Filming has started in one of Oxford's most iconic locations for what is thought to be the eagerly-anticipated new TV series of His Dark Materials.

Cardiff-based production company Bad Wolf announced earlier this year it was adapting the Philip Pullman’s three novels for an eight-part series for the BBC.

The series is expected to air in 2019 and Logan star Dafne Keen has been cast as Lyra Belacqua, with James McAvoy cast in the role of polar explorer Lord Asriel.

Security was tight today around Holywell Street where a long line of film trucks parked up, and there were restrictions in New College Lane, which was closed off to tourists.

However, the security staff could not prevent hundreds of tourists from having their photos taken in front of the Bridge of Sighs, one of Oxford's most popular landmarks.

Oxford Mail:

Rob Wickstead, 57, who was visiting Oxford with daughter Francesca, 22, said: "It's fascinating to see the film crews here in Oxford.

"I come from Liverpool where there are a lot of Grade I listed buildings and lots of film crews so I'm used to this.

"When you are visiting a city and you spot film crews it adds to the occasion."

Oxford Mail:

Ken Lane, 90, and his daughter Sylvia, were visiting from Poole, Dorset.

Mr Lane said: "We're here because of Morse - it's interesting to know that there are film crews here."

Oxford Mail:

It is 11 years since The Golden Compass, the movie version of Northern Lights, the first instalment of His Dark Materials, was shown in cinemas.

The film, starring Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel and Nicole Kidman as Marisa Coulter, did not completely win over the critics and it is hoped the TV adaptation will be better received by fans and critics.

Bad Wolf bosses earlier notified the county council that they will be filming in New College Lane from today until Wednesday.

They will also be filming scenes in Queens Lane from today until Wednesday and in Merton Street on Wednesday.

Traffic will be prevented from using the routes while filming takes place.

The county council notice says: “Other roads will have filming activities but not involving road closures.”

Oxford streets are frequently used as film sets for period and fantasy dramas.

Last year scenes for the Mamma Mia! sequel were shot in Holywell Street and Bad Wolf is also producing a screen version of Deborah Harkness’s novel A Discovery of Witches.

Top actor Matthew Goode, who also starred in Netflix series The Crown, appeared in scenes shot in Oxford including those on Folly Bridge.

Bad Wolf staff on set declined to comment.