Nielsen plays a woman who loses a year’s worth of memories in Close To Me, currently screening on Channel 4. The show was predominantly set in Hastings and St Leonards, with further scenes shot along the coast at Birling Gap and The Belle Tout Lighthouse at Beachy Head. The seafront scenes in St Leonards were filmed in September last year, with large numbers of film trucks parked up in the car park near Azur.
SPOILER ALERT: Nielsen, who starred in Wonder Woman 1984, plays Jo Harding, a Danish translator and mother-of-two who suffers a brain trauma. As she struggles to remember everything that happened to her, she must contend with the fact that those around her are keeping secrets. Eccleston plays Jo’s husband Rob, who owns a struggling estate agent business in St Leonards.
In the first episode, Jo wakes in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs in their plush, detached house outside Hastings. She is discharged from hospital, and Rob drives her home. Along the way, they pass Hastings Pier, the nearby True Crime Museum, and Robertson Place. As she recovers at home, Jo has disturbing flashbacks. She struggles to piece her life together with the help of Rob, and starts to fear her family are keeping secrets from her. Later, Rob is filmed on Hastings Pier with Bottle Alley lit up in the background. He weeps as he hurls Jo’s mobile phone into the sea - presumably worried about what incriminating pictures might be found on it.
In the second episode, Jo visits a head injury support group in Claremont, Hastings. She walks up Gotham Alley, near Hastings Library, and fights off a knife-wielding mugger. At the group, she makes a connection with a fellow survivor. In episode three, Rob pleads with Jo to tell the police about her latest memory. The couple are filmed sitting on a bench on the East Hill, looking at the views across Hastings. Later, Jo is seen walking past a fishmonger stall set up on Grand Parade, St Leonards. She then walks across the road to Rob’s estate agent business Robert Harding, next to the Gurka Chef restaurant.
Other Hastings locations include Pelham Crescent, Bottle Alley, and a trendy bar set up in Cambridge Road.