Adoptions: We will never stop trying for children

Apple TV's bittersweet show based in Camden tells story of attempts to adopt

Friday, 5th August — By Richard Osley


Esther Smith and Rafe Spall in Trying

VIEWERS know Trying is very much a comedy because its central characters can afford to rent a two-bedroomed flat in the heart of Camden Town despite not appearing to have £100,000 a year salaries – while their walks along the high street and canal are usually idyllic and rarely interrupted by a burping street drinker or a mobile phone thief on a moped.

And Apple TV’s bittersweet story, which began its third series last month, may have also slightly veered off from pinpoint reality on how the adoption system operates at the council.

Not maliciously, of course – the show after all has won plaudits for charting the rollercoaster highs and lows that come from a couple’s desperation to have children and their navigation through the adoption process.
Its fans rarely get through an episode without a lump in the throat.

In the first of the latest season, Jason and Nikki, played by Rafe Spall and Esther Smith, find that the brother of the girl they have taken into their care has also snuck into their flat in picture perfect Hartland Road.

It is considered too small for two children and an official – the location is clearly Camden – arrives to take the boy back again.

A show of support from the couple’s friends and family in the middle of the street, however, helps convince the official to apparently relax the rules and give them a 12 week period to prove they can all live well together.

The New Journal asked the council if this is what could happen in real life and if seemingly on-the-spot change of hearts ever occur.

It wasn’t a definitive ‘no’, but Camden’s children’s services chief Councillor Marcus Boyland said: “The characters in Trying would be well placed if there were a couple trying to adopt in Camden today.

“Our adoption team has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted thanks to their effective matching and the high level of care and support that they provide to children and their adoptive families throughout their journeys.”

He added: “Sibling relationships are especially important in the adoption process as they often provide a point of continuity, security, love, and mutual support in children’s lives and through into adulthood.

“We work hard to keep siblings together and to support prospective adopters to care for siblings, including providing support to secure more suitable housing if it is needed for their new family.”

The show’s writer Andy Wolton was himself adopted and has been credited with being able to produce an enlightening show on a subject which is a rarely a go-to topic for comics.

Cllr Boyland said: “In Camden we need more Londoners from all backgrounds who are willing to open their homes and their hearts to welcome in our vulnerable children and provide them with care, stability and consistency.

“I would strongly encourage anyone considering adoption to contact Adopt North London on 020 7527 4777 or to visit to”

That’s Camden! Where was hit comedy series shot?

RESIDENTS in Hartland Road have become used to seeing film crews in their street when a new series of Trying is being produced.

But all three seasons of the popular ‘Britcom’ are set up for a glut of location-spotting.

Anybody picking up the show late should look out for lots of shots of the brightly coloured homes in the street where they main couple live, but also their walks along the canal in Camden Town and through the market areas.

There was also filming in the Scala nightclub in King’s Cross and WAC Arts in Belsize Park, and on Hampstead Heath too.

While the couple Jason and Nikki clearly live in Camden, their crunch interviews with adoption services were shot at Ealing Town Hall.

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