All-star line up for Sunday night on BBC One in Lark Rise To Candleford
Brendan Coyle, Dawn French, Olivia Grant, Olivia Hallinan, Mark Heap, Ben Miles, Julia Sawalha and Liz Smith star in a BBC One ten-part adaptation of Flora Thompson's magical memoir of her Oxfordshire childhood, Lark Rise To Candleford, a love letter to a vanished corner of rural England and a heart-warming drama series teeming with wit, wisdom and romance.
Set in the small hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town, Candleford, at the end of the 19th century, the series chronicles the daily lives of farm-workers, craftsmen and gentry, observing characters in loving, boisterous and competing communities of families, rivals, friends and neighbours.
This world is seen through the eyes of a teenage girl, Laura Timmins (Olivia Hallinan – Sugar Rush, Torchwood) as she leaves Lark Rise to start a new life under the wing of the independent and effervescent Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha – Hornblower, Pride And Prejudice) who is post-mistress at the local post office in Candleford.
Through them we experience the force of friendship as they see each other through the best and worst of times.
Lark Rise To Candleford will be warm, funny, poignant, occasionally tragic but overall a celebration of the spirit of community.
Jane Tranter, Controller of BBC Fiction, says: "Bill Gallagher has created a strong, funny and heart-warming ten-part drama series from Flora Thompson's novel.
"His drama naturally displays the enduring beauty of the English countryside, but more than that, it displays the enduring power of human landscape: the comedy, the whimsy, the moments of pain and heartbreak, and the collective and courageous force of family, friends and neighbours that see our characters through the best and worst of times.
"The talent and strength of the assembled cast and production team pay tribute to the excellence of Bill's vision and scripts."
Lark Rise To Candleford is produced by BBC Drama Production and written by Bill Gallagher (Conviction, Out Of The Blue, Wokenwell).
Filming will take place in and around Bristol and Gloucestershire this summer.
The producer is Grainne Marmion (The State Within) and Executive Producers are Susan Hogg and Bill Gallagher.
BBC Drama Production produces nearly 400 hours of drama a year, ranging from EastEnders, Casualty, Waking The Dead, Silent Witness to BBC Four films including Fantabulosa! And Fear Of Fanny.
BBC Drama Production is a prolific and successful producer of period drama. In addition to Lark Rise To Candleford, this Autumn/Winter will see the launch of Cranford and Sense And Sensibility following recent critically acclaimed classics such as Jane Eyre and Bleak House.
The cast and characters include:
- Robert Timmins played by Brendan Coyle (Prime Suspect, True Dare Kiss)
Robert is Laura's father and a stonemason by trade. He is married to Emma. They live with their family in the End House on the edge of Lark Rise.
- Emma Timmins played by Claudia Blakley (Fear Of Fanny, Inspector Linley Mysteries)
Emma is Robert's wife, and Laura's mother.
- Caroline Arless played by Dawn French (The Vicar Of Dibley, Jam And Jerusalem)
Caroline is one of the Timmins' neighbours. She is married to Walter who is away at sea. They have four children and another on the way.
- Alf Arless played by John Dagleish (Richard III, Moliere)
Alf is Caroline's eldest son. He left school early to help provide for the family.
- Queenie Turrill played by Linda Bassett (Our Mutual Friend, Heartbeat)
Queenie lives with her husband Twister next door to the End House and as one of the older residents could be described as the matriarch of the village.
- Twister Turrill played by Karl Johnson (The Chatterley Affair, New Tricks)
Twister is Queenie's layabout husband.
- Paxton played by Gerard Horan (The Royal, Kingdom)
Mr Paxton runs the pub in Lark Rise, the Wagon and Horses.
- Laura Timmins played by Olivia Hallinan (Sugar Rush, Torchwood)
Laura works for Dorcas Lane at the post office in Candleford.
- Dorcas Lane played by Julia Sawalha (Hornblower, Pride And Prejudice)
Dorcas runs Candleford's post office and owns the town's forge.
- Zillah is played by Liz Smith (The Royle Family, Nicholas Nickleby)
Zillah is Dorcas's servant.
- Thomas Brown played by Mark Heap (Love Soup, Green Wing)
Thomas is Dorcas's head postman.
- Matthew Welby played by Stephen Marcus (Doctor Who, Kingdom)
Matthew runs the forge for Dorcas.
- Pearl Pratt played by Matilda Ziegler (Inspector Linley Mysteries, EastEnders) and Ruby Pratt played by Victoria Hamilton (Pride And Prejudice, To The Ends Of The Earth)
The Pratt sisters run The Stores, the women's clothing store in Candleford.
- Sir Timothy Midwinter played by Ben Miles (Coupling, Hustle)
Sir Timothy is the squire – the principal landowner in the area and justice of the peace.
- Lady Adelaide Midwinter played by Olivia Grant (Closer, Stardust)
Lady Adelaide is married to Sir Timothy.
- Philip White played by Oliver Jackson Cohen (The Time Of Your Life, Hollyoaks)
Philip is Sir Timothy's assistant gamekeeper.
Notes to Editors
Lark Rise To Candleford was written by Flora Thompson and first published in 1945. Flora Thompson was born in 1876, at Juniper Hill in Oxfordshire, and lived in a small hamlet until she took up work in a nearby town assisting at the Post Office at the age of 14.