EMMA Thompson was among the cast at Arley Hall when scenes were shot for a new BBC drama.

The Sense and Sensibility and Saving Mr Banks star was at the estate, near Appleton Thorn, during the filming of Russell T Davies’s Years and Years which is currently airing on BBC One.

It follows the lives of Manchester family, the Lyons, over 15 years in a Britain rocked by unstable political, economic and technological advances.

Emma Thompson plays MP Vivienne Rook, a new breed of politician who begins her rise to power in a quickly changing world.

Scenes were filmed for the BBC by Red Production Company in Arley’s front hall and on the grand staircase and the actor even signed and doodled in the guest book.

The estate is no stranger to film crews as Arley Hall doubled for Tommy Shelby’s manor home in Peaky Blinders and Disney’s The Evermoor Chronicles was shot there.

“We’ve welcomed a lot of big names to Arley in recent years, but Emma Thompson is one of the biggest,” said acting general manager Fiona Morear.

“We were a little starstruck and it is always a great experience to see someone of that calibre at work.

“For her to take the time to sign our visitors’ book and to add her own illustration of Nanny McPhee was a lovely touch to cap off a special experience for everyone.”

Creator Russell T Davies said: “I’ve wanted to write this for 20 years or so. And as the world accelerates like crazy around us, I realised I’d better get on with it! It’s a joy to be back home with Red, and an honour to be on BBC One.”

Nicola Shindler, founder and executive producer of Red Production Company, added: “What Russell does so expertly is navigate a potentially dark and fearful story into a compelling drama that is full of wit, warmth and hope, with family at the heart of the show.”

Years and Years is on BBC One on Tuesdays at 9pm