As we reported back in February, a bit of PG Wodehouse brilliance is on the horizon with the commissioning of Blandings by the BBC. At the time, Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, Jam and Jerusalem) was the only cast member that had been announced. Now, according to comedy.co.uk, filming has begun and the supporting cast has been announced. In addition to Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) and Saunders, who will star as the amiable, yet befuddled, Lord Emsworth, and his indomitable sister Connie, there are both big names and relative newcomers that have been added. Mark Williams (Harry Potter, Fast Show) will play Beach, the long-suffering loyal butler to Lord Emsworth while newcomer, Jack Farthing, has been tagged as Lord Emsworth’s financially irresponsible son Freddie. David Walliams (Little Britain) will appear in a couple of episodes of Blandings as Clarence’s new secretary, Rupert Baxter.
For those few that may be a bit unfamiliar with Wodehouse’s Blandings series, he wrote the first story in 1915. Fourteen novels and five collections of short stories later, he died in 1978, leaving Sunset At Blandings unfinished. Set in 1929, the series is currently being filmed on location in at Crom Castle in Northern Ireland and will follow the Blandings family as they struggle to keep itself in order.
BBC One controller Danny Cohen says: “PG Wodehouse was a comic master, and we are very excited about bringing his stories to life for a new generation of television viewers. I’m sure that the equally brilliant Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders will do justice to Wodehouse’s work, and I hope Lord Emsworth can put up with all the noise of the production.’
“…you had me at Jennifer Saunders”
Also announced in the cast is the great Jessica Hynes (Twenty Twelve, Spaced) so this has immediately become another BBC commissioned comedy project that is well worth keeping an eye on. 2012-2013 is definitely looking up….