Christmas came early to Halton Gill this year as TV chef Jamie Oliver and a production team descended on the picturesque hamlet to film a series of festive adverts for Sainsbury’s.

A production company working for the supermarket giant spent up to a week filming six adverts depicting Christmas Day.

The crew decorated houses with thousands of fairy lights and spread fake snow over the village green to create the perfect festive scene.

Caterers took over the local village hall for several days to prepare food to appear in the advert and the kitchens and lounges in three houses were used as sets. Jamie Oliver was flown in by helicopter to film his scenes.

Steve Baker, chairman of Halton Gill Parish Meeting, said many of the villagers appeared as extras in the advert. He said he personally featured in a Christmas dinner scene, which was filmed at a neighbour’s house and included the celebrity chef carving a turkey.

“It was fascinating to watch,” said Mr Baker. “It wasn’t just a matter of someone coming with a camera to do a couple of takes. It was a real big job. They put thousands of lights everywhere. They put fake snow on a few houses and the village green. It looked stunning at night from a distance. Jamie Oliver was a nice chap too.

“He was really interested in the village and the area and was pleased to see local people involved in the filming.”

Mr Baker said a number of residents had opted to keep the fairy lights on their houses and the production team also left thousands of fairy lights for the village hall. The leftover food, which included a large quantity of prawn rings and two crates of parsnips, was divided up and taken home by residents.

In addition to employing extras from Halton Gill, the casting director also selected talented individuals from throughout the Craven area to feature in some scenes.

Alistair Maclennan, 40, who owns Bojangles café in Skipton, was selected to appear in the adverts along with staff member Helen Osadzenko, 21.

“The casting guy came in to lunch at Bojangles and asked Helen and me if we fancied doing some work as extras,” said Mr Maclennan. “We are in the Christmas dinner scene and we toast the champagne at the very end of the day. Out of more than 50 extras they picked us to do that.

“I think we did quite well. Apparently quite a lot of people went to the auditions.”

He added: “It was a fantastic experience and we are both really looking forward to seeing it on TV.”

The first of the six adverts is expected to be screened this month.

Halton Gill residents are no strangers to film crews. A production team spent four weeks in the hamlet earlier this year filming The Woman in Black – a Hammer horror production starring Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe.

Set designers created a police station in a barn and one of the houses in the hamlet was made to look like the outside of the police station - complete with iron railings.

Special effects will be used to make the landlocked location look like a coastal village in the film.