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24 September 2014

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Andrew Davies interview

Krook and Mrs Flite

Writer Andrew Davies is clearly an admirer of Charles Dickens' work.

"His novels are full of energy and are teaming with life," he says.

"I love the way he makes such a rich mixture of humour, tragedy, sentiment and social indignation. You get so many different things rolled up into one great book.

He had such a vivid imagination and some of his characters are just extraordinary. Bleak House combines a terrific mystery with a series of love stories.

Because it totals eight hours, which compared with most recent serials is a really long one, Bleak House is really going to give the flavour of reading a big, long novel."

Davies approves of Bleak House's position in the schedules, earlier in the evening than many costume dramas are often broadcast.

"We're hoping that we will catch a slightly different and broader audience than usual," he says. "It's early enough for older primary school children to watch.

"I've got grandchildren of six and ten and they are up to reading Harry Potter books and I think they could cope with watching Bleak House - and really enjoy it."

Andrew Davies hopes the half-hour format will leave viewers wanting more, "The thing that was uppermost in our minds was to tell the story in a way that made people absolutely die to know what happens next."

"People also need to care about the characters and a lot of that comes down to the way they are played - and we certainly have some wonderful performances.

"People have asked me: 'What's it like?' and I've been saying it's got the most terrific performances in it and it would be a shame to miss it!"

He also thinks Dickens would approve. "He was a great performer of his own work and used to give readings, and I think he would certainly appreciate the performances," he says.

"I hope he'd like the picture we've given of Dickensian London. I think he'd think we'd hit the right note in terms of humour and passion."

More on Bleak House

Behind the Scenes

Ada and Richard

Get the inside story on the show’s production.

Charles Dickens Animation

Charles Dickens Animation

Watch the story of Charles Dickens.

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