A CPL production for ITV.Pictured: This image is the copyright of ITV and must only be used in relation to Brief Encounters.

“IT was extraordinary.

“All the men in the crew went very quiet.”

Penelope Wilton talking to me about glorious new ITV drama Brief Encounters.

Starting in 1982, the six-part series begins at 9pm next Monday (July 4) and is just the tonic we need after the turmoil of recent times.

Sophie Rundle (Steph), Angela Griffin (Nita), Sharon Rooney (Dawn) and Penelope (Pauline) give compelling performances in this Sheffield filmed and set production.

Four women linked by the emergence of Ann Summers’ party planning, providing hope, confidence, ambition and a chance of independence.

As well as its fair share of laughter and tears along the way at a time when attitudes to women and sex were very different to today.