Largely due to its period buildings, rural heritage and picturesque location, the Acton Scott estate was chosen as the primary film location for BBC2's hugely popular ratings success story 'Victorian Farm' and 'Victorian Farm Christmas'. Other television programmes for which Acton Scott has provided production locations have since included Country File, Escape to the Country, Country Tracks, Making Britain Count and Ben Fogle's Escape in Time.
The Victorian Farm series was produced by Lion Television and saw a team of three historians, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman, recreate rural life as it might have been in 1885. The series was filmed through four seasons in 2007 and 2008 and first broadcast early the following year accompanied by a best selling book. With viewing figures of more than six million for each episode, the first series of Victorian Farm proved enormously popular.
To build on this success, BBC2 commissioned a three part series, Victorian Christmas, first on air in December 2009. This involved Ruth, Alex and Peter returning to the estate during 2009 to tackle an array of new farming tasks and discover how the Victorians created the celebration of Christmas as we know it today.
Explaining why he chose the Acton Scott estate, David Upshal, Executive Producer, said: ďIn an age when most landowners were busy obliterating all traces of the past to modernise their land and buildings, the Actonís lovingly preserved much of the history and heritage of theirs."
The production team behind Victorian Farm came back to Acton Scott in Autumn 2009 to film Ben Fogle's 'Escape in Time', which first went on air in July 2010. This new BBC2 daytime series of twenty episodes featured everyday families who took up the challenge of becoming Victorian Farmers on the Acton Scott estate. Many of the experts and craftsmen who featured on Victorian Farm also appeared in Escape in Time.
In 2010, Rupert, Louise and Florence Acton were invited by Lion TV to guest appear on 'Edwardian Farm', the follow up series to Victorian Farm. Produced on location in the west country, the episode in which the Actons appear as themselves depicted how the landed gentry of the period typically took their holidays. Edwardian Farm was first aired on BBC2 during the winter 2010-2011 programme schedule.