To the Manor Born

The classic British comedy To the Manor Born will return for a one-off 60-minute special this Christmas on BBC One.

The return of the show will see Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles reunited as the aristocratic Audrey fforbes-Hamilton and the dashing, self-made businessman Richard DeVere.

Viewers last saw Audrey and Richard in 1981, when the couple finally married following a turbulent relationship conducted over three much-loved and high-rating series.

A quarter of a century on, a major event threatens to disturb life at the estate in Grantleigh as the couple prepare to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.

With the help of her schoolfriend Marjory (Angela Thorne), a fearless Audrey goes into battle to defend a community, safeguard 400 years of history and save her marriage.

The show enjoyed three immensely successful series on BBC One between 1979 and 1981.

It followed the recently widowed Audrey, who, having been forced to sell the Manor to cover the debts incurred by her late husband, is forced to adapt to a more humble lifestyle and new social status.

Her fall from grace is made all the more painful by her distaste for Richard DeVere, the new owner of the Manor, who has made his millions building up a national supermarket chain. In Audrey’s disgusted eyes, he is little more than a grocer.

Penelope Keith, speaking while filming on location, comments: “Thankfully the weather has been kind to us while we’ve been filming down in Somerset.

“It’s enormous fun to be back filming for the Christmas special and a great joy to be returning to BBC One.”

The one-off special is written by Peter Spence, and produced by Gareth Gwenlan and Justin Davies. The show is executive produced by Jon Plowman.

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