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Columnists

Been there!

Sarah Dean

It was a family tradition growing up that anytime any where you had been to came on the TV, even somewhere you had just been near or gone past on the train, everyone had to shout as fast as possible in unison - BEEN THERE! Anneke Rice running around trying to find a clue in that stately home we went to on holiday? BEEN THERE! Any exterior shot on Hi-de-Hi, filmed at a holiday camp five miles from our house? BEEN THERE! (We hadn't actually been to the holiday camp, we just knew where it was locally.) Rioters on the news setting fire to cars in at the bottom of Auntie Susan's street in Toxteth ? BEEN THERE!

I still get a thrill spotting a 'Been there!' Recently, while watching Guardians of the Galaxy on DVD, my husband pointed out that the Millennium Bridge and Lloyds Building were doubling as a futuristic alien planet. 'That's by that branch of Pret we went to that time!' he exclaimed. 'BEEN THERE!' I shouted as we freeze-framed and rewound excitedly. When the hotel we went to on our honeymoon was in a recent episode of Dr Who, I had to go and have a lie down I was so excited.

When I visited the Holy Land a few years ago the tour guide got the driver to pull the bus over in a fairly low key residential neighbourhood on the outskirts of Jericho, where a large tree was growing by the side of the road. 'This is Zacchaeus' tree' the tour guide told us. 'Really?' we asked. 'Well it's an old tree in Jericho, so yes.' He twinkled. Turns out there is another tree claiming the same title kept behind glass in a Greek Orthodox monastery across the street, but you have to pay to get in, so we all piled out of the bus for this one. We all dutifully took pictures to show the junior church back home and had 'Zacchaeus was a very little man... for a Saviour he wanted to see, see, see!' stuck in our heads for the rest of the day. Now any time the Gospel reading is announced as Luke 19, I bite my lip and try not to shout 'BEEN THERE!'

Last summer my knitting group was politely asked by the pub where we meet if we could move our meeting elsewhere for a couple of weeks because Tom Hardy needed our table. The location scout for Legend, the latest retelling of the story of the Kray twins (starring Mr Hardy as both Ronnie and Reggie), must have been delighted when they chanced upon our local as it hasn't been redecorated since the 60s. Sadly the production team couldn't be persuaded that the Kray twins probably had a bunch of hipsters and middle-aged women knitting in the background when they planned their murderous sprees, so we duly decamped to another venue for a couple of weeks during filming.

When the film came out a few weeks ago, there was much discussion amongst my knitting comrades as to whether we should organise a trip to go to see it. We decided against it as while we want to support the pub, which is community run, we all felt uncomfortable about seeing such a violent film that potentially glamourises criminals.

The film company arranged a special screening for locals who helped with the filming including members of the pub's management committee. Their review confirmed our decision: 'It was really, really violent, but the pub looked lovely.' BEEN THERE!