FILMING crews descended on Bradford over the weekend to film scenes for an upcoming television programme.

The city's Crown Court and the adjoining car park were a hive of activity as actors and camera crews came and went yesterday.

The team is thought to have been filming for an upcoming BBC docu-drama called the Moorside Project.

The two part series is expected to be airing in the autumn and will tell the story of the disappearance of schoolgirl Shannon Matthews in Dewsbury Moor in 2008.

The series will show the story from the perspective of the members of the community involved in trying to help to find Matthews.

Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith, known for her roles in Cilla and Mrs Biggs, will be playing Julie, the leader of the Moorside residents and tenants' association, who was a prominent figure in the search for the nine-year-old.

She will be joined by Siobhan Finneran, who starred in Happy Valley, set in Calderdale, and Sian Brooke, who recently appeared alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

The filming in Bradford over the weekend is believed to be for court scenes to be used in the drama, which has been written by Neil McKay and created by the same team that created Appropriate Adult, a drama which looked at the story of serial killer Fred West.

Mr McKay said: "This drama takes us into the heart of a story and a community that was defined more by prejudice than genuine understanding.

"It has been a privilege to research and write, and to have the story brought to life by such an outstanding cast, led by the extraordinary Sheridan Smith, is a truly thrilling prospect."

Shannon Matthews was discovered 24 days after going missing in the flat of Michael Donovan, the uncle of Karen Matthews, Shannon's mother, boyfriend, as part of a kidnap plot to claim a reward for finding the schoolgirl.

Executive producer, Jeff Pope, said: "For a short period of time the nation's focus was on a small corner of West Yorkshire as a young girl went missing in suspicious circumstances.

"By the time Shannon Matthews had been found alive, we perhaps felt we knew all there was to know about the Moorside estate and the people who lived there, but what we discovered as we researched into this fascinating story is that those conclusions were drawn far too quickly."

Sheridan Smith said: "The story is a fascinating mixture of what I thought I knew and a whole lot more that I had no idea about.

"The themes of faith and trust in human nature, and the way the whole community came together really inspired me."

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, says: "This was an extraordinary story that rocked a community and thrust it under the media spotlight.

"We only ever saw it from one perspective and I hope this drama will capture what it was like to be at the centre of that community - how they responded and lived through it."