We Can Work It Out: How Cadent averted drama and made ‘Yesterday’ film-makers’ troubles seem so far away

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Filming for recently-released hit movie Yesterday came up against an off-camera drama while on location in Liverpool – a leaking underground gas main.

But engineers from gas network Cadent were on hand to Help! and ensure the film crew could Get Back to making the comedy based on songs by The Beatles.

The gas experts had been called last year to what – on face value – appeared to be just a routine job about a small leak coming from a main under Church Road, Wavertree.

Nothing seemed to be particularly out of the ordinary; the team made everything safe that night and prepared to return the next day to carry out a permanent repair.

“The next morning, we arrived and there were cameras, lights, crew and cast everywhere,” said Cadent repair supervisor Colin Baker.

“They told us their timetable meant they couldn’t stop for anything, so we worked with them to keep our vehicles out of shot and get the job done safely, but quickly.

“It was brilliant team effort, including getting the reinstatement work done quickly too.”

The film, written by Richard Curtis, stars Himesh Patel as ‘Jack’, a struggling singer-songwriter who, after a freak bus accident and mysterious global blackout, wakes up to discover The Beatles never existed – but he somehow knows all the songs.

It is not known if any of the film’s stars – the movie includes a cameo appearance by Ed Sheeran – were at the scene, or even knew about the drama on set.

“I didn’t see him or the director, Danny Boyle, but the crew were incredibly relieved and grateful that we worked through and we were happy to help,” said Colin.

“We’re just wondering if we get any of the royalties!”

It was almost the first of two cameo roles for Colin and his team, as they also came close to appearing in an episode of BBC’s prime-time drama Victoria a week or two later.

He said: “We were due to do some planned work where the Victoria filming was happening, but the crew arrived and obviously didn’t want Cadent banners and vans around – Cadent was only formed in 2017, so we were not around at the time of her reign!”

Cadent is the guardian of more than 80,000 miles of gas mains, as the company which operates four of the UK’s eight gas networks. This includes the North West England network, where it is responsible for distributing gas safely to more than 2.7 million properties.


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

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