“THIS is Vanity Fair.

“A world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having.”

(William Makepeace Thackeray)

August 2017. Bloomsbury Centre Baptist Church, London WC2.

Gathered in the church’s ‘Friendship Centre’ were the cast, production team, executives and the rest of the team involved in ITV’s new adaptation of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.

With screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes announcing herself as “assistant to the author”.

I had already read all seven of her sparkling scripts.

But it was here in this room that they were first brought alive during an almost day long script read-through.

“INNOCENT shows you the views from both sides and leaves it open for the viewer.

“It’s obviously a nightmare situation for anyone to be in if they have, indeed, been convicted and imprisoned for a murder they did not commit.”

Lee Ingleby talking to me about new four part ITV drama Innocent which begins at 9pm on Monday (May 14) and screens over four consecutive nights.

Written by Chris Lang and Matt Arlidge, directed by Richard Clark and produced by Jeremy Gwilt.

Lee plays David Collins who has served seven years in prison for the murder of his wife Tara and lost everything, including his two children.

Having always protested his innocence, David is suddenly released on a technicality after a long campaign led by his brother Phil (Daniel Ryan).

“THE Durrells is not mushy in any way, ever.

“The cute stuff is always cut with very sharp humour and observation, so it’s never twee.

“That’s what I love about it. It is so clever.

“It’s such an easy and funny read. That sort of writing is some of the most difficult to do because it’s actually a little bit sharper than you imagine.”

Keeley Hawes talking to me about the glorious return of The Durrells for a third series, filmed in Corfu and Ealing Studios.

Starting on ITV at 8pm this Sunday (March 18).

 

“EVERYONE brings their top game to Endeavour.

“We’re very lucky.

“I’m glad people love it because that’s our intention.”

Shaun Evans talking to me about the return of the, now, Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse to the screen.

Starting on ITV at 8pm this Sunday (Feb 4).

The new 2018 series five of Endeavour being the longest yet with six feature-length films.

Infused with a sense of endings and new beginnings.

And further glimpses of the younger Morse’s relationships with women.

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Roger Allam as Det Insp Fred Thursday and Shaun Evans as Det Sgt Endeavour Morse

“There’s a little bit of action. Not before time, if you ask me,” added Shaun.

“It’s interesting as well. It shows you another side of the character. He is a young man in 1968.

“Joan Thursday (Sara Vickers) is still part of the story.

“His involvement with other women is a subconscious knee-jerk reaction to the history between him and Joan.

“He’s trying to find his place in the world and who he’s going to spend it with.

“His relationships with other women show a slightly more rounded version of the character. I think it’s OK to surprise people.”

All of which is all the more poignant, knowing – as we do – that Morse eventually died alone.

Shaun giving a heartbreaking performance as lost soul Endeavour.

 

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“ONE of the great themes of the story is family, love and loyalty.

“It asks the question, ‘How far would you go to protect the ones you love?’

“People watching will ask themselves, ‘What would I do in that situation? What decisions would you make?’”

Archie Panjabi talking to me about her role as Mona in new drama Next Of Kin.

A six part thriller which begins on ITV at 9pm on Monday (January 8).

One of the must watch television dramas of 2018.