FILMING for a new BBC sitcom set in a rural Wiltshire newspaper was wrapped up in London on Sunday and the Wiltshire Times was given an exclusive sneak peak behind the scenes.

We were at the BBC's studios in Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, to watch scenes being filmed for the pilot episode of Great News, a comedy set in the fictional town of Stowebridge.

Viewers in west and north Wiltshire will be able to spot the references to local towns, with Devizes, Chippenham and Melksham all getting a mention in the pilot episode.

If the pilot is a success, viewers can expect to see a six-episode series in a prime-time slot on BBC1 next year. Written and directed by John Morton, the sitcom focuses on five hapless journalists at the Stowebridge Times, all hoping their small town lives are about to change.

As we arrived at Studio 8, which housed the sets for the newsroom, editor's office, kitchen, pub, police station and reception, a cast photo shoot was underway, with the pictures earmarked for the front page of a forthcoming edition of the Radio Times.

Film crews have already been on location in Trowbridge, filming exterior shots of buildings. Alder King in Fore Street doubled up as the newspaper's office, while Bishop Longbotham & Bagnall solicitors' in Rodney House, Roundstone Street was Stowebridge Police Station.

Rehearsals were held on Saturday and two sessions of filming took place in the studio on Sunday.

In Great News, Pirates of the Caribbean star Kevin McNally plays the editor of the Stowebridge Times, Alistair, while his two reporters Fi and Emma, are played by Perrier Award winner Laura Solon and Daisy Haggard (Green Wing and Saxondale).

The Times' hopeless sports reporter, Steve is played by Danny Mays (Tipping the Velvet and Vera Drake), while the relic of the office, sub-editor Brian, is played by Tim Preece (Peep Show and People Like Us).

The pilot focuses on Alistair's quest to inspire his news team, Fi's triumph at turning a mundane duty into a front page story and Steve's cumbersome attempts at winning the affections of fellow reporter Emma, as well as tackling an interview with Stowebridge Town FC's manager - all this following a "mental" weekend out on the razz in Chippenham.

Hot news in Stowebridge is the closure of the Pump Room - an arts centre due to make way for a supermarket, with a sleazy councillor at the centre of proceedings.

Meanwhile, the newspaper's reception, manned by Marion, plays host to a mixture of bizarre characters, including a man wanting to place an advert for a Calor gas heater and a mother whose son has been wrongly reported as playing the trombone for the Melksham Salvation Army.

Sadly the whole news team has forgotten the editor's birthday, despite the fact it's written in the office diary.

Cue a frantic kitchen conference to decide what to buy the aging editor, who's reached half a century.

Great News is the equivalent of easy listening music. It's fluffy, witty and engaging with some great one-liners.