To the Manor Born: Audrey cracks the whip
Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles
To the manor reborn: Penelope Keith, Peter Bowles
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 19/12/2007
Peter Spence, the creator of ‘To the Manor Born’, talks to Janie Lawrence about updating the ’80s sitcom for a Christmas special – and says he’d love to do another series
Being asked to dust down his old notebooks and write a new episode of To the Manor Born was not something Peter Spence had ever envisaged. So convinced was the writer that the series had been consigned to history that he had binned them all a long time ago.
“We’d always all agreed that nothing would look as good as people remembered it. But, once I’d got the call in May and knew I had the same principals from the original cast and the original director, I changed my mind and didn’t have any reservations.”
The result is the forthcoming one-off, one-hour, lavishly filmed Christmas special. If it’s risky to resurrect any TV classics, it’s particularly so with TTMB. The original was a ratings phenomenon, once pulling in an extraordinary 24 million viewers, at that time half the British population.
To the over-forties, the plot needs no explanation; to younger readers, it probably sounds rather twee. Audrey fforbes-Hamilton, the newly-widowed and impoverished lady of the manor, is forced to sell Grantleigh Estate to pay off her late husband’s debts. She is aghast when it is sold to Richard DeVere, a nouveau riche, East European, supermarket tycoon. Cue three series of verbal sparring between the couple.
The final episode, broadcast on November 29 1981, featured the culmination of their comic, will-they-won’t-they romance, as Audrey (Penelope Keith) married Richard (Peter Bowles).
Read the rest ….To the Manor Born: Audrey cracks the whip – Telegraph.
‘To the Manor Born’ will be broadcast on BBC1 on Christmas Day.