Lark Rise To Candleford – second series
Olivia Hallinan plays Laura Timmins
Reprising the role of Laura Timmins, a Lark Rise girl who moved to Candleford to work with her cousin, Dorcas Lane, Olivia Hallinan reflects how much Laura has changed since she first arrived at the Post Office as a naïve and innocent young girl:
"Laura has definitely grown up. She's grown in confidence and takes on a lot more responsibility in this series. Dorcas watches Laura grow as she flourishes in her relationships and people skills and shes quite proud of what she has achieved.
"I think the arrival of Minnie played by Ruby Bentall is really interesting as it forces Laura to take on a much more responsible role and Dorcas gives her more freedom.
"It's been great having Ruby join the cast and I think Minnie is such a great character that the audience will love. She is hopeless to start with and Laura gives her advice and really looks after her just as Dorcas previously did for Laura. Seeing Minnie makes Laura realise just what she’s got and how lucky she is to have her family in Lark Rise."
Ruby Bentall is not the only newcomer to the cast; Jason Merrells joins as the new hotel owner, James Dowland:
"Jason Merrells, has been great to work with as well. Laura sees what he has made of himself coming from Lark Rise and realises how far she has come. Queenie looked after Dowland when he was a boy so there's a good relationship between the Lark Risers and James.
"Laura is quite wary of him at first, because of his interest in Dorcas. She's always fiercely protective over Dorcas, so when a guy comes along Laura is looking out for her - they always know when each other are upset or down about something."
At the end of the first series Laura was left heartbroken by Philip as he betrayed her trust, so will there be a new love interest in this series?
"Laura falls head over heels in love with a man called Fisher Bloom (Matthew McNulty). He comes to Candleford to make a clock and Laura falls well and truly for him.
"Laura can be quite serious, she takes her job very seriously which is good but she can also be very sensible. Fisher makes her realise that there’s more to life than being the best at everything, being in control and being perfect, which is really good for her.
"There's an episode where Dorcas gets ill and Laura has to take on more responsibility, she keeps saying to herself, I can't fail, I can't fail! Fisher lets her know that it is alright to fail sometimes. He brings out the young girl in her."
The costumes in the first series were beautiful, having just finished filming a second series have you got used to wearing them day in day out for seven months?
"Yes, it's a long shoot and I've got used to the corset now. It was hard to start with but you learn to deal with wearing it 12 hours a day, your body adjusts. I still get corset rage a lot! You'll be fine and then you get a sharp stabbing pain and you know you have to get it loosened – especially after a big lunch!’
"Laura's wardrobe has changed this series by becoming more colourful, more girly. Previously she was wearing hand-me-downs from Dorcas and now she's developing her own style."
The second series filmed in Bath and Bristol, what was it like second time round?
‘Bath is such a beautiful and stunning town. You can begin to take the place for granted when you're staying there for so long but it's great place to be and it was great that all the cast lived so close to each other too.
We had our local pub and went out for lots of meals together, hence the corset rage! There was a real sense of, all in it together and it was lovely that we were all neighbours.
"I went to the new shopping centre with Claudie Blakley and Brendan Coyle who play my parents and the reaction we got was unbelievable! People were really nice about the show. The reaction has been really positive and some people know more about each episode than I do. I just hope people like this series just as much."
Summing up why she thinks Lark Rise To Candleford was so loved?
"Lark Rise To Candleford is a heart warming, tender, visually stunning and it’s the perfect Sunday night viewing. There will be things that you won't expect in this series – the audience will see Laura worked up in state at some points, which I think could surprise people. You see the hardships as well as their closeness of the communities which I think is what the audience really liked."