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Darling Buds of May due back on our screens. But when?

You don’t have to dig too deeply into your Google search engine to see that the TV series that helped put Pluckley on the map – The Darling Buds of May – is due to return to ITV screens.

It definitely looks like it is happening although details of when are scant. It is thought filming was due to start this year until coronavirus got in the way. The plots call for bright, sunny weather so it looks like the earliest filming could start would be next year. Much of the shooting of the original was carried out at Buss Farm a few miles south of Pluckley village, which, a couple of years ago, was put up for sale for a cool £3m (that’s the farm, not the village!).

The previous three series, which screened between 1991 and 1993, were set in Kent during the 1950s and featured (now Sir) David Jason as Pa Larkin and Pam Ferris as his on-screen wife. It was also a break-through series for Catherine Zeta Jones whose career has been little short of spectacular ever since.

Joanna Scanlan
By Sully1989 – During a meeting with Bradley Walsh. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=91862146

There is speculation in the media that the role of Pa Larkin in the new production will be taken by host of The Chase and Dr Who star Bradley Walsh. Ma Larkin is thought to be The Thick of It star Joanna Scanlan. No word on who will fill the role of Mariette previously played by Zeta Jones. Nice if it went to another relative unknown.

The new series has been written by Simon Nye who is best known for his work on The Durrells. It is thought that the Darling Buds will fill the 8pm on a Sunday slot vacated by The Durrells.

Jason has gone on record as backing the remake saying that “we need more shows of that style to balance what we’ve got”. He feels there are too many “vulgar shows on TV at present”. The Fools and Horses and Open All Hours star has hinted that he might be up for a cameo appearance in the new series.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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