Where is The Teacher filmed, who’s in the cast and how to watch Channel 5's disturbing psychological drama?

Fans might be wondering where is The Teacher filmed after heading back to school with this conversation-starting show…

Where is The Teacher filmed? Starring Sheridan Smith
(Image credit: Channel 5)

Where is The Teacher filmed? This is the question on many people's minds after watching the shocking series on Netflix.

Starring the consistently brilliant Sheridan Smith in the lead role of teacher Jenna, The Teacher explores complex themes in an engaging and thought-provoking way. The shocking thriller series has a disturbing question of guilt or innocence at its center. When accused of sleeping with a teenage pupil after a drunken night out, Jenna resolutely defends herself, though her own memories of the evening are shaky at best. 

The matter of who is telling the truth is highly emotional and is sure to keep viewers gripped until the end. But where is The Teacher filmed, who’s in the cast and how can you catch up on all you’ve missed so far? 

Where is The Teacher filmed? Channel 5 drama starring Sheridan Smith and Samuel Bottomley

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Where is The Teacher filmed? 

The setting and filming locations can so often make or break a show and the moment the new Channel 5 drama landed on Netflix, many fans have likely been wondering the ultimate question—where is The Teacher filmed? Thriller lovers were transported by the Shetland series 6 and The Bay filming locations will be used to seeing intense storylines enhanced with the dramatic backdrops. 

However, when it comes to The Teacher, the production team ended up looking much further afield than its West Yorkshire setting. The Teacher’s gripping plotline takes place at a Bradford school, but Wales Online (opens in new tab) reports that the show was actually filmed in Budapest in Hungary over a period of six weeks.

According to the publication, The Teacher creator and executive producer Mike Benson revealed that this was done for “funding reasons” and praised the production team's ability to create such a believable sense of Bradford in “challenging” conditions.

"We had to film in Budapest for funding reasons, and the team has done a fantastic job making it look like Bradford!” he explained. “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.”

Mike even revealed there were moments he thought The Teacher wouldn’t be finished after all, declaring, "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."

Aerial view from Citadella statue in Budapest at sunrise

(Image credit: Rick Neves via Getty)

His reflection on the difficulties and anxieties involved in filming The Teacher in Budapest during the pandemic were echoed by the Channel 5 drama’s lead star, Sheridan Smith. 

Heart (opens in new tab)reports that the Gavin & Stacey actor explained, “It was strange because it was in the height of the lockdown and they had very strict rules. I missed my son, Billy, like mad, but we FaceTimed every day. All of the actors said we found the flight quite nerve-racking, because it had been two years since we had taken a plane anywhere!”

Once they arrived in Hungary, Sheridan shared that shooting rooftop scenes in particular was a memorable moment for her citing the “magic of television” for making fans truly believe The Teacher was filmed in the UK. 

Rowhouses in the inner city of Budapest, Hungary

(Image credit: Peter Zelei Images via Getty)

“But once we all got to Budapest the anxiety went and it was a lovely job. 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,” she said. “They've done an amazing job—the magic of television!”

Whilst the stunning Hungarian capital couldn’t look more different from Bradford in real life, Budapest was impressively convincing as the West Yorkshire backdrop for The Teacher. And it seems whilst the matter of where The Teacher is filmed might be somewhat surprising, you don’t always have to be in the exact location to make on-screen magic!

Who is in The Teacher cast? 

Anyone who’s been left wondering where is The Teacher filmed after watching that haunting series premiere, might well have been intrigued by the star-filled cast. Perhaps the most prominent star in The Teacher is Sheridan Smith, known for everything from her role as Rudy in beloved sitcom Gavin & Stacey to originating the role of Elle Woods in the West End musical production of Legally Blonde.  

In The Teacher Sheridan takes on the role of English teacher Jenna Garvey who is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old pupil, Kyle Hope. 

The Teacher starring Sheridan Smith

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Though she asserts her innocence, Jenna soon begins to question herself after it emerges she was too drunk to remember what really happened that night. This poses the question of whether she’s guilty after all, making viewers’ relationship with their primary character a complex and conflicted one in light of the allegations.

This uncertainty amongst viewers is something Sheridan welcomes, with Hello! (opens in new tab) reporting that the star admitted, “I do want the audience to doubt Jenna and to feel unsure about where they stand. 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,” Sheridan added.

The Teacher Channel 5 cast

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Joining Sheridan in The Teacher cast is Samuel Bottomley who previously appeared in fellow school drama, Ackley Bridge, as Kyle. The teenager is part of the school's scholarship programme and informs his English teacher that she slept with him during a night out—a night Jenna apparently can’t remember at all. 

Fellow cast-members include Strictly Come Dancing winner and former Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher as Jack, Cecilia Noble as Pauline and Sharon Rooney as Nina, who are all colleagues of Jenna. Whilst former Coronation Street star Karen Henthorn appears in The Teacher as DI Sowerby, tasked with investigating after Kyle’s allegation.

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Is The Teacher the same as A Teacher?  

With similar names and equally challenging themes, it’s perhaps all too easy to question whether Channel 5’s The Teacher and FX and Hulu’s A Teacher are the same or in some way connected. Both shows explore boundaries being crossed, with A Teacher’s main character, English teacher Claire, entering into an illicit and inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old student. 

In contrast in The Teacher, Sheridan’s English teacher Jenna finds herself accused of having a relationship with a 15-year-old pupil and vehemently denies her guilt. 

Though The Teacher and A Teacher go along equally controversial lines, though A Teacher was based upon the film of the same name created by Hannah Fidell, who also created the TV show. In contrast, Channel 5’s The Teacher is an original show, though there’s a definite link in that they both portray fictional storylines that reflect events and relationships that have occurred in real life.

According to Radio Times (opens in new tab), The Teacher Director Dominic Leclerc reportedly revealed that he "did a lot of research across a whole range of real-life incidents" of a similar nature occurring at schools.

"But I'm also from a family of teachers," he added. "My mum was Head of English at a secondary school in Bradford where the series is set, my sister is a teacher and my best friend works at a college in Bradford, so I spoke to them a lot. They've experienced a whole range of complex issues with students, so it was good to get their perspective."

The Teacher starring Samuel Bottomley

(Image credit: Channel 5)

He confirmed that they wanted to create a “subtle” exploration of this incredibly serious subject matter and didn’t want to engage viewers with “salacious taboos”. 

"We wanted to be informed. The last thing we wanted was to grab viewers via salacious taboos. We wanted to approach the story through character, to make this a nuanced, subtle exploration of the subject matter. There’s complex terrain here that brings up issues about grooming, consent, power, accountability, and boundaries,” Dominic stated. 

Now you know where The Teacher is filmed and the brilliant cast bringing the drama's powerful themes to life on screen.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.