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City makes true television spectacle.

Some of Birmingham's most recognisable landmarks are set for more TV exposure following the filming of two new dramas in and around the city - and one enterprising businessman is enjoying the spectacle. Shafik Haji, owner of Eye Opticians on Islington Row, Edgbaston, was approached by Hustle's costume designer for the previous series to create a pair of glasses especially for actor Robert Vaughn and the producers were so impressed that they asked him to supply all the glasses and sunglasses for the latest series of the BBC drama.

"It was a great experience working with the actors from Hustle and we had a lot of fun putting together various looks," said Mr Haji. "The characters are professional con artists and are often seen in disguise so different pairs of glasses were essential."

As well as the latest series of Hustle, the Colmore Business District has also provided the backdrop to a new 1930s drama.

Dancing On The Edge, written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Poliakoff, follows a group of black jazz musicians as they find fame within London's upper class society. Filming has taken place in the ballroom in the former Grand Hotel on Colmore Row and the banqueting suite in the council house on Victoria Square.

The venues were used as the setting for the ballroom and the lobby of the hotel in which the band performs.

The six-part series, which is set to broadcast at the end of the year, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, The Shadow Line), Matthew Goode (Watchmen, A Single Man) and Jacqueline Bisset (Bullitt, The Deep).

The drama is being filmed in Birmingham and London over 16 weeks.

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Shafik Haji, left, of Eye Opticians, supplied glasses for Hustle, above
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Feb 16, 2012
Words:289
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