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Hardman actor Winstone in town to shoot Sky series on smugglers

SMUGGLERS took over Brittas Bay in Co Wicklow yesterday for the first day filming of a new Sky series.

Based on John Meade Falkner's novel, forthcoming Sky series Moonfleet tells the story of a thrill-seeking man, played by Aneurin Barnard, desperate to join a local group of smugglers led by Ray Winstone.

Brittas Bay was transformed into smugglers' paradise Moonfleet Bay yesterday with Winstone spotted on the strand shooting a period pistol.

Sophie Cookson, Dublin-born Lorcan Cranitch, Anthony Ofoegbu from The Bill, Martin Trenaman from The Inbetweeners and Ben Chaplin, of Mad Dogs fame, are among the other cast of the drama.

Wicklow, Howth and other parts of Dublin are playing different parts of the fictitious Dorset village of Moonfleet.

Locals in Brittas were greeted by the sight of 18th-century seafarers on the hunt for a lost diamond.

Topless men emerging from the ocean, women in corsets and gentry on horseback were just some of the sights in Brittas yesterday.

The epic adventure – commissioned by Sky 1 HD – will continue filming in Ireland for several weeks.

Star Winstone is best known for roles in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed, The Sweeney, Sexy Beast and BBC's Great Expectations.

The series, produced by Company Pictures, will consist of two 60-minute episodes.