FAMILY FINANCE: Is your home a movie star? If you lack the star quality to make it in the movies, there's always a chance your home could do it instead, as Jane Hall reveals.
SO you wanna be in the movies, kid? But you can't be bothered to fly to Hollywood, spend years as a car valet or sleep with casting directors.
There is a way you can achieve your dream, however, and it could be closer to home than you think. Letting your house to a film or TV company can earn you up to pounds 700 a day -- with the added bonus of rubbing shoulders with some of the world's top acting stars.
Pippa Robins invited Robson Green into her beach side home after she was cold called by a production company three years ago.
And despite three days of upheaval as the star of such high profile dramas as Wire in the Blood and Trust worked on ITV's wife-swapping thriller, Take Me, Pippa is anxious to push her home into the limelight again.
``It was very exciting and Robson Green was one of the most charismatic people I have ever met. It was just such an honour having these people in my home and I would love to go through it all again. ''
Pippa had just arrived back home from a teaching trip to Thailand when she heard a knock at her door. Laughing as she recalls that night she says: ``I was very annoyed as I was watching East Enders and didn't want to miss it. But when I realised what the gentleman was saying I was over the moon. ''
Robson Green's company, Coastal Productions, had fallen in love with the 56-year-old music therapist's unusual wooden home which is just feet from the beach, and thanks to 14 huge windows has panoramic views over the North Sea to the east and the open fields and the Simonside and Cheviot hills to the west.
She is coy about how much she was paid for allowing 60 production staff plus Robson and fellow co-stars Keith Barron and Olga Sosnovska into her three bedroom home, but she says: ``It was enough for me to be able to buy a solid silver flute and a multi-fuel burner.
``Normally I don't think a person could expect to earn as much as I did, but I have a very unusual house that the film people were desperate to use. If I had said no it would have been difficult for them to find anything else. '' Pippa spent many happy hours watching filming around the home she bought and renovated 12 years ago.
``Everyone was marvellous and they couldn't have been more considerate to both myself and my neighbours. They cleaned up after they left and the pay was brilliant.
``I was told to go for what I could get. I had never thought of using my home as a film location but now I think it is a wonderful way to make extra money. It would not be for everyone, but for me it was perfect. ''
Pippa's details are now with Northern Film and Media which runs a database of homeowners from humble terraces to stately piles who are interested in making money in this way. Gayle Mason is the organisation's location services manager. It is her responsibility to match up production companies with the right location.
There are numerous television productions being made in the north this year, including a new ITV police show called Lawless for which filming is already underway in Newcastle.
The BBC's new cop drama, 55 Degrees North looks set for a return run along with Wire in the Blood.
Distant Shores, a Granada production starring Peter Davison and Samantha Bond as a London couple who quit the rat race for a new life in Northumberland, is still being filmed in and around Beadnell, Craster and Holy Island, while upcoming ITV drama Steel River Blues was made in Middlesbrough.
Gayle says Northern Film and Media is crying out for homeowners whose properties may show star quality.
``We currently have about 1, 500 places on our database. We can't guarantee a home will be used but there are more and more films and dramas being made in the north.
``People think it will be an easy way to make money, but allowing scores of people into your home can be disruptive. If you have to move out of your home for a week, it can cause lots of problems.
``How much you can earn depends very much on where your property is and what the project is -- a commercial, film or drama. But it can be up to pounds 700 a day. ''
Robson Green, star of Take Me, on the estate in which the series was filmed