An all-star cast heads up BBC One’s brand new period comedy series Blandings, based on PG Wodehouse’s celebrated stories and adapted by Guy Andrews (Lost In Austen). The series, which was filmed entirely on location at Crom Castle, Co Fermanagh, begins this Sunday 13 January at 6.30pm on BBC One.
Set in 1929 in the fictional Blandings Castle, Timothy Spall plays the amiable but befuddled Lord Emsworth (Clarence to his friends), who struggles to keep his dysfunctional family in order and usually adds to the chaos himself. All Clarence wants is to be left at peace with his beloved pig The Empress but his plans are often thwarted by an array of friends, visitors, servants and spongers. Jennifer Saunders stars as his indomitable sister Connie, Jack Farthing as hapless, unlucky-in-love son Freddy and Mark Williams as loyal and long- suffering butler Beach.
There are a number of well-known faces that make guest appearances during the series. David Walliams stars in two episodes as Rupert Baxter, Clarence’s new secretary who is hired by Connie to help bring some order to Clarence’s life. Paloma Faith plays Georgia, a dancer from London, who accompanies Freddie to Blandings and creates quite a stir with Beach. David Bamber plays Herr Schnellhund, Clarence’s irritatingly bearded dance teacher.
Tony Maudsley plays Cyril Wellbeloved, who has the all-important job of looking after The Empress. Sam Hoare plays ‘Beefy’ Bingham who dreams of marrying Connie’s daughter Gertrude, much to Connie’s dismay. Robert Bathurst plays Clarence’s rival Sir Gregory and Jessica Hynes portrays sophisticated widow Daphne. Ron Donachie plays head gardener McAllister.
Blandings has been written by Guy Andrews (Lost In Austen, Absolute Power) who is also the executive producer. The producer is Spencer Campbell (Cold Feet, Mad Dogs) and the director is Paul Seed (BAFTA winning Just William). Mammoth Screen’s joint Managing Directors Michele Buck and Damien Timmer are executive producers. The BBC executive producer is Kristian Smith.
Blandings received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.