International enthusiasm for the little village of Aidensfield spreads all round the world, from Australia to Zimbabwe. Nicholas Rhea told us about a weekend meeting of the Crime Writers Association:
We had a talk from a couple of forensic scientists. One of them told us about giving a course to a group of policemen from the small Pacific Island of Vanuatu (east of Australia). Apparently Heartbeat is essential viewing there, so he took them to Goathland; they were over the moon and bought a I've been to Heartbeat Country sticker to put into the solitary police car they have back on the island.
Here is a list of the countries where the Heartbeat TV show has been shown, or from which we have received correspondence:
Australia: Most recently we heard from Michael Dix, who told us "I am pleased to report that here, the TV station Channel 7 Two (the digital only channel) shows many good British TV series and every Monday / Wednesday / Saturday evening at 7.30pm different episodes of Heartbeat are shown (we watched a double length one last night, here, and had the one with Gary Barlow from 'Take That' as a rogue Michael Shannon!)."
Jef and Siny watch Heartbeat daily in Belgium: they say "We try very hard not to miss one episode, and if so, we are quite unhappy that day!"
"we love Heartbeat here but we are so far behind, keep getting repeats, ... we watch it on the Knowledge network on Sat nights in BC. Wonderful show, wish we had more of them, we also have The Royal which I watch."
Robert Oldham from Hamilton, Ontario, adds:
Just a one hour drive west of Toronto and north of Niagara Falls is the city of Hamilton on lovely Lake Ontario; home to parks and steel mills, two universities, a college, a teaching hospital AND a vibrant cultural scene. A reliable source tells me that watching Heartbeat on TVOntario (TVO) at 9 pm on Friday evenings is mandatory for any artist in the James Street gallery set near Christ's Church Cathedral and the militia (territorial) Armouries. It must be the retro 60s look, the great 60s hits and the fact that painting and painters sometimes are the focus of Heartbeat plots.
TVO has been showing Heartbeat for about ten years and we are behind UK by one year, I believe: District Nurse Carol Cassidy just made her first appearance as a character.
Südameasi is back for another series in Estonia - thanks to Ari Sirviö for pointing us to the tv listings page (where it was even, briefly, possible to watch the trailer!).
We regularly hear from Heartbeat fans in Finland, who may be interested to know that the book that started it all, Constable on the Hill has now been translated into Finnish as Aidensfieldin uusi konstaapelipublished by Pauna Media Group. The cover design makes much of the Heartbeat connection!
An update from Ove Enqvist in 2007 told us that Heartbeat was back on Finnish television, and that the series is being shown starting once more from episode 1!
Anne-Marie Erola tells us that the show is called Sydämen asialla, which means "Matters of the Heart" But it is broadcast in English, with subtitles.
Liisa and Heikki Hongisto wrote:
I believe it was in 1995-96 that we first made acquaintance with Aidensfield and all the characters there, and especially the sceneries. We are great Yorkshire fans, having spent some months there in our distant past (1949!), so naturally we watched every episode when the series was first shown in Finland (once a week in the evenings, not mornings like now). Unfortunately we never got to know how the story of Nick and Jo went on; for some reason the series was discontinued.
In the spring of 1996, on a 10-day visit to Halifax, Yorks. we made a few day excursions, and one of those tours was called Heartbeat Country and Whitby! We visited all the important sights and localities in Goathland / Aidensfield, and even had lunch in the famous pub. There we also heard that they were still making new episodes. Unfortunately nothing was going on just then, so we didn't see any of the characters.
It has taken all these years before we have seen Heartbeat here in Finland again - first they showed all the old episodes, and then went on from there. As we are two "OAPs" we can watch it in the morning, or later on the video.
The Royal suddenly appeared on our TV this year, too, and of course it is a "must" (once a week). We have seen glimpses of Greengrass, Ventress, Bellamy, Blaketon, and plenty of Yorkshire scenery.
Irish Republic: An Irish fan wrote to tell us that she has been watching Heartbeat since 1999. She adds that: "We're quite up to date with regards the series here and I hope it will run for a long time to come."
Netherlands: we understand that Heartbeat is now coming to Dutch TV!
Heartbeat is as popular in Norway as it is in the rest of Scandinavia: there was even a television show which marked "Ten Years of Heartbeat", in which Peter Walker took part!
One group of Norwegian Heartbeat fans first became interested in the show for one specific feature: the cars. Classic cars are often spotted in Aidensfield, as police cars and in other roles, and the Norwegian Anglia Club have since become firm fans. They invited Nicholas Rhea to lunch on their visit to Heartbeat country, and he ended up being interviewed by a Norwegian TV crew, for the regional motoring programme: follow the link to read the whole story, in Nicholas Rhea's own words.
South Africa: Tony and Jen Proudlock wrote to tell us that "Heartbeat has become our favourite programme on the DSTV network here in South Africa. Unfortunately it has given up its regular Thursday afternoon slot to the American Idol series. Hopefully, America's idol will be chosen shortly and Heartbeat will make a very welcome return."
In Sweden, Jury magazine carried an extensive article about Nicholas Rhea and Heartbeat, written by K Arne Blom, and titled "Yorkshire i fokus". The magazine also included a separate feature on fellow Northerner and crime writer Reginald Hill.
It is all in Swedish, but Arne assured Nicholas Rhea that he tried to be 'as honest as possible, meaning that I express how much I enjoy your books - and I also express that Sergeant Simpson's Sacrifice is one of the best police novels I have ever read.'
We are always interested in news of Heartbeat around the world, so if you watch the show somewhere about which we have no details, or even somewhere not mentioned here, why not