Monday 10 Mar 2014
"I was destined to play Mrs Bott," explains Caroline Quentin. "Twenty years ago, I met Martin Jarvis and he gave me all the Just William tapes. I've listened to them ever since and my children are obsessed with the stories – in fact, my son is called William because of the Just William stories. So I felt really it was destiny – I'm thrilled to bits."
Just William also reunites Caroline with Men Behaving Badly writer Simon Nye.
"I was thrilled when I read the scripts – I think Simon's done a fantastic job," Caroline explains. "He's captured the wonderful tone of the books and added another dimension and perspective. I think he's done a really beautiful job on it."
So, who is Mrs Bott?
"She's married to Mr Bott who's made millions of pounds out of making Botts sauce, which is a brown ketchup," reveals Caroline. "Mrs Bott is very thrilled to be wealthy and is an incredible social climber, so she's delighted to be living in the manor house in the village.
"She wants to become part of local life and to be a local celebrity really. I think she's one of the first examples of someone who wants to be famous for not really doing very much."
Have your children ever done anything William-like?
"My son spends his whole life being 'William' because we live in the countryside. He climbs trees, has a dog, goes in the stream and hurts himself," explains Caroline.
"My daughter is not at all like Violet Elizabeth – she'd kill me if I said she was. They live a sort of country childhood – it's a very rural life."
Do you ever think that the freedom William had in Just William is what's missing with some children today?
"Yes, I do. I think it's very hard. Even living in the country it's hard to give your children freedom as there are perils out there. But I think we've all got to learn to let go of our kids a bit."