (2008) Northbound service area featured in luxury cars segment. They also once reviewed a visit to the Little Chef here.
Warwick (2007) Northbound service area used as starting point in a challenge where the presenters tried to prove that not every car made by British Leyland was bad. They broke down on the exit slip road
Winchester (2006) Short conversation filmed late at night in the Costa.
Oxford (2006) The Stig stopped for the toilet and fuel during the kit-car race.
Ringwood (2006) Petrol station on the A31 where they crashed the caravan.
Keele (2006) Southbound service area used as starting point in the first amphibious challenge.
Toddington (2004) Northbound service area used as starting point in £100 cars challenge. Stafford's forecourt later appeared very briefly in the same segment.
South Mimms (2003) Used as the starting point for a lap of the M25, with Jeremy Clarkson searching the shop for a prize.
Stafford northbound (2002) Jeremy Clarkson stopped for fuel here during the Jaguar XJR stress test. He described the access roads to the services as being "like a race track", featuring an apex, hairpin bend and a pit stop.
Tamworth (1998) On the original magazine series, Michele Newman filmed a feature on tiredness inside the short-lived Rock Island Diner. There was also a vox pop filmed in the shop.
Newport Pagnell (1996) Jeremy Clarkson filmed vox pops with sales reps.
Gordano (1982) A very early episode was presented from the service area, introducing features on the Easter getaway and the public's opinions of service stations.
Toddington (1977) In the very first episode, Angela Rippon interviewed customers and Granada's manager in the restaurant, talking about the price of food.
Gordon Ramsay's Future Food Stars (2022) Buckland Gordon Ramsay challenged the contestants to run Mollie's Drive Thru during the lunch rush.
A Lake District Farmshop/A Lake District Farmshop at Christmas Tebay (2021/2022) Tebay was the focus of a four-part documentary following staff, suppliers and contributors to the service area and how Westmorland use local produce from across the Lake District. A special Christmas-themed episode aired in December 2021, followed by a second series in 2022, and a sequel about its sister, Gloucester.
Murder, They Hope (2021) Northampton/Heston westbound The episode "Dales of the Unexpected" used establishing shots from Northampton and Heston, but the interior scenes were filmed on set.
Traffic Cops Series 10: Heath, Derby and Burton, Trowell (2022) PC Nick Lovatt pulled over a biker at Heath in episode 7 after the rider pulled a wheelie at over 100mph along the A617 eastbound.
PC Karl Jackson stopped a car with his colleagues on the A38 exit slip road and moved the vehicle to Derby and Burton in episode 8 so they could conduct a full search of the vehicle.

A vehicle was also stopped at Trowell in episode 9 after it was stolen from a car dealership.

Rownhams (2007) There was a caravan theft at the eastbound service area.
Livin' With Lucy (2019) Tibshelf Nadine's tour bus stops half way between London and Hull. Broadcast in Ireland.
A1: Britain's Longest Road Series 4: Durham, Bloody Oaks, Washington, Wetherby (2019) In episode 2, PC Darren Lant caught up with a driver who pulled into Durham services after he observed him driving dangerously along the A1(M). In episode 6, two gentlemen transporting a giant up to Alnwick stopped for fuel in Bloody Oaks. Bloody Oaks was also featured in episode 8 where a wheelchair rugby team stopped at the OK Diner for breakfast on route to Halifax. In episode 9, a couple were recovered by the police to Washington services after breaking down in the fast lane of the A1. In episode 10, the team transporting 'The Man Engine' from Yorkshire to Durham stop at Wetherby to tighten the straps on the trailer.
Series 3: Coneygarth, Wetherby, Musselburgh (2018) In episode 5, a trucker carrying a load of Christmas trees from Dumfries to Barnsley stopped here for his legal break and to check on his load. In episode 6, a trucker transporting a robotic crocodile from London to Newcastle to feature in the pantomime stayed overnight at Wetherby. In episode 8, a gentlemen was escorted to Musselburgh for police to take his details as he stopped on the A1 to collect money he saw lying on the carriageway. Cambridge also featured in episode 8 when a half way check on a cargo of bees was made whilst being transported from Humberside to Kent.
Series 1: South Mimms, Stannington, Wetherby, Washington, Markham Moor (2017) In episode 3, a lorry driver hauling a pea viner started day 2 of his journey from South Mimms on route to the Lord Mayor's Show in Central London. Grantham Truckstop located next to Colsterworth services were also heavily featured in this episode. In episode 4, a police officer escorted a stranded motorist who had a blowout off the main A1 to Stannington so that they could check that the emergency tyre was attached correctly. In episode 5, a couple transporting their show camels stopped at Wetherby for a break on route from Warwickshire to Durham for the Christmas Nativity and caused quite a stir in the car park. In episode 8, a police officer escorted a lorry driver to Washington after his brakes locked on and were repaired in the middle lane of the A1(M) to ensure they were fixed. In episode 9, the Little Chef at Markham Moor was heavily featured with staff being interviewed about their daily jobs as well as the camera crews showing the day-to-day goings on within the restaurant. The services were also featured later on in the episode when a old English sheepdog show team travelling from Hull to Ely stopped off on route to a competition to meet fellow competitors and have lunch in the Little Chef.
Joe Lycett's Got Your Back (2018) Stansted A model of this service station was made to demonstrate how so many parking fines are being issued here. They then created an elaborate way to break the rules without being charged.
M1: The Motorway That Made Britain (2018) Watford Gap, Trowell, Woolley Edge The documentary commemorating the motorway's 60th birthday featured various service areas on the road with Watford Gap, Trowell and Woolley Edge getting special mentions. Watford Gap was discussed for being the first UK motorway service area and how various celebrities used to visit the 'Blue Boar' in its early days with Trowell being mentioned as a place where people used to go for an evening meal. Woolley Edge was used by the trucker that the documentary was following.
Coast to Coast (2018) Tebay Sir Tony Robinson visits Tebay while making the Coast to Coast Walk.
Click and Collect (2018) South Mimms, Charnock Richard Andrew and Dev stop off at South Mimms services numerous times en route to and from Carlisle. The Papa Burger outlet seen on the show has replaced the Harry Ramsden's outlet for the purpose of the episode. Also Welcome Break branding has been replaced with Rest N Stop. Several external shots of Charnock Richard northbound are also used including the Shell forecourt where their vehicle breaks down due to the wrong fuel being put into the tank.
The Festival (2018) Monmouth Chris and Shane stop off at the eastbound service ara on their way back from the festival, filling up with fuel and buying some things from the Spar shop.
Tricks of the Restaurant Trade (2018) Northampton
Newport Pagnell
A family made a journey along the M1 (not aired in order), investigating the mark-up along the way.
The Grand Tour Chieveley (2018) Jeremy was shown pulling into the service area, but the next scene was clearly set in a different car park. It's likely there was a deleted scene here, probably involving the electric vehicle charging point.
The charging points were used in a feature about electric vehicles. The game arcade, shop and forecourt at Reading were also shown. Membury forecourt and Taunton Deane featured extremely briefly.
Fleet (2017) The Starbucks drive thru was used as part of a skit about launch control.
Good Morning Britain (2018) Abington Reports on the disruption caused by snow.
The Peter Kay Story (2016) Rivington Shots of the new Euro Garages service area were shown as part of a feature about Peter's mockumentary that was filmed here called 'The Services'.
Hunted Burton-in-Kendal (2016) Two fugitives were followed into the car park and stopped.
Killington Lake (2015) Two fugitives were very nearly caught when their coach made an unscheduled stop at the service area.
Silent Witness Close to Home, Part 1: South Mimms (2020) South Mimms was featured as a location where a suspect was tracked to and caught. The fictional name "Dinton Services" was used, supposedly on the M4.
River's Edge (Part 1): Michaelwood (2015) The crime scene is close to the service area, though was likely to have been filmed elsewhere. Footage of the car park is shown
The Interceptor: Fleet (2015) In episode 2, Fleet was featured in the crime drama as a gun drop-off point. A chase scene was also filmed here with one of the officers being thrown out the window of the footbridge and dangled over the M3.
Ross Noble: Freewheeling Ep 5: Leicester Forest East
Ep 6: Penlan
In series 2, Ross called his health and safety team from Leicester Forest East southbound in episode 5 to check if he could use live crabs for a challenge where a man lowered his testicles into a tank of crabs. He also recorded various variations of the word 'balls' just in case the show was put out before the watershed. In episode 6, he did a challenge from Land's End to see how far he could go on the fuel he had in his tank and ended up rolling into Penlan. Whilst he was here, he also spent time with a lady who had broken down.
Ep 1: Woodall
Ep 2: Membury
Ep 3: Popham
Ep 4: Newport Pagnell
Ross started episodes 1-4 of series 1 at service areas trying to decide where he is going to go in a show where he goes to places purely powered by tweets to him from members of the public. In episode 4, he tried to create a free-fall scene from a movie in Waitrose at Newport Pagnell.
4 O'Clock Club (2015) Birch Birch westbound was featured in series 4, episode 13 of the series when two of the characters (Nero and Clem) went into the service area to find some maps to try and get to an airport to fly to Kuwait to see Nero's parents. A former teacher from the school also went for a job in the 'coffee shop' here too.
Broadchurch (2015) Gordano A 'bonus scene' for the ITV Drama Facebook page was filmed opposite the filling station at the site where DI Alec Hardy & DI Ellie Miller ask Hardy's wife to reopen the Sandbrook case.
Countryfile (2015) Gloucester Feature showing how Westmorland are using local produce at the service area.
The Motorway: Life In The Fast Lane (2014) Hilton Park
In episode 1, a lady and her daughter were towed to Hilton Park after having a flat tyre. In episode 2, two litter pickers picked up some litter alongside Keele.
The One Show (2014) Gloucester Feature on the qualities of this brand new service station.
BBC News, BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News (2014) Beaconsfield Various news reports on various programmes about the controversy over the opening of Wetherspoons.
Under the Skin (2013) Abington The motorcyclist is seen leaving the petrol station en route to the Highlands.
Stobart: Trucks, Trains and Planes (2013) Series 1, Ep 5: Stracathro Biomass Tramper Tim Fox filled up at the Gulf service station.
The One Show (2013) Cherwell Valley People were asked questions about road trips.
Truckers (2013) Fleet Service area featured in opening titles where we see a truck pulling into the service area to park up for the night
Absolute Genius with Dick & Dom (2013) Cherwell Valley Service area featured in episode 2 when the pair stopped here to try and find a signal for the rocket they had sent into space.
Eddie Stobart: Trucks & Trailers (2012) Series 4, Ep 5: Toddington Southbound featured when a convoy of 16 lorries, with a motorhome on board, heading for Spain stopped when one of the trailers had a leakage and spilt onto one of the units.
Lymm Lymm featured when Ashley Maddocks stopped for his tacho break and had a picture taken with a member of the public. He visited the Costa Coffee store here on his visit too.
Watchdog (2012) Ripley Northbound Starbucks & Shell featured in a story about the Starbucks Reward Card scheme.
EastEnders Newport Pagnell
South Mimms
Various. South Mimms featured again in August 2012 when Sharon tried to get on a coach to York but Dennis, her son, stopped her and they returned to Walford.
Keith Lemon's Lemonaid (2012) Woodall Small segment helping drivers to unwind.
Waterloo Road (2011) Birch In series 7 episode 13, Emily hitched a lift to Leeds. It was filmed in the westbound service area, despite Leeds being to the east.
Motorway Cops (BBC) Frankley (2011) A suspect used the service area to avoid being stopped on the motorway, attempting to dispose of drugs in the tunnel beneath the building. In another episode a driver of a dangerous motorbike is pulled over and ordered to be recovered from the service area.
Keele (2011) A motorist is found coming back from a car auction with a stolen BMW Z4.
Hilton Park (2010/2011) A motorist was pulled over at the service area. In another episode there was an accident outside the service area, and in a 2011 episode a stolen trailer was pulled over at the service ara.
Hilton Park
Stafford (North) (2009)
Feature looking at lorry raids at both service area.
Doxey (2009) This and Perry Barr feature throughout the series for their police depots.
The Road to Nowhere (2011) Thurrock
Feature on the couple who had their wedding reception at Thurrock, and on the construction at Cobham. Segments were also filmed at South Mimms.
Gary: Tank Commander (2011) Hamilton Stopped at the service area and had their tank stolen.
BBC Breakfast/News (2011) South Mimms Several features looking at the introduction of electric car charging points within the service area.
Tracy Beaker Returns (2010) Washington The children stopped there for a bite to eat and basically wrecked the place and caused a disaster
Police, Camera, Action! (2010) Thurrock Thurrock featured in Episode Four of the new series, presented by Gethin Jones, which was called "When Lorries Become Lethal" where Gethin went on patrol with the Central Motorway Police Group and watched them pulling lorries in at the service area. Things found in drivers cabs included a Machete!
Oz and Hugh Raise the Bar (2010) Hartshead Moor A small segment was filmed in the eastbound restaurant.
Newsnight (2010) Donington Park Regular feature looking at the political opinions of motorway drivers and the service station's staff. This was revisited in an analysis of the spending cuts and was later mocked in Channel 4's 'Alternative Election Night'.
Motorway Madness (2010) Strensham Fly-on-the-wall documentary looking at the goings-on in the service area over a bank holiday weekend.
QI (2010) London Gateway Talked about the guns on HMS Belfast being trained on the service area. The picture used to illustrate it was a modified photo of Woodall.
Big Chef Takes on Little Chef (2009)
Did Heston Change Little Chef? (2009)
Little Chef restaurants refurbished by Heston Blumenthal, later featured in various local news segments.
BBC News, Look East, Inside Out, GMTV, ITV News, Have I Got News For You (2009) Watford Gap Coverage of the service area's 50th anniversary.
The Apprentice South Mimms (2014) South Mimms was used as a start point for a coach tours challenge.
London Gateway (2009) London Gateway was used as the start and end point of a northern-based challenge. The amateur businesspeople thought 'London Gateway' was an upmarket hotel.
Gavin and Stacey (2008-2009) Cardiff Gate Used in the 2008 and 2009 Christmas episodes and in the trailers for each, having filmed in the car park, game arcade, restaurant and the access road. In 2009 it was described throughout as being Leigh Delamere.
GMTV Strensham (2009) Simon Turl attempted to justify the prices after a Which? survey.
South Mimms (1995) As part of the week long "Get Up and Give" charity roadshow, the car park of South Mimms was the location for an episode.
Just a Minute (2008?) Leigh Delamere Ross Noble was interviewed at the service area.
Secret Life of the Motorway (2007) Watford Gap, Keele, Leicester Forest East, Lancaster, Newport Pagnell, Medway, Norton Canes Episode two featured archive footage from various service areas.
Countryfile (2007) Nesscliffe Item on the decline of countryside petrol stations.
Torchwood (2006) Abercynon Series 1, Episode 9 ('Random Shoes'): The restaurant here is the meeting location for Eugene's eBay listing. It is shown as a "Happy Cook", with a logo and colour scheme almost identical to that of Happy Eater, despite never being one
The Money Programme (2006) Norton Canes, Tebay, Sandbach, Frankley, Charnock Richard Episode 'The Perils of the Motorway Pitstop' which took a look at the problems with motorway catering and reviewed several service areas.
Braniac: Science Abuse (2006) South Mimms Weekly segment in which 'Dr. Bunhead' used his science to attempt to hitch a lift to Lymm Truckstop and Cullompton.
Police Patrol UK Rownhams A dangerous lorry was pulled over at the service area.
Max and Paddy: Road to Nowhere Haydock, Birch Episode 6 featured Max's old friend pointing a gun at the Little Chef worker at Haydock to cook them some food at 1.15am. Birch is featured as being Scotch Corner in this episode where Max buys a pasty and Max's friend shoots Paddy on a bridge.
Phoenix Nights (2002) Bolton West Max and Paddy make a brief stop at Bolton West on their way to France in Series 2 Episode 2, 'Family Fun Day'
Gridlock: Bank Holiday Hell (2000) Hilton Park Fly-on-the-wall programme about motorway users included a segment filmed in the car park at Hilton Park. South Mimms and a Roadchef site, possibly Killington Lake, also made very brief appearances.
Motorway (2000) Hopwood Park A fly-on-the-wall documentary series set in the then-new service area. Broadcast on Central TV only.
That Peter Kay Thing (1998) Bolton West 'The Services' was the pilot sketch for Peter Kay's mockumentary series. This episode took a look in a typical day at a service station, including manager Hardman's quest to impress a celebrity. Kay reported that they were limited for possible filming locations as the major operators didn't want to be involved.
Motorway Life (1998) Lancaster A Granada TV series made several visits to the service area. In one episode, the manager is filmed complaining about a lack of custom - the context isn't clear but it's likely to be due to disruption on the motorway. In another, it is merely visible in the background while roadworks take place on the M6.
Motorway (1997) Knutsford Episode 2 of the Central TV series featured a long segment meeting customers at the service area.
Sooty and Co (1994) Charnock Richard Episode of the children's puppet series titled "Fun Park": Sooty and friends stop off at Charnock Richard while en route to Camelot theme park.
Crimewatch (1993) Pease Pottage Following a robbery there.
House of Cards (1990) Rownhams / Heston The final episode of the 1990 series had Roger O'Neill dying at the service area, which was referenced several times. The actual filming location was unclear but it's likely to have been Heston eastbound.
Central News Leicester Forest East (1990) An interview with the manager about Bank Holidays.
Trowell (1989) News coverage of the refurbishment, and the idea of service areas going upmarket.
Trowell (1988) Edwina Currie opens the Country Kitchen Restaurant.
Northampton (1983) A report on the roadworks, and the impact on the service area.
The Gap (1989) Watford Gap Two-part 30 minute documentary focused entirely on the service area, and looking at the people which use it.
Coronation Street (1988?) Anderton Gayle and Brian Tilsley had a reunion at the service area.
Minder (1984, 1988) Heston Van pulls off into a service area set half way to Scotland. Second appearance was a very brief use of the phone box.
Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1986) Trowell The group stop to eat and discuss who in the The Magnificent Seven they would be.
That's My Boy (1983) Woolley Edge A stop at Woolley Edge southbound while on the drive to Yorkshire. Shows the original entrance (pre-extension), and the restaurant.
Widows (1983) Heston Filmed in the eastbound Country Kitchen restaurant. External shots show the westbound service area under construction after the fire.
Wales at Six (1983) Pont Abraham Views of the brand new service area, and an interview with the manager.
Going To Work (1981) Gordano
BBC Schools programme showing the work of different Trusthouse Forte employees, including a look around the original TraveLodge motel.
ATV Today Frankley (1980) John Swallow spoke to drivers about possible delays on the M5 this summer.
Northampton (1979) News coverage of the damaged footbridge.
Hilton Park (1978) News coverage of the Prior Report, and a look at motorway catering.
Strensham (1977) News coverage of the Prior Report.
Trowell (1975) Bev Smith reports on the opening of The Friar Tuck-In pub, and interviews customers as well as the manager.
Hilton Park (1975) John Withington reports on damage to the service station caused by clashes between football fans.
Corley (1974) News coverage of the industrial action.
Corley (1972) Possibly a report of it being fully open.
Newport Pagnell (1969) Bev Smith reports on complaints about service stations.
Boys From The Black Stuff (1980) Birch eastbound Pilot episode, recorded in 1978, where a hitch-hiker is picked up while on a journey to Leeds. Films inside the café and toilets, and in the car park.
Radio On (1979) Heston
The Shoestring (1979) Leigh Delamere In "The Partnership", Eddie follows Jenny into the service area. Exterior shots and the petrol station are shown. Before entering they are seen driving past the signs for Heston.
BBC News (1977) Strensham Peter Prior visited the service area with his family, in the build up to the Prior Report taking place.
Midlands News (1966) Leicester Forest East A news report about the opening of the new service area.