Battersea Power Station has become an iconic structure, being featured in or used as a shooting location for many films, television programmes, music videos and video games. One of the station’s earliest appearances was in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1936 film Sabotage, which shows the station before the construction of the B station.

Sabotage 1936
The interior of the A station’s control room was used for the “Find The Fish” segment of Monty Python’s 1983 film The Meaning of Life
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The Meaning of Life, 1983 Monty Python
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The Meaning of Life, 1983 Monty Python used the station for the ‘death by naked chase’ scene
Image: Alamy
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Help! 1965 Image: Alamy

The interior of the A station’s control room was used for the “Find The Fish” segment of Monty Python’s 1983 film The Meaning of Life. The station makes a brief appearance in The Beatles second film “Help! “ in 1965. It also appears during the first daylight attack on London sequence in the 1969 movie, Battle of Britain, in the movie as in real life used as a navigational landmark by the attacking Luftwaffe bombers. More recently in October 2007, the power station was used as a filming location for the Batman movie, The Dark Knight.

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Image: Allstar/Warner Bros

The station’s stripped, empty interior was used as a setting for a burnt out warehouse. A closeup of the station can be seen as stand-in for the exterior of a London railway station in Michael Radford’s 1984 film Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The station has appeared numerous times in the long-running British science fiction series Doctor Who. It appeared briefly in the story The Dalek Invasion of Earth in 1964, which saw the station in the 22nd century with two chimneys demolished, and a nearby nuclear reactor dome.

The Battersea Power Station Community Group think one of the main reasons for the power station’s worldwide recognition is that it appeared on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, on which it was photographed with the group’s inflatable pink pig floating above it. The photographs were taken in early December 1976 and the inflatable pig was made by the German company Ballon Fabrik and Australian artist Jeffrey Shaw.

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Superman III, 1983
The power station’s surrounding area featured in Superman III with Christopher Reeve
Image: Allstar/Warner Bros

The inflatable pig was tethered to one of the power station’s southern chimneys, but broke loose from its moorings and, to the astonishment of pilots in approaching planes, drifted into the flight path of Heathrow Airport. Police helicopters tracked its course, until it landed in Kent.Video footage of the photoshoot was used in the promotional video for the song “Pigs on the Wing”. The album was officially launched at an event at the power station.

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In recent years, the power station has been used for various sporting, cultural and political events.

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