Hollywood superstar Kate Winslet and screen legend Peter O'Toole have been rubbing shoulders with the likes of The Tweenies and The Hoobs at Elstree Studios over the past few weeks.

Filming for romantic thriller Enigma, based on the exploits of British code-breakers during the Second World War, was completed at Elstree Film and Television Studios (EFTS) last week.

The Henson Company, which was responsible for creating The Muppets and Sesame Street, recently moved into the Elstree Way studios to begin work on a new children's show, The Hoobs.

Considering that pre-production work on the latest film in the Star Wars series will also be undertaken at EFTS, the future is looking bright for the studios under its new management company.

Enigma, which stars Kate Winslet and Saffron Burrows and began shooting at EFTS in January, is being produced by Mick Jagger's Jagged Films and Broadway Films.

Production manager Peter Heslop said: 'The studios have looked after us very well, and whenever we needed extra help or space they have come to our assistance.'

He explained that he expected to return to EFTS later in the year to begin pre-production work on the new Star Wars film, before flying out to Tunisia to film on location.

A total of 250 episodes of The Hoobs are due to be made at the studios by The Jim Henson Company, which was previously based at ATV Studios, before it was transformed into the BBC Elstree Centre.

The character-based show is designed to appeal to pre-school viewers, and will be broadcast on Channel Four from next year.

[Posted on the Watford Observer website, July 13, 2000]