The first cast members for ITV’s new version of The Darling Buds of May have been announced!
The much-loved previous adaptation aired between 1991 and 1993.
The comedy-drama series starred David Jason (Only Fools and Horses) as “Pop” Larkin, alongside Pam Ferris as “Ma” Larkin, and a young Catherine Zeta-Jones as their daughter Mariette.
It was revealed earlier this year that The Durrells creator Simon Nye has been developing a remake of the show.
Based on the original novels by H.E. Bates, the new six-part series will be titled The Larkins.
Writer Simon Nye commented: “The novels are short, hilarious and magical. We will be expanding the Larkins’ world a little and can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this glorious countryside idyll.”
The Larkins will apparently aim to capture “the warmth, optimism and escapism of The Larkin family for a modern generation.”
The cast will be led by Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) as Pop Larkin and his wife Ma.
60-year-old English actor, comedian and presenter Bradley Walsh is currently starring in Doctor Who. His previous roles include Law & Order UK and Coronation Street.
He commented: “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!”
59-year-old actress Joanna Scanlan has appeared in Girl With a Pearl Earring, Notes on a Scandal, Jane Eyre, Bridget Jones’s Baby and The Thick of It.
She said: “What better comfort could there be from all we have endured this year than the rolling laughter and outsize hugs of Ma and Pop? It’s going to be an honour to help bring The Larkins to the nation’s devices!”
The official synopsis reads: “Set in the late 1950’s, The Larkins is the story of a working-class family led by the golden-hearted wheeler dealer Pop Larkin and his wife Ma, together with their six children, including the beautiful Mariette.
“Fiercely loyal to each other and their community, each Larkin family member has a strong work ethic, alongside a disinterest in authority.”
ITV’s Head of Scripted Comedy, Nana Hughes added: “I am delighted to welcome back Ma and Pop from the pen of Simon Nye. The Kent countryside will be filled with laughs, wheeling and dealing, and the added charm of Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan.”
The Larkins begins filming in the new year and is expected to air next autumn on ITV in the Sunday evening slot previously held by The Durrells.
The complete original The Darling Buds of May series is available on DVD on Amazon.