On the heels of last week’s announcement that a bit of PG Wodehouse would be hitting the London West End stage with Perfect Nonsense starring Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan comes the announcement by the BBC that Blandings, the period comedy series based on the Blandings Castle novels by the acclaimed English humorist, has been commissioned for a second series.
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 as his only unfinished work. Set in 1929, Blandings was filmed on location at Crom Castle in Northern Ireland and followed the Blandings family as they struggle to keep itself in order.This bit of writing brilliance has an equally as brilliant cast, headed by Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, Jam and Jerusalem) and Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech).
In addition to Spall and Saunders, who starred 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 (Father Brown, Harry Potter) will return as Beach, the long-suffering loyal butler to Lord Emsworth while Jack Farthing returns as Lord Emsworth’s financially irresponsible son Freddie. Whether or not David Walliams (Little Britain) or Jessica Hynes (Up the Women, Twenty Twelve, Spaced) will return in their guest roles is unclear at this point but, as with series one, the second series should continue the trend with more one-off characters popping up.
As with the first series, the second will also be filmed on location in Northern Ireland, at Crom Castle in County Fermanagh. Series 2 of Blandings will be shown on BBC One in early 2014. There is every reason to believe that American audiences will be able to see Blandings on a public television station near you in 2014 also.