Set in 1929 in the fictional Blandings Castle, Timothy Spall plays the amiable but permanently distracted Lord Emsworth - known to his friends as Clarence - in what should be a cracking new adaptation of some much-loved tales by PG Wodehouse. The series is bound to win a whole new and well-deserved audience for Wodehouse, the great comic writer whose dates were 1881-1975. He has a host of fans, not least among them, writers and actors like Stephen Fry and Simon Callow, and indeed our own Marian Keyes. Marian declares him to be "the ultimate in comfort reading, because nothing bad ever happens in PG Wodehouse's land." In the Blandings series, Emsworth struggles to keep his dysfunctional family in order but usually confuses things himself. All he wants is to be left in peace with his beloved pig The Empress, but friends, visitors, servants and spongers get in the way. Jennifer Saunders stars as his indomitable sister Connie, Jack Farthing as hapless son Freddy and Mark Williams as long-suffering butler Beach. There are guest appearances from David Walliams, Paloma Faith and David Bamber. The show was filmed at 400-year-old Crom Castle, near Newtownbutler in Northern Ireland, home of Lord Erne. There have been some spiffing PG Wodehouse series in the past, yet his achingly funny Blandings stories have been mostly overlooked. This high-spirited adaptation see Timothy Spall as fuddle-headed pig-fancier Lord Emsworth and Jennifer Saunders as his terrifying sister Lady Constance. Plum purists may snort at liberties taken with the opener Pig-Hoo-o-o-o-ey! but its tale of a porcine hunger-strike and frustrated young love is Wodehouse to a T.
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