Cathy is cut adrift from her moorings

LWT abandons Yorkshire and looks to South for film location

Heathcliff's Cathy may soon find herself coming home to Somerset, Dorset or Devon.

Apparently, the rugged, bleak moors of Yorkshire - the setting for Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights - are an unsuitable location for the latest film of the epic novel.

LWT, due to begin filming in September, has turned its nose up at Yorkshire and is now scouring Exmoor for settings to make the television drama.

Sarah Eastel, director of Bath Filmworks, which is seeking southern locations on behalf of the company, said: "The moorland in Yorkshire is OK but there isn't a suitable house. LWT did try up there but they weren't having any luck so I told the location manager to get his bum down here and we'd sort them out. It's quite funny really and it happens all the time."

But Bronte fans are astonished by the decision to let Heathcliff roam around Exmoor rather than the moors above the Bronte's Parsonage home.

Mike Hill, director of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: "We find it hard to believe that they couldn't find a suitable place in Yorkshire. It has ruggedness, grandeur and is subtly different from anywhere else."

And the plan has angered the Yorkshire Tourism Board.

"We are the Hollywood capital of the UK and are very surprised," said David Andrews of the Yorkshire Tourist Board. Together with the Yorkshire Screen Commission, we could have found somewhere. There are lots of stately homes and beautiful countryside."

But LWT for Wuthering Heights was to look for "a 16th or 17th-century stone manor house set within 30 acres. The windows must be mullioned and overall the house should have a stern and moody feel. The moorland should be reasonably hilly."

Alexandra Lesley, chairwoman of the Heritage and Conservation Committee for the Bronte Society, said: "I suppose Exmoor might do but they should keep away from Dorset, otherwise the authenticity really would be lost. The Yorkshire moors have a strange and sombre presence whereas Exmoor is more gentle."

It is not the first time a film company using the area will have duped viewers. Barnstaple in Devon stood in for a Caribbean island in the film Water, starring Michael Caine and Billy Connolly.

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