Scriptwriter Steve Thompson returned to his family’s Huddersfield roots for the much-awaited ITV drama series Jericho.

Dad-of-five Steve has penned what has been described as a “Yorkshire Western.” The eight-part series, filmed in and around Huddersfield, airs for the first time tonight.

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Steve’s mother was born in Huddersfield and lived in Holmfirth and Netherthong before moving to London.

But for Steve the year-long filming, on the former Rockingstone Quarry between Outlane and Scapegoat Hill, was like going home.

“Half of my family are from Yorkshire so it’s really nice to have been involved in something so bound up in the fabric of the place.

“It’s a big ensemble piece. We went to Yorkshire, found a space and built a whole town. That in itself was a fantastic achievement.”

The series is set in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1870s when workers moved into the area to build the Ribblehead Viaduct.

A whole shanty town grew up and the series centres on the characters living there.

The series features a well-known cast including Call The Midwife star Jessica Raine and Clarke Peters (The Wire, Notting Hill, Marley & Me).

Steve, who has also written for Doctor Who and Sherlock, said: “I have never seen a British Western before and that’s what makes it unique.

“This was a real place and people did go and settle in the Yorkshire Dales so it’s a true story.

“These shanty towns existed all along the Settle-Carlisle railway. I have been there and you can still see the outlines of the buildings.

“My mum was born in Huddersfield and lived in Holmfirth and Netherthong. For me there was a huge excitement around going home.”

JERICHO Pictured: CLARKE PETERS as Coates, JESSICA RAINE as Annie and HANS MATHESON as Johnny.

Steve said he was now looking forward to sitting down to watch the first episode with his family.

“The thing I am most excited about is that my wife and kids have never seen a single second of it. They are going to watch it tonight with me.

“My three eldest are teenagers and they will probably be blasé about it. I took them to Cardiff to watch Doctor Who being filmed and then when the doctor changed I asked if they wanted to go back and they said: ‘Oh, do we have to?’”

Apart from Rockingstone Quarry, viewers will be looking out for other local sights including Colne Valley Museum in Golcar and the moors above Meltham.

The first episode is on ITV at 9pm.

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