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The Larkins: Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan to star in new ITV adaptation of The Darling Buds of May

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Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan are to star in a new TV adaptation of H.E. Bates’ novel The Darling Buds of May.

The Larkins is a six-part series which will see Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan as the iconic fictional characters, Pop Larkin and his wife Ma.

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Bradley Walsh 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!“

Joanna Scanlan added: “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 book series were previously adapted for TV on ITV 30 years ago as The Darling Buds of May which became one of the channel’s all time highest rated television comedy dramas winning critical acclaim and audience approval.

A teaser for the new adaptation reads: "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.

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"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 series has been written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon Nye (Finding Alice, The Durrells, Men Behaving Badly) with the aim of capturing the warmth, optimism and escapism of The Larkin family for a modern generation. Abigail Wilson (Trollied, Carters Get Rich, Stella) writes one of the episodes.

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Screenwriter Simon Nye said: “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.”

Further casting and an air date is to be confirmed.

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