Many devote years of their lives to being able to sit on its green leather benches but now aspiring politicians have the chance to take a short-cut to the House of Commons by snapping up a replica film set of the chamber on eBay.Set from The Iron Lady and Dizzee Rascal video for sale on eBay
It may not come with an MP’s £65,000 salary – topped up by vast expense allowances – but the set may at least offer the brief yet intoxicating illusion of being at the seat of power in Westminster, not to mention a whiff of showbiz sparkle.
While a genuine member of the House must spend time and effort canvassing door-to-door to enjoy its privileges, the price of the replica version seems a snip. This morning bids had reached just £62 – though this was below the reserve price.
The set may not carry the same historical resonance of the real Commons chamber but it has played host to no less a Hollywood star than Meryl Streep – who appeared in it in the Margaret Thatcher biopic, The Iron Lady.
The 5,000 sq ft replica was created in 1986 for the Granada TV series First Among Equals, based on the novel by then-MP Jeffrey Archer.
It was designed to be an exact replica of the real House of Commons, using similar materials and wood carvings to make it as authentic as possible.
Later, the set was bought by writer Paul Abbott, who wrote BBC drama State of Play, before being acquired by Wimbledon Studios in south west London, which is now selling it to clear space amid high demand for its facilities.
It is described by the vendors as “a virtually one-to-one scale replica of the House of Commons” which when packed up for storage fits in a 2,500 sq ft warehouse.
The sale is described as “a rare and genuine opportunity to purchase a genuine piece of British cinematic history”.
“Complete with all seats, it can also, with clever dressing, be made to look like the House of Lords, by replacing green benches with red ones.”
Courtroom and prison sets from The Bill, the long-running ITV police drama, are also on sale.
The prison set was also used in the film 360, starring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz, who all filmed scenes there in 2011. Dizzee Rascal, Rita Ora and Ed Sheeran have used the set for music videos.
Piers Read, managing director at the studios, said: “Selling the sets cements our new future as an exclusive hub for creativity in South West London.
“High demand and upcoming productions require more floor space currently being taken up storing the House of Commons, courtroom and prison sets.
“While it will be sad to see such iconic creations go, our clients need the extra space to deliver their productions on time, so we need to make changes to accommodate their needs.”
The auction ends on March 22 at 5pm. Buyers will need to be able to collect the bulky purchases themselves.