How the stars of The Darling Buds of May bloomed: Ahead of a new remake, FEMAIL reveals the original casts’ varying fortunes – from glittering Hollywood careers to pumping petrol for £150 a week
The new stars of the ITV remake of The Darling Buds of May have been revealed, as Bradley Walsh and Bridgerton‘s Sabrina Bartlett transformed into their characters Pop and Mariette Larkin in a teaser for The Larkins.
The Durrell’s screenwriter Simon Nye will tell the story of the working class Larkin family, first brought to life in H.E. Bates’ 1950s novel, for a new generation of fans who missed out on the nineties classic, which gave Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones her acting breakthrough.
However for some loyal fanatics of the 90s show, no one could ever hold a candle to original cast, which included David Jason and Pam Ferris.
But where have the stars been since the series wrapped in 1993? They’ve certainly experienced ups and downs, with bumpy careers and, at times, even bumpier personal lives.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played the voluptuous Mariette, has gone on to become one of Hollywood’s most beloved actresses, marrying Michael Douglas and starring in blockbusters including Zoro, Chicago and The Terminal.
Some of the cast turned their back on acting but have been hugely successful in their own rights, with Abigail Rokison, who portrayed Primrose, becoming a Shakespeare scholar, and Philip Franks, who played Charley, a reputable director in the theatre world.
Meanwhile other hopeful stars including Ian Tucker, who played Montgomery, have faded into oblivion, with reports in 2008 suggesting he was working as a petrol pump attendant for £150 per week.
Here, FEMAIL looks at what the biggest cast members of the first season have gotten up to in the past three decades, and where they’ve been since the show came to an end.
For loyal fanatics of The Darling Buds of May, no one could ever hold a candle to original cast which included David Jason and Pam Ferris (pictured l-r Abigail Rokison, Ian Tucker, Christina Giles, Pam Ferris, Katherine Giles, David Jason, Philip Franks, Catherine Zeta-jones and Stephanie Ralph)
David Jason as Pop Larkin
Despite a string of TV hits under his belt, Sir David Jason, now 81, will forever be known as Pop Larkin, with his fabulous sideburns, swept back hair and rustic habit of chewing on a corn stalk.
Born in Edmonton, London, Sir David started out in 1964, playing the part of Bert Bradshaw in Crossroads, before going on to play spoof super-hero Captain Fantastic, among other roles, in the children’s comedy series Do Not Adjust Your Set, alongside Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Denise Coffey and Michael Palin.
His career very nearly didn’t take off when he missed out on the part of Lance Corporal Jines in Dad’s Army; after initially being cast by David Croft, he was swiftly replaced by Clive Dunn after BBC exec Bill Cotton overruled Croft.
Jason joked he was ‘cast at 12 o’clock and saved by three.’ Her also missed out on the starring role of Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em in 1973 because BBC honchos thought he lacked ‘star quality’.
He spent 18 months in the West End in 1973, in the farce No Sex Please, We’re British, and appeared as the support act for Dick Emery in a number of variety shows, where he caught the eye of Ronnie Barker.
Despite a string of TV hits under his belt, Sir David Jason, now 81, will forever be known as Pop Larkin, with his fabulous sideburns, swept back hair and rustic habit of chewing on a corn stalk
Sir David, pictured playing Granville alongside Ronnie Barker in the sitcom Open All Hours in 1973
Sir David was subsequently recruited to play Granville alongside Ronnie in the sitcom Open All Hours, and jailbird Bianco Webb in Porridge in 1973.
He reprised his role of shopkeeper Granville in the sequel, Still Open All Hours, in 2014, and appeared again in the third series in 2017. By November last year, the energetic octogenarian had wrapped up a sixth series.
Sir David also famously starred as Pop Larkin in The Darling Buds of May in 1991, the show that launched the career of Catherine Zeta Jones.
But arguably his biggest role came playing Detective Inspector Jack Frost in the crime drama A Touch of Frost from the 1992 until 2010.
In 1995, Sir David was left grief-stricken after his girlfriend of 18 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer (pictured together in 1993)
In 1993 he was awarded an OBE, and 12 years later, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2005, Sir David was knighted for services to acting and comedy. He released an autobiography in 2013 entitled David Jason: My Life, and followed it up with a second volume, Only Fools and Stories: From Del Boy to Granville, Pop Larkin to Frost in October 2017. His third autobiography, A Del Of A Life, was published in October last year.
Sir David has an impressive collection of silverware, having picked up four British Academy Television Awards, in 1988, 1991, 1997 and 2003, four British Comedy Awards (1990, 1992, 1997, 2001) and seven National Television Awards (two in 1996, 1997, two in 2001, 2002 and 2011).
In recent years, a plethora of documentaries including David Jason’s Great British Inventions and David Jason: Planes, Trains & Automobiles have kept the star on screen and a bank balance so healthy, it would turn his alter-ego Del Boy’s eyes green.
There’s been tragedy too, though. In 1995, Sir David was left grief-stricken after his girlfriend of 18 years, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, died of breast cancer.
He found happiness again with Gill Hinchcliffe, 61 and 20 years his junior, whom he married in 2005. Gill gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Sophie Mae, 20, in February 2001 when the actor was 61. The couple now live in Buckinghamshire.
After the death of Sir David’s long-term girlfriend, Welsh actress Myfanwy Talog, from breast cancer, the actor went on to find love with Gill Hinchcliffe, pictured left. The couple have a daughter, Sophie Mae, together
Despite his advancing years, Sir David’s national treasure status has ensured his earnings have stayed bouyant. His company, Peglington Productions Ltd, revealed the star had earned around £2.3million in 2018 and 2019.
In 2017, he made it to the BBC’s list of top earners, with an estimated salary from the broadcaster of between £300,000 and £349,999.
Sir David is a patron of the Shark Trust, a British charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks, and he’s also been Honorary Vice Patron of the Royal International Air Tattoo since 1999.
There have been recent blips in his gilded career. Earlier this year, Sir David found himself trending for the wrong reasons after a clip of him sharing an anecdote about the Queen calling a US Ambassador a ‘gorilla’ resurfaced.
In 2017, Sir David made it to the BBC’s list of top earners, with an estimated salary from the broadcaster of between £300,000 and £349,999.
While social media users were quick to jump on the comments and brand the 81-year-old a ‘racist’, others argued there were no racial undertones to the comments because the Queen had been referring to a white man and giggling about his gait.
It is largely understood she had been joking about the US Ambassador to the UK in 1969, Walter Annenberg.
And on The One Show in 2019, the veteran actor left some viewers outraged after admitting that he’s been guilty of making innuendos – often at female colleagues – on set. The star said he’d won an award shaped liked a ‘golden sausage’ because of the saucy jokes.
After criticism on social media, the actor’s fans leapt to his defence, blasting ‘woke’ viewers for being too easily offended.
Pam Ferris as Ma Larkin
Pam Ferris has been an actress for four decades, although she made her name in the early 1990s playing Ma Larkin in ITV’s The Darling Buds Of May
Pam Ferris has been an actress for four decades, although she made her name in the early 1990s playing Ma Larkin.
Pam was 14 when her father decided to take early retirement from the police force and move his family to New Zealand where her older married sister had emigrated with her family.
She began acting professionally in monthly rep in Auckland within months of her father’s death, then left New Zealand to return to England at 22, hugely driven and desperate to succeed.
And so began her fun, heady years on tour and nights spent drinking with ‘lots of lovely friends’. She didn’t think once about marriage until she was cast to play Roger Frost’s wife on stage at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
She went on to appear in Midsummer Murders (left) and played Laura Thyme in the whimsical detective drama Rosemary & Thyme alongside Felicity Kendal (right)
Among her most notable roles are as the horrid headmistress Miss Trunchbull in Matilda (pictured) and nasty Aunt Marge in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
From 2012 to 2016, Ferris played the part of Sister Evangelina in the series Call the Midwife (centre)
They married in 1986 and an astonishing body of work in television and film followed, but not children, which seems ironic when she made her mark in so many family films, notably as the horrid headmistress Miss Trunchbull in Matilda and nasty Aunt Marge in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban.
She went on to play Laura Thyme in the whimsical detective drama Rosemary & Thyme alongside Felicity Kendal and in a BBC adaptation of Dickens’ Little Dorrit.
From 2012 to 2016, Ferris played the part of Sister Evangelina in the series Call the Midwife.
She now lives in north London with her husband of 22 years, actor Roger Frost.
In an interview with Daily Mail in 2008, she confessed she had not remained in contact with the rest of the cast
In an interview with Daily Mail in 2008, she confessed she had not remained in contact with the rest of the cast, saying: ‘I do occasionally send messages to Catherine, because we have a six degrees of separation thing going on.
‘I’ve worked a couple of times with Danny DeVito, who is very good friends with her husband, Michael Douglas, so I send messages through him. I’ve never had a message back though.
‘Many years ago, I was invited to the première of one of her films – I think it was Zorro – but my car got stuck in terrible traffic. It was a royal première and you’re not allowed to be late, so I had to miss it. I’ve effectively been sending apology messages for nearly 15 years.’
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Mariette
Having broken through on the West End stage at the age of 17, Catherine was catapulted to stardom with her first TV role as the voluptuous Mariette Larkin in The Darling Buds Of May, the most popular show in the country at the time.
Catherine was barely 20 at the time, and totally unprepared for the limelight.
She told Daily Mail earlier this year: ‘Within an hour of TV my whole life changed.’
‘Of all the things I did to prepare for my career, no one ever told me about this fame thing. I was a girl, not even a woman, and quite sheltered in a way. Drama schools should teach young actors that this can happen.’
Having broken through on the West End stage at the age of 17, Catherine was catapulted to stardom with her first TV role as the voluptuous Mariette Larkin in The Darling Buds Of May, the most popular show in the country at the time
Catherine established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal, such as in the action film The Mask of Zorro and the heist film Entrapment
Along with the fame came the rumours about her love life. Some of the men she was associated with really were boyfriends – she dated TV presenter John Leslie for 18 months and was briefly engaged to actor Angus Macfadyen – but others were flat-out invented.
And so she made the decision to move to America. Her career took off and thanks to Danny DeVito, who introduced her to Michael at the Deauville Film Festival in 1998, her romantic fortunes took a turn for the better too.
Just shortly after Michael famously told Catherine: ‘I want to father your children.’
According to the Hollywood legend, smitten Michael orchestrated the meet and arranged to sit by the Chicago star who was at the festival promoting Mask of Zorro, and his shock line seemed to work as they married two years later.
Three months before the wedding, the actor’s welcomed their first child, Dylan, into the world. Carys was born in 2003.
According to the Hollywood legend, smitten Michael orchestrated the meet and arranged to sit by the Chicago star who was at the festival promoting Mask of Zorro, and they married two years later
She went on to appear in blockbuster films including Chicago (left) and The Terminal (right), later returning to the stage
Catherine is now a fully-established A-lister, and is often seen walking red carpets at award shows across the world (in September at the Emmys)
Meanwhile Catherine’s career was also taking off, and she established herself in Hollywood with roles that highlighted her sex appeal, such as in the action film The Mask of Zorro and the heist film Entrapment.
She went on to appear in blockbuster films including Chicago and The Terminal, later returning to the stage and playing an ageing actress in A Little Night Music, for which she won a Tony award.
She and her husband Michael famously took a break from their marriage ten years ago after Michael was diagnosed with advanced tongue cancer in 2010 and underwent a rigorous chemotherapy programme that left him 3st lighter.
The stress took its toll on Catherine and in 2011 she admitted herself to hospital with bipolar disorder. In 2013 it was announced the couple had embarked on a trial separation.
Happy fam: She has been wed to Michael Douglas, 74, since 2000. Together they have son Dylan, 18, and daughter Carys, 16. Seen in 2015
But they were back together within a year, and earlier this year she said they’re getting along just fine now.
Now, Catherine does little acting and instead focuses on her homeware range, Casa Zeta-Jones, which was launched in 2017.
At the time the Zorro actress told People magazine, ‘Nobody knows my world in there. ‘It’s time for me to open up the door in a way and get it out there.’
She started with bedding, décor, bath accessories and throw blankets but has since gone on to expand into makeup and even coffee.
Phillip Franks as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton
Phillip Franks, now 65, is best known for his role as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ husband in Darling Buds of May
Phillip Franks, now 65, first fell in love with theatre at age six, when his parents took him along to see a production of The Tempest.
The following year, his parents were going to a production of Macbeth, and Franks insisted on going with them; at age seven, he was hooked for life.
He is best known for his role as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton, Catherine Zeta-Jones’ husband in Darling Buds of May, but was also a main cast member in another hit series of the period.
He starred as Sgt. Raymond Craddock in 1960s Yorkshire police drama, Heartbeat.
However he is now part of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is an experienced theatre director, and has even directed David Jason in A Cold Supper Behind Harrods (pictured)
Upon hearing about the news of the reboot, Philip said it was ‘sad’, adding that the original had been ‘a little golden thing’
Meanwhile he also guest-starred in a number of well-known television shows, including Absolutely Fabulous, Midsomer Murders, Bleak House, and Foyle’s War.
He also appeared as a regular in Dictionary Corner with Susie Dent on Channel 4’s Countdown.
He is now part of the Royal Shakespeare Company and is an experienced theatre director, and has even directed David Jason in A Cold Supper Behind Harrods.
Upon hearing about the news of the reboot, Philip said it was ‘sad’, adding that the original had been ‘a little golden thing.’
He told The Sun: ‘To have kind of Version Two spreads that a little thinner.
‘You think, ‘Was that really necessary?’ But maybe a new generation will experience it differently. I hope they don’t turbo-charge it. I hope it retains its gentleness.’
Abigail Rokison as Primrose
Abigail Rokison was just 15 when she landed the role of Primrose Larkin for the second and third series
Abigail Rokison was just 15 when she landed the role of Primrose Larkin for the second and third series.
Speaking to The People in 2008, she recalled: ‘I had to seduce the vicar – it was my first kiss both on screen and in real life.
‘I nearly died of embarrassment. Imagine how hard it is having your first snog anyway – but in front of 20 million people!
‘By the age of 17, I couldn’t believe I was _ a nationwide sex symbol. I’m really quiet and shy.’
She went on to study drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic art, but instead of acting pursued academia.
She gained an undergraduate degree in Humanities with Literature from the the Open University in 2001, before earning a 2002 Master’s degree in Shakespearean studies from the joint programme between King’s College London and the Globe Theatre.
Abigail went on to study drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic art, but instead of acting pursued academia
From there she earned a PhD from Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 2007, in which she focused on a ‘new synthesis of academic and theatrical approaches to the Shakespearean text’.
She then began teaching at Cambridge University, acting as Director of Studies in English and Drama at Homerton College.
Her dissertation went on to receive the inaugural Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award in 2012, awarded to works which have made an ‘important contribution to the understanding of Shakespeare’s theatre, or his contemporaries’.
In 2013 she published her second book ‘Shakespeare for Young People’.
Abigail married actor Andrew Woodall, whose most famous role perhaps comes in Solo: A Star Wars Story, in 2015. The couple have one son, Sebastian.
Ian Tucker as Montgomery
Born in Northrop, Wales, Ian had his breakout role as Montgomery in The Darling Buds of May when he was 20
In 2006, it was reported Ian, who was born with cystic fibrosis, was forced to give up acting because of the progressive condition (pictured in 2019)
Born in Northrop, Wales, Ian made his screen debut in Home to Roost and Tucker was one of the original three actors to play Gavroche in the London production of Les Misérables in 1985.
He had his breakout role as Montgomery in The Darling Buds of May when he was 20.
He went on to land a series of roles in British soaps including The Bill and appeared on screens in Touch of Evil and Pie In The Sky but by 1997, the roles dried up.
And according to The People, he was even forced to work as a petrol pump attendant for £150 a week.
In 2006, it was reported Ian, who was born with cystic fibrosis, was forced to give up acting because of the progressive condition. He had also developed diabetes.
He is a singer in a rock band, and in 2019 appeared in videos for the Cystic Fibrosis Virtual Choir.
WHAT IS CYSTIC FIBROSIS?
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene that a child inherits from both carrier parents.
The gene, known as the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), is responsible for controlling the movement of water in and out of cells.
The fault leads to the mucus produced throughout the body becoming thick and building up in the lungs and digestive system.
Classic complications of the condition, which tend to present in infancy, include chronic infections, breathlessness, digestive problems and even infertility.
There are approximately 30,000 cases of CF in the US and nearly 11,000 people in the UK are known to suffer.
No cure currently exists and figures suggest half of sufferers will die before they’re 31.
Source: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Christina and Katherine Giles as Petunia and Zinia
Christina and her sister Katherine, now 40, from Kent, were just ten when they became the best-known twins in Britain.
Their nurse mother Eileen answered an ad in their local paper looking for ‘dark-haired Kentish twins’, with the pair revealing in an interview last year how they ‘screamed’ when they discovered they had landed the part.
She told The Mirror: ‘We were having dinner when Mum took a call saying they wanted us.
‘When she put the phone down and said ‘Guess who’s going to be your dad? Del Boy!’, we all screamed with excitement and fell on the floor.’
Christina and her sister Katherine, now 40, from Kent, were just ten when they became the best-known twins in Britain, Petunia and Zinia
The sisters look back on their time in the series with fond memories – and even threw themselves a 40th birthday party based around the programme earlier this year (left, Katherine and right, Chrissie)
The twins were initially nervous on set but quickly relaxed, following instructions to have fun and eat ice cream.
Despite the success of the show, the pair earned wages that were little more than ‘the going rate for pocket money.’
Tragically, their father Edward died in 1994, within four weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
And neither went on to pursue acting as a full-time career.
Chrissie went on to study biochemistry at Leeds University, while Katherine gained a degree in pharmacology and medicine.
Katherine, who lives in London with husband James, 36, and kids Edith, four, and Margot, ten months, is now a doctor specialising in medical law (left) Meanwhile Chrissie lives in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband Matt, 40, covering health for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (pictured)
Katherine, who lives in London with husband James, 36, and kids Edith, four, and Margot, ten months, is now a doctor specialising in medical law.
Meanwhile Chrissie lives in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband Matt, 40, covering health for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The sisters look back on their time in the series with fond memories – and even threw themselves a 40th birthday party based around the programme earlier this year.
Stephanie Ralph as Victoria
Stephanie Ralph was among the youngest stars of the show when she was cast as Victoria at the age of eight.
She was in all three series, but returned to school afterwards, sitting her GCSEs and gaining a degree in Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
In 2006, she spoke of her ambition to be an art therapist working with special-needs children, although little is known about whether she furfilled that dream.
She told The People: ‘In the end I decided acting wasn’t for me. It’s hard to explain why. I just didn’t fancy it.
‘But now when I seen them all on TV I tell my mates, ‘I’ve worked with them’. They just tell me to shut up and make a cup of tea!’
AND IT WASN’T ALL JUST ABOUT THE LARKINS….
Moray Watson as The Brigadier
Moray Watson, well known for playing the Brigadier in the much-loved ITV drama during the 1990s, enjoyed a long career on the small screen.
Born in Sunningdale, Berkshire, Watson pursued his acting career after attending Eton and completing his national service in the Army’s Northamptonshire regiment.
He reached the rank of captain during his two years service – an officer’s experience that he would later draw on for his most renowned role in the Darling Buds of May almost 40 years later.
After studying at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Watson appeared in a number of stage productions including The Grass is Greener at St Martin’s Theatre in 1958.
Pictured: Watson in ITV Playhouse drama Camille 68′, playing the role of Lord Simon Bowes
He would later retain the role of Trevor Sellers, a novel-writing butler, when the play was adapted for the silver screen in 1960 – appearing alongside Hollywood stars Carey Grant, Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr.
Watson starred in an array of films where he played military roles, but achieved fame for appearing in popular TV shows such as The Quatermass Experiment in 1950s and the soap opera Compact, from 1962-65.
He also played Mr Bennet in a 1980 version of Pride and Prejudice and made guest appearances in Doctor Who two years later.
The 1980s was a successful period for Watson, during which he starred in police drama The Professionals and Miss Marple The Body in the Library.
Pictured: Watson alongside Zeta-Jones and and co-star Philip Franks in the ITV drama Darling Buds of May
Pictured: Moray Watson alongside co-stars David Jason and Pam Ferris in the Darling Buds of May
As well as starring alongside Zeta-Jones in Darling Buds, where she played her break-through role as Mariette Larkin, he appeared in popular shows including Miss Marple and Midsomer Murders.
While he was an established TV actor, Watson also enjoyed cinema roles – starring opposite Carey Grant in The Grass Is Greener.
After 11 episodes of the Darling Buds of May from 1991, the actor appeared in sitcom the Vicar of Dibley and courtroom drama Kavanagh QC, before returning to the stage in 1999.
The father of two died at the age of 88 in 2017 and was survived by his daughter Emma and son, Robin. His wife, actress Pamela Marmont, died in 1999.
Rachel Bell as Edith Pilchester
Rachel appeared as Edith Pilchester in The Darling Buds of May from 1991 to 1993 (left), and has gone on to act throughout her life, recently starring in Doctors (right)
Rachel was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and went on to star in several of Britain’s biggest TV series throughout her career.
She appeared as Margaret Holmes in Grange Hill between 1997–2002; Edith Pilchester in The Darling Buds of May from 1991 to 1993; and Louise, the overbearing chair of the divorcee support group in Dear John from 1986 to 1987.
Meanwhile she also starred in the Only Fools and Horses episode ‘To Hull and Back’ and the Doctor Who story The Happiness Patrol.
In 2008 she appeared in the Keira Knightley film, The Edge Of Love.
She continued acting throughout her life, and in 2017, she began portraying the recurring role of Eve Haskey in the BBC soap opera Doctors.
Kika Mirylees as Angela Snow
After appearing in The Darling Buds of May as Angela Snow, Kika Mirlyees made a host of appearances in popular British soaps at the time
After appearing in The Darling Buds of May as Angela Snow, Kika Mirlyees made a host of appearances in popular British soaps at the time.
She went from playing Flora McInnes in Strathblair to Doc Newton in Red Dwarf, as well as starring in Jonathan Creek, Taggart, The Bill, and Casualty.
She is also known for her role as Julie Johnston in Bad Girls. She played the role from the first episode, in 1999, to the final episode, in December 2006.
She is now in a beatnik band called ‘Danny and the Nogoodnicks’ and runs Equine assisted Therapy sessions for the charity Sporting Chance with professional sportsmen who have addictions using her horses.
She is also trained as a Bowen therapist and masseuse.
Angela is perhaps best known for her role as Julie Johnston in Bad Girls. She played the role from the first episode, in 1999, to the final episode, in December 2006 (pictured right, in 2007)
Introducing The Larkins: Bradley Walsh transforms into affable patriarch Pop Larkin as he joins his family in new teaser for The Darling Buds Of May remake… as start date is confirmed
Bradley Walsh, 60, appeared in a teaser clip for the The Darling Buds of May remake yesterday where he sported a waistcoat and sideburns and introduced the rest of his family.
He said: ‘Hello everyone, Pop Larkin here. Larkin by name, Larkin by nature, father, entrepreneur and bon viveur. Too fancy? Well, none the less, meet the rest of my family…
Introducing the Larkins: (L-R) Montgomery Larkin (Liam Middleton), Petunia Larkin (Rosie Coleman),Victoria Larkin (Lola Shepelev), Zinnia Larkin (Davina Coleman), Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett), Primrose Larkin (Lydia Page), Charley (Tok Stephen), Pop Larkin (Bradley Walsh) and Ma Larkin (Joanna Scanlan)
Way back when: The original cast are pictured in 1991
Joanna Scanlan who plays Pop’s wife Ma Larkin then appears on the screen to say: ‘I’m Ma Larkin, loving mother and provider, I couldn’t be prouder of my family, and you’ll often find me plucking a goose.
Wearing a ribbon in her hair and striped shirt, Sabrina – who plays their strong-willed daughter Mariette – then introduces herself, saying: ‘I’m Mariette Larkin and I love my family.
‘But I’ve got itchy feet, and just to be clear I don’t just sit around and look pretty.’
The family’s other children, twins Zinnia and Petunia, Montgomery, Victoria and Primrose all then feature in the new clip to give a glimpse of their characters.
Exciting: Bradley Walsh (pictured) and Bridgerton’s Sabrina Bartlett feature in a new look at The Larkins – a reimagining of TV classic The Darling Buds Of May – released by ITV on Thursday
Beauty: Wearing a ribbon in her hair and striped shirt, Sabrina – who plays their strong-willed daughter Mariette – introduces herself, saying: ‘I’m Mariette Larkin and I love my family’
Yay! The Darling Buds of May remake, titled The Larkins, was confirmed last December and ITV have now announced it will premiere Sunday 10th October at 8pm
The Darling Buds of May remake, titled The Larkins, was confirmed last December and ITV have now announced it will premiere Sunday October 10 at 8pm.
The Durrell’s screenwriter Simon Nye will tell the story of the working class Larkin family, first brought to life in H.E. Bates’ 1950s novel, for a new generation of fans who missed out on the nineties classic, which gave Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones her acting breakthrough.
Bridgerton actress Sabrina reprises the Oscar-winning Welsh actress’s role of Mariette, Bradley’s on-screen daughter Mariette, while The Thick of It’s Joanna Scanlan will play the Larkin matriarch wife, Ma.
Grantchester’s Tok Stephen has been cast as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton, and Bradley’s son Barney has also landed a role as a village policeman.
In control: Joanna Scanlan who plays Pop’s wife Ma Larkin then appears on the screen to say: ‘I’m Ma Larkin, loving mother and provider, I couldn’t be prouder of my family, and you’ll often find me plucking a goose
Plot: The Durrell’s screenwriter Simon Nye will tell the story of the working class Larkin family, first brought to life in H.E. Bates’ 1950s novel
Speaking with MailOnline at a press event on Tuesday ahead of the series, Bradley expressed his excitement over his upcoming role.
He said: ‘When I was asked I said yes immediately. I only watched one episode back in the day but I was still so excited.
‘It was a long time coming with filming being pushed back. The whole show is based around family and after this year that is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
‘I hope the viewers really take it to their hearts. I am a family man so it was a joy to film.’
Introduction: Bradley says in the teaser clip: ‘Hello everyone, Pop Larkin here. Larkin by name, Larkin by nature, father, entrepreneur and bon viveur. Too fancy? Well, none the less, meet the rest of my family…’
Elsewhere during the chat Sabrina chatted about her role and the pressures of taking over from Catherine Zeta Jones.
She said: ‘This is very much my own interpretation of Mariette, a modern one. I had never seen the old show when I auditioned and I’m glad. It was useful to have not seen it as I could make it my own and not get too caught up in what she did.’
Speaking about how fun filming was she added: ‘I had a family of eight over night!’
Sabrina also compared the filming process to Bridgerton – where she played opera singer Siena Rosso – saying it was nice to not have to wear a corset on set.
The beauty explained: ‘Bridgerton was such a fixed world. This was so fun to be able to get messy, ride horses and wear wellies everyday. It was a complete joy.
New role: The Chase host, 60, has been seen shooting scenes in Faversham, Kent, this summer dressed in period-drama clothing and sporting fluffy sideburns, reminiscent of the kind-hearted wheeler-dealer played by David Jason in the Nineties
New roles: Charley (Tok Stephen) and Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett) will help introduce the show to a new generation of fans
‘Mariette is like a modern day cowboy! She is so empowered and knows her own mind that was so important to me when I was reading the script.’
The main focus is the love story between Mariette and village newcomer Charley who arrives in their village to investigate the family’s tax affairs, but is quickly distracted by his feelings for Mariette.
The original series, which ran between 1991-1993, was shot predominantly in Pluckley, Kent, but the remake has so far been shot in London, Surrey, as well as Monday’s scenes in Faversham.
Speaking about taking on the role of Pop Larkin earlier this year, Bradley said: ‘I’m thrilled to be asked to be part of this much loved and iconic series of stories.
‘The warmth and affection that H. E Bates has generated through his books is so uplifting and I cannot wait to be part of the Larkin family. It’ll be a hoot.’
Lookalike: Sabrina (left) has been cast as Mariette in the ITV remake of The Darling Buds of May – the same role which catapulted Catherine Zeta Jones (right) to stardom
A vision: The role was responsible for launching the career of Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, now 51, who portrayed Mariette in the original ITV series (pictured in 1991)
Original cast: The popular Nineties family drama, which was set in 50s, followed Pop Larkin, his wife Ma and their children in all their antics
And alluding to what viewers can expect, an ITV synopsis read:
The synopsis from ITV reads: ‘Fiercely loyal to each other and their community, each Larkin family member has a strong work ethic, alongside a disinterest in authority.’
‘Charley arrives in the village as an unworldly and officious accountant from the city, there to investigate the Larkins’ tax affairs. He is soon distracted by the beautiful Mariette, with whom he falls head over heels in love.
‘However, he quickly discovers that he has a romantic rival in the form of the handsome and mysterious TomFisher. Mariette, on the other hand, may have plans of her own, which don’t involve men.’
ITV have now also confirmed that there will be a Christmas special of the show that will air this year.
The Larkins starts Sunday 10th October at 8pm on ITV and ITV Hub.
Matriarch: Among the cast is Joanna Scanlan, 59, (left) who takes over from Pam Ferris (right) as Pop’s wife Ma Larkin