Here are The Larkins as you’ve never seen them before.
The Darling Buds Of May was must-see telly in the 90s, led by Sir David Jason as Pop Larkin.
Viewers couldn’t get enough of the family comedy set in rural Kent in the 1950s – and the show catapulted Catherine Zeta-Jones to fame as gorgeous Mariette.
Now, a new set of stars will bring the Larkins to life for ITV’s reboot of the Sunday night show. And Bradley Walsh – who plays Pop – reckons the series will feel fresher than ever.
He said: “This is a big family values show. This is about caring for, worrying about and loving your nearest and dearest – which in these strange and worrying times has become more important than ever.
“I think the pandemic has brought a lot of people closer together and they’ve realised how much they miss people in their lives and to stop rushing around, stop chasing and spend more time with your family.” Bradley, 61, is confident the viewers will love the new-look show.
He says: “The appeal will not just be national, but international and universal. The American’s loved Downton Abbey and this is the sort of show they’ll love too.”
Stunning Bridgerton and Game Of Thrones star Sabrina Bartlett, 30, is the new Mariette – the gorgeous daughter of the Larkins who is set to fly the nest.
But the rewrite sees the character push even more boundaries.
Sabrina even ended up with a black eye during filming.
She said: “One of the joys… is that they’ve empowered Mariette, that she has all these physical aspects of the character, like the horse-riding, like the strawberry fields when she gets into a cat fight.
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“She’s not afraid to speak her mind and she’s a robust girl.
“I have a cat fight… the whole thing was a blur. I don’t really remember it, although I suddenly remembered feeling this pain in the top of my brow.
“I realised that by the evening I had a black eye, which was absolutely amazing. One of the things I’m most proud about in my acting career has been to achieve a black eye from a cat fight.
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“We had strawberries everywhere, hay, everybody was screaming. We didn’t even hear the director say cut because we were both so into it.”
Thick Of It star Joanna Scanlan, 59, will be Ma Larkin – originally played by Pam Ferris. She agrees screenwriter Simon Nye has given the original books by H.E. Bates a modern twist.
She said: “The stories are all recognisable. You could transplant them to pretty much anywhere in the world, any society in the world, because they are about the fundamentals.”
*You can watch The Larkins on ITV on Sunday night at 8pm.
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