Where is The Teacher filmed? Filming locations of the Channel 5 show

It's set in Bradford, but you might be surprised by The Teacher's filming location

Samuel Bottomley (left) and Sheridan Smith (right) posing in character for a press shot of The Teacher
(Image credit: Channel 5)

The popular Channel 5 drama first aired in January 2022, but now the series has landed on Netflix, more people are asking where is The Teacher filmed?

Starring Sheridan Smith in the title role, The Teacher tells the story of English teacher Jenna Garvey, who is accused of have a sexual encounter with 15-year-old pupil Kyle (Samuel Bottomley). While Jenna tries to prove she didn't sleep with Kyle - despite having no memory of the night in question due to her habit of binge drinking - it becomes clear that someone from her past might be out to get her.

Full of twists and turns, the show has left many viewers wanting The Teacher ending explained (opens in new tab), and just like Netflix fans have also been asking where is Firefly Lane filmed (opens in new tab), the same is now being asked of The Teacher, after its arrival on the streaming platform. Meanwhile, fans of Sheridan Smith can watch new drama Rosie Malloy Gives Up Everything (opens in new tab) this December, which sees her take on the titular role.

Where is The Teacher filmed?

Though it's set in Bradford, Yorkshire, The Teacher was filmed in Hungary. During filming, the cast and crew spent six weeks weeks in the country's capital, Budapest, and CGI was used to make the city look more like Bradford.

Sheridan Smith, who plays main character Jenna Garvey, told WalesOnline (opens in new tab): "They found the most amazing locations to use, then they did a day of shooting rooftops in Bradford and suddenly it all links in and you don't think it's Budapest. They've done an amazing job - the magic of television!"

She also spoke about the nerves she felt before travelling abroad, after months spent in COVID lockdowns: "It had been two years since we had taken a plane anywhere. But once we got to Budapest all the anxiety went away, and it was a lovely job."

Samuel Bottomley, who plays student Kyle, revealed that the school pictured in The Teacher was actually a college in Budapest. He said: "They did really well at making it look like West Yorkshire - the flats and the school, you wouldn’t know you were in Hungary."

But not everyone was so convinced, with some viewers unhappy with the show's filming location. One Twitter user wrote, "Really enjoyed watching The Teacher on channel 5 BUT I am disappointed that most of the filming was done in Budapest. Yes there were occasional shots from Bradford, where it was meant to be set, but they looked like library videos, none with the actual cast in." Another said, "Just watched Sheridan Smith in The Teacher on Netflix. It’s set in Bradford, UNESCO City of Film - so why was it filmed in Budapest??" 

Why is The Teacher filmed in Hungary?

Executive producer Mike Benson has said the main reason The Teacher was shot in Hungary was because of cost.

He told WalesOnline: "We had to film in Budapest for funding reasons, and the team has done a fantastic job making it look like Bradford.

"It was challenging and at times felt like a pressure cooker given the COVID restrictions limited how much cast and crew could socialise and relax together. There were points when I didn't think we would get through it, but fortunately we had a really professional team and a really good COVID officer, and we managed it."

Hungary was in lockdown at the time of filming, and Sharon Rooney - who plays teacher Nina - explained: "The Covid protocols were much the same on set as in the UK, but most things were closed in Budapest and there was a curfew. You have to stay in your room and follow the rules, so I’m just glad I had my Nintendo Switch with me - Animal Crossing helped pass a lot of time!"

Sheridan Smith as Jenna Garvey in The Teacher

(Image credit: Channel 5)

The Teacher cast:

  • Sheridan Smith (Cilla, The Royle Family, No Return) - Jenna Garvey
  • Samuel Bottomley (Ackley Bridge, Somewhere Boy) - Kyle Hope
  • Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary, Finding Alice, Sherlock) - Nina
  • Cecilia Noble (Small Axe, The Lady in the Van, Black Mirror) - Pauline 
  • Kelvin Fletcher (Moving On, Death In Paradise, Emmerdale) - Jack
  • David Fleeshman (It’s a Sin, All Creatures Great and Small, National Treasure) - Jenna’s Father
  • Ian Puleston-Davies (Tin Star, Marcella, Pennyworth) - Arnold/Brian
  • Tillie Amartey (CBBC's Chloe) - Izzy
  • Sarah-Jane Potts (Casualty, Waterloo Road) - Kyle's Mum

Sheridan Smith told WalesOnline that taking on the role of Jenna was "exciting" as she loves to play "flawed and complex" characters - adding that the show makes for "incredibly uncomfortable viewing".

"I do want the audience to doubt Jenna and to feel unsure about where they stand," she said. "I think she is a bit naïve, she's on a mission to save working class kids because that’s where her mum comes from, and she really hates the fact that privileged kids can get further in life.

"She tries to be a mate to her students, which is her undoing in the end. There are teacher-student boundaries and she has maybe let that slip."

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Ellie Hutchings
Junior Features Writer

Ellie joined Goodto as a Junior Features Writer in 2022 after finishing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, she completed successful work experience placements with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue and the Nottingham Post, and freelanced as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. In 2021, Ellie graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Journalism.