‘The Larkins’ preview: ‘Darling Buds of May’ remake is ‘pure escapism for a family audience’

ITV has revealed some hints for its upcoming remake of The Darling Buds of May.

It was announced last year that The Durrells writer Simon Nye is working on a remake of the much-loved classic TV series, which aired between 1991 and 1993.

Based on the original novels by H.E. Bates, the brand new six-part comedy-drama will be titled The Larkins.

Set in the late 1950’s, The Larkins is described as 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.

Bradley Walsh (Doctor Who, Law & Order: UK) and Joanna Scanlan (Girl With a Pearl Earring, The Thick of It) will lead the cast of the new series as Pop Larkin and his wife Ma.

The previous adaptation of Bates’ novels starred David Jason (Only Fools and Horses), Pam Ferris (Call the Midwife), and a young Catherine Zeta-Jones.

ITV has released a summary of what we can expect from The Larkins: “In the idyllic and beautiful Kent countryside, known as the Garden of England, the Larkins have a achieved a small patch of paradise where nothing is wasted and they enjoy life to the full.

“There’s an overwhelming sense of plenty in their lives and a lot of joy and raucous laughter, as Ma Larkin provides a seemingly endless supply of delicious, hearty meals. And no matter what time of day, The Larkins and their guests aren’t averse to enjoying the odd cocktail or two!

“The Larkins are fundamentally good-hearted people who are always happy to share what they have with others, despite the fact that what they have is sometimes obtained by unusual means! In a rather mean-spirited way their good heartedness is not always shared by certain members of the local community.

“From government officials and snobbish second homeowners to aggressive urban developers, the Larkins often deal with threats to their idyllic way of life – but they never take things lying down.

“Alongside their weekly battles with authority and snobbish villagers, The Larkins will follow the love story between Mariette and village newcomer Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton. 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 Tom Fisher. Mariette, on the other hand, may have plans of her own, which don’t involve men.”

The Larkins starts filming early this year and it’ll air this autumn on ITV in the UK.

A broadcaster in the US hasn’t yet been announced.

Executive producer Ben Farrell commented: “I’ve loved the Larkins novels for many years and can’t think of a better time to be bringing them back to television. After the year we’ve all had it’s welcome pure escapism for a family audience.”

The final season of The Durrells aired in 2019 and there have been rumours about a sequel series set back in England!

The complete original The Darling Buds of May series is available on DVD on Amazon.