Is Top Boy Based on a True Story? Also Know Top Boy Filming Locations

Is Top Boy Based on a True Story? ‘Top Boy’ is a famous British crime drama series about two London pals, Dushane (Ashley Walters) and Sully (Kano), who run a narcotics company together with the goal of becoming the wealthiest men in town. Despite the fact that their business is illegal, it is prospering and making them a lot of money. However, greed overcomes them, and they form a partnership with a don named Bobby Raikes in order to live a life of luxury. Things quickly became out of control when they become embroiled in a feud between the Raikes and Kamale Robert Lewis gangs, with dire repercussions.

The programme gives viewers a glance inside London’s hoods and takes them on a tour of what happens on these segregated streets. The cast members’ outstanding performances, combined with a realistic scenario, make one wonder if ‘Top Boy’ is based on a genuine storey or not. We’re here to put your fears to rest!

Is Top Boy Based on a True Story?

Is Top Boy Based on a True Story? ‘Top Boy’ isn’t based on a factual storey, to be sure. Ronan Bennett, the show’s creator, is also responsible for writing the screenplay, which, while not a true storey, is based on true occurrences. Summerhouse, a fictional estate set in the real-world Hackney Borough of London, serves as the setting for the crime series. It depicts, or at least attempts to depict, the brutal reality of life in this Inner London area, with a particular attention on the prevalence of gangs striving for power.


Bennett did extensive research into Hackney gangs while prepping for his stunning criminal thriller series. However, he had experienced and witnessed a real-life incident a few months prior that prompted him to create the series. Bennett detailed the experience in a 2011 essay for The Observer, writing, “I notice a boy hanging in the forecourt.” I’d say he’s around 12 years old. He is approached by a man in his – guessing – mid-20s, with whom he exchanges a few words. The boy disappears through an alleyway between a burger joint and a used furniture store.”

Is Top Boy Based on a True Story
Is Top Boy Based on a True Story

“I’ve decided to wait and see what happens,” he continued. The man takes a drag from his cigarette and scans the street. The youngster reappears. They shake hands on the street. The youngster spits on the ground and walks away. The man proceeds on his way after casually stooping to get whatever it is. I’m off to do some shopping.” Bennett spotted him again after a couple weeks of not seeing the kids and approached him. Even though Bennett established that he is not a cop, the boy refused to speak to him and requested him to go.

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“As long as there’s no surge in ancillary crime – breaking into cars, muggings, burglaries – we leave it alone,” the officer replied when Bennett departed and informed him. It would be a different scenario if a 12-year-old was selling narcotics outside a Tesco’s in Saffron Walden; there would be a massive police operation.” Bennett went on to interview other people in the area, and their stories are thought to have planted the seeds of inspiration in his head, leading to the development of ‘Top Boy.’ So Is Top Boy Based on a True Story?

‘Peaky Blinders’ is an excellent example of a show that exposes gang rivalry and the violence that goes with it. Despite the fact that it is set in 1900s England, it follows almost the same themes as ‘Top Boy’ and is based on the same real-life street gang. So, while the storey is entirely fictional and a product of Bennett’s creative mind, the series’ roots are firmly anchored in fact.

Top Boy Filming Locations

‘Top Boy’ is heavily filmed in England. The production team, on the other hand, travelled to Jamaica, Spain, and Morocco to film several scenes for the crime drama. The filmmakers travel to several sites for filming because to the creator’s desire to make the storey as genuine as possible. If you’re looking for information about specific areas, we’ve got you covered!


Kent, England

The production crew heads to Kent, England, to film many key scenes for the show. Kent is known as a county in South East England that is densely forested, with numerous peaks and valleys. The third season was filmed in Margate at Fulsam Rock Beach and Walpole Bay Hotel, as well as a few streets, notably Athelstan Road.

Ramsgate, specifically Jacob’s Ladder, Ramsgate Station, and directly outside the Rose of England pub on the High Street, was another location where a few shots were shot. Gordon Place in Gravesend serves as the fictional Summerhouse Estate in addition to these locales. A few sequences situated in Hackney were also filmed on East Crescent Street.

London Borough of Hackney, England

Given that the series is set in Hackney, it’s only reasonable that some, if not all, of the scenes are shot there as well. This borough is located in Inner London and is named after its main district. For a few sequences, the De Beauvoir estate is used to represent the Summerhouse Estate. At addition, the production team was seen filming scenes for the crime series in Haggerston, Dalston, and London Fields.


London Borough of Southwark, England

The actors and crew of the show also travel to the London Borough of Southwark, which is located in south London, for filming. The legal scenes in the fourth season were shot in Southwark’s Blackfriars Crown Court, which is just a short distance from Blackfriars Road. Heygate Estate, which doubled as the fictional Summerhouse Estate, was also used for a few episodes. It was dismantled in 2014 after serving as a big housing development in Walworth. Walworth Academy also served as the location for the series’ school scenes.

Is Top Boy Based on a True Story
Is Top Boy Based on a True Story

Isle of Dogs, England

After the Heygate Estate was demolished, the team needed to find a replacement location that could also serve as the Summerhouse Estate. After extensive searching, they decided on Samuda Estate in the Isle of Dogs as the perfect setting for the imaginary estate. Apart from outside shots, some interior scenes, such as the bedrooms of the protagonists, are also shot at local people’s homes.

London Borough of Waltham Forest, England

The London Borough of Waltham Forest, located in northeast London, is one of the several places in England where the series’ production team sets up shop. Several sequences are shot in Leytonstone’s Whipps Cross Hospital, notably the scene in which Dushane’s mother is admitted to the hospital when her health begins to deteriorate.


Other Locations in England

Aside from the aforementioned locales, ‘Top Boy’ was filmed in a number of other locations. Many shots of the club scenes were shot at The Valmont Club, a 1980s-themed nightclub on Fulham Road in Chelsea that is now defunct. The production team also travelled to Queensway to film a scene at Queensway Bowling Alley, which is now known as Queens Skate, Dine, and Bowl in Bayswater. Additionally, the London Borough of Newham and the Waterloo Estate in Romford were used as filming sites for several key moments in the series. In addition, the Hayes-based West London Film Studios served as a prominent filming location for various sequences.

Other Locations in the World

Dushane is seen hiding in Jamaica in the third season, working in his cousin’s vehicle rental shop, thus some crew members travelled to Jamaica to film these sequences. With the fourth season, the team goes even more worldwide, filming several sequences in Spain and Morocco and portraying the full scope of the drug trade in the series.

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