Website for the over 60s  April 2016
 Home
 
Personal Health
 
Food and Drink
 
Body Maintenance

 Shopping & Gifts
 
Travel & Holidays
 Entertainment & Travel
 
Your Horoscope
 Music
 
Competitions & Letters

 Chat and Socialise
 
Computer & Phone Tips
 Crafts & Hobbies

 
Retirement 
 Beauty & Hair Styles

 
Fashion & Accessories
 
Pet Care
 Mobility & Care Products
 
Homes & Gardens
 Money Savers
 News & Book Reviews

 Our Friends

 

Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Grace & Favour
on DVD


Win Grace & Favour on DVD

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Eureka Entertainment to offer three lucky readers the chance to win Grace & Favour on DVD.

The staff of the defunct Grace Brothers department store reunite to run a rural hotel, on DVD for the first time in the UK. 

Wendy Richard as Miss Brahms

Eureka Entertainment are releasing Grace & Favour, the innuendo-laden BBC TV classic and spin off to Are You Being Served? from comedy-writer legends David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, on DVD for the first time in UK from 23rd May 2016.
 
The sequel series to one of the most beloved British sitcoms of all time, Grace & Favour (released internationally as Are You Being Served? Again!) reunites the dysfunctional Grace Brothers sales team for more misadventures and innuendo-laden squabbling.

Mollie Sugden as Mrs. Slocombe

After “Young Mr. Grace” dies in an unfortunate scuba-diving incident, the staff at Grace Brothers find that their pension fund has been unwisely invested in a country manor house, currently operating as a hotel.

John Inman as Mr. Humphries

With no other options, Mr. Humphries, Mrs. Slocombe, Captain Peacock, Miss Brahms and Mr. Rumbold all reluctantly team up and attempt to turn the hotel into a profitable business venture.

Frank Thornton as Captain Peacock

Reuniting the original cast members from Are You Being Served! and written & produced by British comedy-writer legends David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, Grace & Favour is one of the finest sitcoms ever produced for British television.

Presented here in a new four-disc set, this long overdue home entertainment première is full of more laughs and double-entendres than you can shake a stick at.

Nicholas Smith as Mr. Rumbold

Stars include Mollie Sugden, John Inman, Frank Thornton, Wendy Richard, and Nicholas Smith.

Special features include English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing. The four disc set features all twelve episodes of Grace & Favour. RRP is £34.99.

Grace & Favour is available to pre-order now from Amazon

 For Your Chance to Win

Tell us what is
the setting for Grace & Favour
?

 a) A Golf Club
 b) A Health Spa
 c) A Rural Hotel
 d) A Coffee Shop

  To Enter the Competition

Tell us what is the setting for Grace & Favour? Then send in your answer together with your full name and postal address and telephone number by clicking on the Sixtyplusurfers link below:
sixtypluscomp@hotmail.co.uk

* Please label your entry
Grace & Favour Competition


* This competition is open to our
UK visitors only

 

 How to Stay Young

Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken


          Starts Thursday, 7th April
            BBC ONE  9pm to 10pm


Angela Rippon and Dr Chris van Tulleken are on a remarkable journey into our bodies and our minds.

In How To Stay Young, a two-part series for BBC ONE, they travel the world investigating the latest experiments and new research that could help put the brakes on the ageing process.

In the first episode, The Body, Angela and Chris discover that scientists now know how much of the way we age is down to genetics - and how much of it is down to the way we live our lives. They look at the latest science that reveals the best lifestyle choices we can make to combat the effects of ageing.

Angela Rippon

Angela travels to Germany where she follows a study comparing the benefits of dancing with conventional gym exercises and reveals which activity best keeps us fit and strong into old age. Chris visits a community outside Los Angeles that has one of the lowest levels of heart disease in America and high life expectancy, and looks at how their good health could be down to diet.

With studies showing that positive attitude towards ageing can add years to our lives, Chris turns 80 years old for a day thanks to Hollywood-style prosthetics. Since how we feel about old age is hugely influenced by society’s treatment of the older generation, Chris decides to experience the public’s reaction to the elderly first-hand.

Along the way, Chris and Angela have their own wake up calls about how well they are ageing. Chris takes a newly pioneered test that reveals on a molecular level how quickly his body is getting old, by comparing his biological age with his actual age. Will his body be as young as he feels, or older than it should be?

Meanwhile, Angela has a startling wake-up call when she learns that despite her active, healthy lifestyle a body scan reveals she is carrying seven kilos of excess internal fat that has the potential to be dangerous.

The programme goes on to look at what is happening at the frontiers of science to tackle ageing. In Ecuador Chris meets Yannick Castilo, who looks like a young child but is actually 17 years old. He has Laron syndrome and could hold the key to curing ageing, as the syndrome means he is virtually immune from cancer and diabetes and he will never grow old like the rest of us.

How To Stay Young is a fascinating, eye-opening guide to how science is enabling all of us to overcome the obstacles of getting old - and reveals the secrets of how we can stay young and healthy for longer.
 

         Marcella

Anna Friel as Marcella


  Starring Anna Friel, starts Monday  
      4th April, ITV1,  9pm to 10pm


Original multi-stranded crime drama Marcella, written by internationally renowned screenwriter and novelist Hans Rosenfeldt stars Anna Friel in the lead role.

This new eight part drama series also stars Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, Nicholas Pinnock (Fortitude, Captain America), Ian Puleston-Davies (Coronation Street, Being Human), Nina Sosanya (W1A, Last Tango in Halifax), Ray Panthaki (BAFTA breakthrough Brit 2014, Convenience), Jamie Bamber (Law & Order: UK, Battlestar Galactica), Sinead Cusack (Jekyll & Hyde, Eastern Promises), Patrick Baladi (The Office, Mistresses), and Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones, The Theory of Everything).

After 11 years’ absence away from the force, DS Marcella Backland finds herself drawn back to police work following the return of the Grove Park Killer, her last case before she left to start a family. In 2005, the killer tied the victims’ hands and feet with cable ties before taping a plastic bag around their heads. The case went cold. But now, over ten years later, it seems he has returned.

Anna Friel as Marcella

Marcella is driven by the news that her previous lead suspect, Peter Cullen, is out of prison for manslaughter and now working in a bakery on a prison placement scheme. But nobody else on her team thinks it could be Peter, and Marcella’s lone wolf approach quickly alienates her new colleagues.

But Marcella’s also preoccupied with the breakdown of her 15-year marriage to Jason Backland. It’s a huge blow to her when he tells her he no longer loves her. She believed they were happy.

Marcella suspects Jason may be having an affair and she follows him in her car. But what will she discover? Marcella is next seen sitting, crying in her bath, covered in mud and blood. A nasty gash on her forehead. But how has she come to be in this state?

Throughout the course of the episode, we’re introduced to the Gibson family and their company, DTG Construction: one of the country’s largest developers. Tension is rife within the family as CEO Sylvie Gibson clashes with her errant stepson Henry over the best way to take their development in Lambeth forward.

Caught in the crossfire is DTG’s Head of Legal, Jason and Sylvie’s daughter and Head of Finance, Grace Gibson. We also meet Cara, a young, spirited woman who has devised a con to steal from people using the casual affairs app, Sinnr.

Produced by Buccaneer Media and co-created by Hans Rosenfeldt and Nicola Larder (Sky’s development executive on The Tunnel and Dracula), Marcella is Hans Rosenfeldt’s first exclusively created drama for the UK audience following the global success of The Bridge, a Swedish/Danish co-production which achieved critical acclaim when it began broadcasting in the UK in 2014.

Set in contemporary London with a British Metropolitan Police Detective at its heart, Marcella is told with Rosenfeldt’s unflinchingly multi layered Nordic style. Marcella’s eight, 60 minute episodes will lead the audience through a narrative maze and any character could be a witness, victim or potential suspect. Marcella will get involved in a serial murder case where the modus operandi of the killer bares a striking resemblance to an unsolved spate of killings from a decade ago.

Marcella is shocked to the core when her husband Jason (Nicholas Pinnock) leaves her unexpectedly, confessing he no longer loves her.

Heartbroken and needing a renewed purpose, Marcella returns to the Met’s Murder Squad. Ten years ago she gave up her fast-tracked police career to marry and devote her life to her family. With the abrupt end to her marriage and isolated from her 13 year old daughter and 10 year old son, Marcella throws herself into work to stop herself from falling apart.

She instantly becomes involved with a serial killer case she first worked on in 2005. Has the killer re-appeared or is a copycat murderer responsible for these recent deaths? How will Marcella cope returning to duties when her own temperament is so fragile and vulnerable? Will throwing herself into her work provide the answers she’s seeking? Or lead her dangerously into territory she must avoid at all cost?

Suspicious of her husband’s motives for leaving her, Marcella finds herself playing detective away from work, but will her findings lead her to further heartbreak?

Marcella, starring Anna Friel starts on Monday 4th April on ITV1 and there are eight hour long episodes.
 

    Billy Connolly's
     Tracks Across
           America


Billy Connolly


           Starts Friday, 1st April
               ITV1, 9pm to 10pm


Welcome to an epic journey that puts Billy Connolly in the company of three things he loves dearly - trains, America and his banjo.

In these three episodes, Billy Connolly will circumnavigate the four corners of the United States on the magic carpet made of steel that is America’s rail network.

Beginning in Chicago and finishing in New York, Billy will head into the vast and astonishing landscapes that make up America’s backyard. An epic 26 states and over 6,000 miles of cities, coast, mountains, desert and swamp.

Rich in the romance of the American dream, this is a travelogue in the tracks of the pioneers who built a nation. A glimpse into modern America and the states we rarely get to see onscreen. It’s a journey rich in people and places, chock-a-block full of moments you could only have in the company of Billy Connolly, a man who can move you to laughter and tears on the turn of a dime.

A series painted in visuals straight from the silver screen, with Billy on the banjo strumming along to the ‘chug chug’ rhythm of the ride.

Billy Connolly

The first episode sees Billy travel from Chicago to Seattle on the mighty Empire Builder. Travelling from East to West, across six states, Billy stops off to witness a true slice of Americana at the Minnesota State Fair, where giant butter sculptures, corn beauty pageants and live animal births are just some of the bamboozling entertainment on offer.

He tackles a world famous ‘juicy lucy’ burger in Saint Paul before skirting the badlands of North Dakota to experience the highs and lows of an oil boom town. He marvels at the thousand upon thousand acres of uninterrupted prairieland before arriving at Montana’s answer to Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow, Montana is small town America in all its glory. And Montana is a land of cowboys and ranching families who have worked the terrain for generations.

Billy’s journey’s end is in windswept Seattle - not in the glamorous tech city but Tent City, where many of Seattle’s homeless live. Here, Billy is moved by the tales of its residents.

In the second episode, Billy’s adventure takes him into the jewel in the crown of America’s rail network. Hurtling past jaw dropping vistas of land and sea – this is the West Coast and Pacific Ocean in all its cinematic glory.

Beginning in Portland, Oregon with Farmer Tom, a prize winning vegetable farmer who has turned his green fingers to organic cannabis growing, next stop is the stunning California coast – home to a cacophonous elephant seal rookery - the largest in the world.

Along the route Billy will hear the extraordinary tales of a real life hobo, who has been train hopping since the 1930’s and he makes himself at home at Nitt Witt Ridge, one mans two-finger salute to architecture and town planning.

Billy Connolly

From there, it’s back on the train to the deserts of Arizona to meet the men and women on the frontline of US border control. Deep underground, Billy learns of America’s biggest cold war secret and meets the former wing commander who literally had her finger on the button of ‘World War Three’.

In El Paso, Texas Billy succumbs to the charms of an ‘exotico’ luche libre wrestler and pays homage to the cowboy boot factory that made his beloved boots.

Billy Connolly's Tracks Across America starts on Friday 1st April on ITV1.
 

Entertainment & Travel


The Durrells
 
Keeley Hawes stars in The Durrells


   Keeley Hawes leads the cast
      of new ITV drama in April

 

Keeley Hawes (Line of Duty, Ashes to Ashes) plays Louisa Durrell in ITV’s brand new six part series The Durrells, written by acclaimed screenwriter Simon Nye and produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd. International film star Leslie Caron (An American in Paris, Gigi) also stars in the series.

The Durrells is based upon Gerald Durrell’s classic trilogy of Corfu memoirs including  the much loved ‘My Family and Other Animals’. Set in 1935, this timeless drama is full of warmth, humour and fun.

The story focuses upon Louisa Durrell (Hawes) whose life is in meltdown. Her husband died years ago and his money has all but run out. Her four unruly ‘children’ Larry, 21, played by Josh O’Connor (Ripper Street, Peaky Blinders), Leslie, 18, a role taken by newcomer Callum Woodhouse, Margo, 17, played by Daisy Waterstone (Silent Witness, Testament of Youth) and Gerry, 11, with Milo Parker (Mr Holmes, Ghosthunters) cast in the role, are going off the rails.

Gerry is obsessed with animals and about to be thrown out of school; Larry is a would-be novelist but the worst estate agent in Bournemouth, and the middle two are hitting adulthood like a car-crash. It is the 1930s, and a woman’s options are limited. Louisa realises she can carry on struggling, marry someone comfortably off but oppressive, or make a radical change and escape... from a domestic pressure-cooker, British weather, uptight Englishness and narrow horizons.

The Durrells

This is a rescue mission to somewhere her family can heal itself before it’s too late. So, they uproot and move to Corfu! Over six episodes we follow the Durrell family as they adjust to their new life. Along the way they’ll meet new friends, rivals and lovers.

Alexis Georgoulis (My Life In Ruins, Eisai to Tairi mou) the hugely popular actor in Greece, plays the handsome Spiro Hakaiopulos - an all round Mr Fix It, who Margo at first thinks her mother should marry, but Louisa has other ideas.

Leslie Caron stars as the shrewd and exotic Countess Mavrodaki who employs Margo as her companion, and Lucy Black (Jericho, One Day) plays fellow Brit and wife of the local doctor, who Louisa hopes to befriend.

A local, Theodore, played by renowned Greek actor Yorgos Karamihos, welcomes the Durrells. He’s sane, wise and knows everything there is to know about the animals and plant life of Corfu, so is an ideal informal teacher for Gerry.

At the time of accepting the role, Keeley Hawes said: "I'm delighted to be playing Louisa Durrell. As a life long fan of Gerald Durrell's wonderful books, I can't wait to start filming and telling his stories through Simon Nye's hilarious and poignant adaptation."

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, of which Lee Durrell is the Honorary Director, is delighted that Sid Gentle Films Ltd have adapted the work of her late husband. Lee Durrell says, “I am absolutely thrilled that Gerald Durrell and his idyllic childhood in Corfu will appear on our television screens. Those sunny, magical days, when eccentric family affairs were interwoven with Gerry’s discovery of the natural world, inspired his life’s work to rescue animals from the brink of extinction. I hope that the new series will be a gentle, but timely reminder of the importance of Gerry’s work today and will inspire others to take up his cause.”

The Durrells

Each of the episodes are written by Simon Nye (Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This, Just William, Men Behaving Badly). The Durrells is produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd and executive produced by the company’s founder, BAFTA award winning filmmaker Sally Woodward Gentle (Whitechapel, Any Human Heart, Enid). Sid’s Managing Director Lee Morris (Da Vinci’s Demons, Any Human Heart, The Jury) executive produces the series together with Simon Nye. Christopher Hall (Critical, Dracula, Murder on the Home Front) is the producer, and Steve Barron (Merlin, Treasure Island) and Roger Goldby (Call The Widwife, Cutting It) direct.

The series has been filmed in Corfu, Bournemouth and Ealing.

Keeley Hawes talks about her role as Louisa Durrell

Keeley Hawes as Louisa Durrell


What appealed to you about The Durrells?

“The scripts are fantastic and so funny. I love the books so that was the one thing I was most relieved about. I came to Corfu on a family holiday when I was around nine or ten. It was the first time I had been abroad. I had just read the first book and it was literally like stepping into the pages. It was amazing. So I’ve always been very close to it.


“I had started reading the first book to my two youngest children when The Durrells came along. So it was all rather nice and timely. I think my children will love this show. They have been over to Corfu and I’ve been able to fly home during breaks in filming. It’s not far and it’s not forever. Usually I get to film in Bermondsey and Luton. I don’t think anyone could blame me for jumping at this and making the most of it.”

Were you familiar with the previous TV adaptations in 1987 and 2005?

“Before the second one I was working on a Marple with Matthew Goode who was then going off to play Larry Durrell in that film. I was really frustrated because this was 10 years ago, I wasn’t old enough to play the mother and there just wasn’t a part for me.

“So when I heard they were doing this my heart skipped a beat. I was about a quarter of the way through reading it to my children when The Durrells came up and I was genuinely thrilled. Then I thought, ‘Oh, I might not be old enough.’ But I was about to turn 40. The oldest child Larry is 21 and in those days Louisa would have been not much older than me. So I’m playing my age, which is good. My mum had my brother when she was 19. People did.”

Who is Louisa Durrell?

Keeley Hawes as Louisa Durrell with Milo Parker as Gerry

“Louisa Dixie Durrell is slightly different from the woman we know from the Gerald Durrell books. Because the books are told from a child’s point of view and the stories about his mother are of this perfect woman. There’s no mention of any money worries or troubles. She’s the perfect mother. He’s the baby of the family and she lets him get away with everything.

“One of the things I really like about this TV version is Louisa is a woman struggling. She’s been on her own for eight years since her husband died, bringing up three teenagers and a little boy on her own. And she does something so brave and amazing to move from Bournemouth to Corfu.

“Today it’s relatively easy to get to Corfu in a few hours by plane. But it would still be seen as a big step. Back in 1935 Louisa took four children to Corfu. A single mother taking four children to a foreign country. To a Greek island with a different language, no electricity, no telephone, no quick budget flight back home. Just a complete change of life. To lift them all up and say, ‘Right, I'm going to give you a better life than the one we have now and this is what we are going to do.’ That is such a brave, forward thinking, modern thing for a woman on her own to do. Amazing. A real achievement.

“When Louisa gets there she says she came to Corfu to rescue her family. That’s exactly what she’s doing. She is saving them from an existence in England which isn’t good enough for them. They have not been making the most of who they are. She wants a better life for them and just takes life by the horns and makes it happen.

“I think today everybody probably has a little fantasy about dropping everything and going to live in the sun. But we also live in an age where you can travel fairly easily. You can take your children to these amazing places and have once in a lifetime experiences with them.”

Tell us about your screen family?

The Durrells


“It really does feel like we have been a real family forever: Larry (Josh O’Connor), Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), Margo (Daisy Waterstone) and Gerry (Milo Parker). That’s not anything we’ve worked at. It just happened. I could not wish for a better ‘foster’ family. They’re all completely different and all so well cast. Exactly what you want your Larry, Leslie and Margo to be if you’re a fan of the books. You fall in love with them all. And Milo as Gerry is heaven. He’s such a natural actor. He can just do it.”

Could you have played this part as well if you hadn’t been a mother yourself?

“I hope so. But it absolutely helps to work with children if you’re very used to them and you know how you behave with your own children. One of the things I really love about Simon Nye’s scripts is the fact that some of the arguments they have take your breath away. They’re quite full on, some of them. Some of the things, particularly, that Larry says. You think, ‘Well that’s a bit strong. God, that’s so hurtful. Even if it is true.’ But actually that’s what families are like. If your family can’t say those things to you then who can? It feels very real.

“Louisa is a loving, protective mother. Her children are the be all and end all. That’s why she’s made this journey. And it’s very difficult for her. She doesn’t work and they weren’t wealthy. So there were struggles. What do you do if you have no money? There’s no fall back. You have to feed four children and yourself.

“Yet when one of them is taken ill, money is suddenly meaningless. Money doesn’t matter at all when real things happen. But she does need to feed them!

“At one stage Louisa says, ‘Nothing is about me, my life is devoured by my children.’ Anybody who is a mother will know exactly what that’s like. Once you’re a mother it’s not about you anymore, ever again. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Has there ever been a time in your own life where you had no money?

“Yes there has. I’m pleased I had a time like that because it does make you appreciate things more. Also with acting it’s feast or famine. And if you’re not very good at putting something aside for when you’re not busy then that’s that. There’s no holiday pay for actors. If you’re not working you don’t get paid at the end of the month.”

Louisa is frustrated by the language barrier when she tries to get a job. Have you learned any Greek while working in Corfu?

“I am also crushed by the language barrier. Just ordering a beer is hard enough for me. I might have a bit more Greek vocabulary by the time I finish this though.”

Gerry brings a number of animals home from his explorations. Have you had many scenes with them?

Milo Parker as the young Gerald Durrell


“There has been a lot of interaction with the animals. We have two pelicans on location in Corfu. A pelican and a pelican double. We have our lovely dog who is gorgeous and playing Roger. People say never work with children or animals but they clearly haven’t worked with this lot because it’s a joy.

“When you have an animal in a scene - trained or not, you don’t know what they’re going to do. It’s a magical thing because they’re improvising all the time. It keeps everybody on their toes and you just go with it. Which is great. It brings something very real to all of it and it’s lovely having them all around, including tortoises wandering about on the table. Then there are the gorgeous puppies who appear. They’ve all been very well behaved.”

What about other creatures?

“If you’re on holiday in Corfu then the mosquitoes aren’t a problem. It’s only when you go to some of the very wooded locations where we have been to film. That’s when you know all about it. We’re all very relaxed with each other now and if you were to look at us from a bit further away you would just see a lot of people slapping each other. You need your friends around you at those moments.”

How would you describe Louisa’s relationship with Spiro, played by Alexis Georgoulis?

Alexis Georgoulis as Spiro


“That’s a lovely relationship. I think the casting of Alexis is really refreshing because he’s not the stereotypical chap from the book. Spiro is a wonderful character in the book and I’m sure he was a fantastic man. But there’s nothing wrong with reinventing him slightly. He still has all of the qualities that man obviously had and brought to that family. He was their rock. They couldn’t have done without him.

“Alexis is so charismatic. He has all the attitude of the Spiro that you know and love if you’ve loved the books. But in just a slightly different wrapping. And he brings all of that personality.

“It’s also heaven for me when Alexis is around. He is so famous in Corfu and across Greece. A couple of Brits have recognised me in Corfu but otherwise not. It’s Alexis who gets all the attention. Which is nice.”

Tell us about Leslie Caron, who plays the Countess?

“I met her for the first time at the script read-through. It’s amazing casting. I have a couple of scenes with her but mostly it’s Daisy, as Margo, and the fabulous Jeremy Swift.”

Theo, played by Yorgos Karamihos, befriends Gerry and the family in Corfu?

Yorgos Karamihos as Theo who befriends Gerry and the family in Corfu


“Theo knows everything. And Yorgos, the actor who plays him, also knows everything. So that’s very useful. Yorgos has studied all sorts of things and is very well educated, charming, funny and a brilliant actor. You could not find a better Theo from your imagination in the book.”

Louisa’s eldest son Larry decides his mother needs a man. Who does he invite to dinner?

Josh O’Connor plays Larry Durrell

“Larry decides that Louisa needs sex and then sets about finding some wholly inappropriate partners for her. One of which is Captain Creech, played by James Cosmo, who Larry meets in a bar in Corfu Town. He brings him home to meet mother and the captain promptly gets absolutely blotto. He is a lecherous old sea dog who is totally unsuitable. Everything he says is inappropriate, offensive and hilarious.

“She takes it well, considering. But later he seizes Louisa and kisses her rather brutally on the lips. That’s when she grabs a gun and ends up shooting the food off his plate. It was actually me with the gun in that scene. I enjoyed doing that. It was an air rifle so exciting to do but you know it’s not going to hurt people. James Cosmo is terrific in that role.”

How would you describe Louisa’s look when she gets to Corfu?

“It’s 1930s. A working wardrobe, really. Make do and mend. But beautiful. Our costume designer Charlotte Holdich has done such an amazing job. Everybody looks so perfect. It looks really wonderful.”

Gerald Durrell went on to create what is now the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey. You’ve worked in Jersey?

Milo Parker as the young Gerald Durrell


“I have. I filmed Under The Greenwood Tree in Jersey for ITV about 10 years ago. I had a lovely time on the island and took my children over there. Durrell is a great charity and it’s very nice to be linked to them through this series. I’d love to go back to Jersey. I thought it was a wonderful place.”

What has it been like filming in Corfu, including some locations linked to the real Durrell family when they lived there?

“It was pretty much paradise here in Corfu the other day where we shot a scene near the family’s house which is right next to the sea. They place a table and chairs in the sea, which is very shallow at that point, and eat their lunch there to keep cool.

“The area by the Durrell’s house is just unspeakably beautiful. You look down over the wall at the front of the house and the sea comes right up. But the tide never gets too high. So it just got up to the tops of the chairs and then flows away again when the tide turns.”

The Greek financial crisis meant the producers explored other possible locations for filming before deciding the series really had to be shot in the original setting?

“We had to film this in Corfu. Nowhere else would do. The house we’re in could not be more perfect. It’s wonderful. It all looks so authentic, how it would have looked back then.

“Corfu is gorgeous and the people are so lovely. They can’t do enough for you. They’re a very generous, welcoming people and so friendly. It’s very relaxing everywhere you, go. People saying, ‘Why are you so stressed? Just chill out.’ It’s a lovely atmosphere.

“People in this part of the world haven’t been having a great time of late and yet they are open and friendly. You wouldn’t know that they’d been through this financial nightmare. There’s a big difference between what you see on the news and the reality. It’s a lovely place to come to.”

How would you sum up the appeal of The Durrells?

The Durrells

“Every way you look here there is something of beauty. I really hope people enjoy it. The scripts are so sweet and funny. But they’re not saccharine. You believe in these people and you’re with them. It’s a real ensemble thing as well. Everybody has their story.

“I’m usually filming at the back end of nowhere. So I was determined to come here and enjoy it. There are children and animals and every day is different. You have to embrace it and have fun. It’s just a fantastic opportunity and it would be crazy not to make the most of it. “This is really up there with the best of what I’ve done.”

 

   Captain your Own
  Cruise with Le Boat


Captain your own cruise with Le Boat


Le Boat has been helping holidaymakers captain their own river cruise holidays in Europe for over 40 years, and 2016 promises to be the best year yet. With a new cruiser built with couples in mind, new sociable flotilla holidays in Italy, new river guides and a refreshing new look, Le Boat is successfully broadening the horizons of its customers and promising holiday fun for couples, families, groups and individuals.

For holidays that are as much about the journey as the destination, holidaymakers can now travel in style and serenity along the romantic rivers and picturesque waterways of nine European countries. Le Boat has 39 different departure bases to choose from and a variety of boats to suit all budgets.

New Horizon cruiser designed and made for couples

Sailing along the Canal du Midi

The new Horizon fleet has been created exclusively for Le Boat by luxury boat builders Delphia Yachts as part of a €15 million partnership. Available in all of Le Boat's key cruising areas, including the Canal du Midi and Burgundy in France, as well as Germany, Holland, Italy and the UK's River Thames; couples and small groups will have a broad range of destinations to visit.

A signature feature of the new model's innovative layout is a spacious en suite master cabin with an adjacent smaller second cabin. The Horizon also combines an outside seating area at the rear and roomy saloon with an impressive 'fundeck', the largest top-deck of any boat of this size, complete with a sunbathing area.

The first wave of 16 new Horizon boats will join Le Boat's fleet and launch in April 2016. Holidays are available to book now and cost from £920 per week arriving 25th April at Castelnaudary on the Canal du Midi, France and £790 from the 1st August on the Thames for a Horizon boat that sleeps up to four people (price does not include fuel and collision damage waiver).

As with all their boats, no experience is necessary and a full briefing will be given before setting off. The new model will also be available to own through Le Boat's unique Ownership and Management Programme.

New Flotilla Holidays in Italy

Sail through Murano in Italy


Le Boat is expanding its range of holiday styles in 2016 to include flotilla options in Italy. Available to book now for the summer, the flotillas are a self-drive boating break with a twist, offering a new travel experience.

In keeping with Le Boat's mission to make Europe's waterways accessible to beginners and experienced boaters alike, the new flotilla strikes a balance for those that enjoy both independent and social travel. It offers travellers the opportunity to “captain” their own cruiser with freedom and flexibility with the security and knowledge of a guide.

Guests will travel on their own boat and as part of a group of up to eight cruisers expertly led by a flotilla host. Each set of holidaymakers is free to choose the boat model that best suits their individual needs. There are 15 models available accommodating from two to twelve people including the new Horizon boat.

Each flotilla has a lead boat and skipper to host and guide boaters through the waterways. The skipper will give advice on how to make the most of the destinations visited and help arrange special group activities along the way, as well as remaining on hand to assist those new to boating at every stage of their journey.

Flotilla holiday departures are available between May and July with prices starting from £1,405 for a 2 Corvette boat sleeping up to 4 people. Price includes 1 week's accommodation on the boat with a skipper/guide and a group BBQ for all participants.

New River Guides – The Thames and the Canal du Midi

Knowing the Thames so well, in 2015 the Le Boat team decided to write a 70+ page book about this famous river including a fold out illustrated map. The guide includes detailed information about all riverside towns, villages and attractions as well as the best pubs and restaurants that holidaymakers can find while on Le Boat's Thames cruises. Readers will also find tips and practical information about moorings, locks and navigation on the Thames.

New for 2016 is the Canal du Midi guide which will showcase the secrets of this glorious stretch of water. Compiled by the same Le Boat waterway experts, the guide gives suggestions on where to enjoy the very best of France's cuisine, history and culture not to mention the most idyllic wine-tasting venues. The information given will help holidaymakers visualise what their holiday on France's most famous canal might look like and prepare them for their Canal du Midi adventure.

Both guides are free and can be ordered from Le Boat's website or sales team. All holidaymakers travelling on the Thames will find a copy on board their boat and the Canal du Midi guide can be ordered now.

New boating holidays for solo travellers


Although it takes more than one person to safely handle one of Le Boat's river cruisers, solo travellers can still enjoy the charms of a boating holiday by booking by the berth and sharing exciting experiences on the water with other like-minded travellers. It's a fantastic way to meet new people and explore beautiful destinations from a new perspective.

This new style of holiday has been made possible through Le Boat's partners at Intrepid. Solo travellers and their new travel companions can enjoy the benefits of having their very own guide or host who will show them the ropes, navigate the group to the best sights and ensure they get the most out of their time afloat. Booking options are restricted to selected boats and dates and are only available on the Canal du Midi at present; however Le Boat intends to add more destinations next year.

Prices start from £1,035 per person for an 8-day holiday and includes 7 night's accommodation on the boat (on a twin share basis), hosted itinerary and some activities.

To find out more about Le Boat holidays for singles click on www.leboat.co.uk


Own your own boat

In addition to offering a wide range of boating holiday options, Le Boat is now providing fans of self-drive cruising holidays with the chance to own their own boat. Le Boat's 'boat sales' department offers various ways to bring people the pride and joy of owning an inland river cruiser, whilst making the sales process simple and straight forward. Families, couples and groups of friends can truly travel for as long as they like on their floating home from home with all the creature comforts - the horizon's the limit.

Boat Ownership Programme

With this programme, the owner's boat is managed personally by Le Boat. Owners will arrive to a beautifully prepared boat, and they need never worry about maintenance or operating costs. They will receive a guaranteed income every month and will enjoy extensive usage on their own boat or a sister ship on many of the canals and rivers in Europe. Boat Brokerage and Private Boat Sales options are also available.

For more information and to book a holiday with Le Boat visit www.leboat.co.uk
 

Or call 023 9222 2177.
 

  Up to £200 off May
      Half Term and
     Whitsun Breaks
     in South Devon


Batson House in Salcombe


Why not bring your family to beautiful South Devon for a relaxing break this Whitsun? With miles of spectacular coastline to explore, unspoilt beaches for sandcastles and watersports plus local events to entertain children of all ages, enjoy a half term holiday to remember.

Locally based, British Travel Award-winning, Coast & Country Cottages offer a fabulous selection of 400 self-catering holiday properties exclusively in Salcombe, Dartmouth and throughout the surrounding South Devon coast and countryside.

Here are just a few suggestions - visit www.coastandcountry.co.uk  for full details of all availability. With special offers of up to £200 off, there has never been a better time to book your half term getaway!

Jack's Cottage near Totnes

Jack's Cottage near Totnes, is a beautifully presented, detached converted barn, in the grounds of a 300 acre working farm. Boasting panoramic country views and just a short drive from the South Devon coastline, this Visit England 5 Star Gold property sleeps 4 and is perfect for families with young children - accompanied children are welcome to explore the farm and collect fresh eggs.

Continue the holiday magic with a trip to the annual Fairy Day at the National Trust's Greenways near Dartmouth on 29th May – with a fairy trail and craft activities, fancy dress is optional but encouraged! £75 OFF – a week from 27th May (was £859) is now £784.

For details www.coastandcountry.co.uk 

Stay at one of the Dart Marina properties

For those with older children, a stay at one of Dart Marina properties combines luxury and relaxation with activities for all – enjoy a swim or some pampering at the Dart Marina Spa (including indoor pool, gym, Jacuzzi and 10% off beauty treatments), explore the boutiques and art galleries of this picturesque maritime town, hop on a boat trip or a steam train ride or visit historic Dartmouth Castle.

On 30th May join an exciting expedition, suitable for children over 12 and all abilities, exploring the River Dart by canoe with the National Trust Countryside Rangers. After all that activity relax in your Visit England 5 Star rated Dart Marina apartment – both sleeping up to 4 people and offering spacious luxury accommodation, stylish Poggenpohl kitchens and sumptuous bedrooms and bathrooms, 14 Dart Marina boasts a unique window seat for watching the boats go by whilst 15

Dart Marina's balcony offers stunning river views. £100 OFF – a week at 14 Dart Marina from 27th May was £1,601) is now £1,501. For details click on www.coastandcountry.co.uk

A week at 15 Dart Marina (was £1775) is now £1675. For details www.coastandcountry.co.uk

Batson House in Salcombe

If you are looking for accommodation for an extended family or a group of friends, the newly available Batson House in Salcombe sleeps up to 12 people in 6 bedrooms. The spacious and beautifully presented holiday home is within a few steps of the pretty tidal creek at Batson and just a 15 minute walk into Salcombe.

Enjoy Salcombe's unspoilt sandy beaches, perfect for beach games and watersports, book a powerboat trip or sailing tuition on the picturesque estuary, sample the local ice cream or relax in the extensive gardens in your delightful holiday property. Nearby Kingsbridge's Food & Music Festival from 3rd June provides a great opportunity for tasting delicious local produce. £200 OFF – a week from 27th May (was £3,300) is now £3100.

For details www.coastandcountry.co.uk
 

    Grape Escapes

Visit the Veneto region with Grape Escapes

Grape Escapes responds to the rise in Prosecco sales with the launch of a brand new destination! In August 2015, IRI released figures, showing that Prosecco sales had totalled £338 million in the UK, an increase of a staggering 72% on the previous year. In comparison, Champagne achieved a far smaller increase of just 1.2% in value sales - Prosecco was clearly popping!

In response to these figures, specialist wine tour operator Grape Escapes has started work on an exciting new featured destination, bringing the home of Prosecco – the Veneto region – to life. After eight months of dedicated research of the area, they have now announced the release of three brand new tours, based in both Venice, and the surrounding vineyards.

The tours, which can be taken as three or four day breaks, are available mid-week and weekends throughout the year, and offer guests the opportunity to discover a variety of Prosecco wineries, with extensive tastings of course!

The Grape Escapes Essential Venice Tour

Grape Escapes' Essential Venice Tour (starting at just £434 per person) is based at a selection of 4-5 star hotels in the centre of this city on water; after being welcomed at the iconic Caffè Florian on Saint Mark's Square with a delicious afternoon tea or aperitivo on their day of arrival, guests will enjoy a full day guided and transported tour with a specialist English-speaking guide.

The tour includes visits and tastings at two Prosecco wineries to witness first-hand the unique bubble-making process, as well as time to discover popular local sights including the spectacular 13th Century Follina Abbey. The tour day is rounded off in style with a four course traditional Venetian dinner, where each course is specifically paired with a different Italian wine. On the four day break, Grape Escapes also arrange for guests to take part in a unique food and wine walking tour to eat and drink like the locals, followed by the requisite gondola ride down the Grand Canal.

For those looking for a superior experience, Grape Escapes are offering an Exclusive Venice tour, which is based at the very best 5 star hotel in the city – Hotel Danieli. This luxurious hotel benefits from an excellent waterside location, just metres from the renowned Saint Mark's Square, and a few steps from the romantic Bridge of Sighs. The tour itself will be upgraded to a private experience, with a luxury chauffeured vehicle at guest's disposal throughout the day, and the opportunity to visit their favourite Prosecco wineries. In the evening, dinner is upgraded to a delicious four course Michelin starred wine tasting dinner at a city centre restaurant. The Exclusive break starts at £787 per person.

The Prosecco Vineyards in Veneto

Grape Escapes also cater for those seeking a special and memorable wine experience in a more rural setting; the relaxed itinerary of their Hidden Gem Villa Abbazia break (from £540 per person) gives guests the opportunity to enjoy their peaceful vineyard surroundings at a 17th Century Venetian residence in the quaint village of Follina. On the tour, guests will be welcomed at two premium wineries, and will enjoy an authentic lunch served in the picturesque Valdobbiadene.

With the chance to also explore the quaint village of Vidor, this day is perfect for those interested in exploring the calming Prosecco countryside and charming villages of the area. The four day break delights guests with a gastronomic six course gala dinner in the on-site Michelin starred restaurant – certainly an experience not to be missed!

Visit the Veneto region with Grape Escapes

For more information
visit the Grape Escapes website at www.grapeescapes.net
 

Or call 01920 46 86 66
 

   Explore Sardinia
    by Heritage Rail


Explore Sardinia by Heritage Rail
 

Sardinia has a remarkable 450 miles of standard and narrow gauge railway so what better way to explore its unspoilt inland and coastal beauty than on board a historic steam train?

Heritage rail tour operator The Railway Touring Company has been offering its 'Sardinia and the Emerald Coast' tour for 15 years now and has refined the route to take in all the highlights in a nine day journey around this mountainous Italian island.

In 2016 'Sardinia and the Emerald Coast' will depart on both Saturday, May 21st, and later, in autumn, on Saturday, October 15th, setting out from London Stansted and flying to the Sardinian capital Cagliari to start a rail adventure on board mainly specially chartered vintage trains.

Overnight stays include: Cagliari; the colourful west coast seaside town of Bosa, which is dominated by hilltop remains of the medieval fortress Castello Malaspina; the island town of Maddalena; the walled medieval city of Alghero; and the port of Arbatax on the beautiful South West coast.

Explore Sardinia by Heritage Rail

Memorable train journeys include 'Il Trenino Verde', the Little Green Train of Sardinia, as mentioned by D. H. Lawrence in his renowned 'Sea and Sardinia', which recounts his 1921 visit with his wife Frieda, with steam on this mainly single track across the plain of Campidano to Oristano.

The Railway Touring Company's tour also travels by narrow gauge train along the spectacular coastal route from Bosa to Tresnuraghes and by special vintage train, complete with first class plush velvet seats, from Palau Marina Station climbing into the hills, through forest and along deep valleys to Tempio Pausania to descend once more, crossing bridges and viaducts, winding down through pretty villages to pause at Nulvi for a local feast.

Routes in jeopardy this time last year also feature in the itinerary. Fortunately, rail company ARST (Azienda Regionale Sarda Transport) secured EU funding to help maintain the stretch of rail which climbs from Arbatax into the mountains to Villa Grande, where travellers will enjoy a typical Italian open-air lunch, and on, steam hauled by 2-6-2T locomotive No. 400 or 402, for the final dramatic climb through the spiral to Gairo.

On the final day of this Sardinian odyssey a steam hauled chartered narrow gauge train of restored wooden-bodied vintage carriages will take you north along the scenic Sorgono branch, a line no longer open to regular traffic, which was also rescued from closure in 2015.

'Sardinia and the Emerald Coast' costs £2155, including flights between London and Cagliari (or £1990 ground only), all rail and coach transport detailed in the itinerary, all transfers, nine nights in 3 and 4-star hotels with breakfasts, seven lunches and eight dinners, transportation of luggage between hotels by road coach and the services of a tour manager.

The Railway Touring Company offers a range of UK heritage rail-based tours, European tours of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Tuscany, the Czech Republic, Alsace and Slovakia, and also ventures further afield to Sri Lanka, Canada, the Andes, Peru and India.

The Railway Touring Company offers a range of rail-based tours

A 'Grand Tour' exploring the stunning lakes and mountains of Switzerland on board historic trains is a new tour devised by The Railway Touring Company for 2016. Travellers joining this nine day 'Grand Tour of Switzerland' in April or October will be treated to a schedule including Swiss alpine mountain railways on board mostly privately chartered steam trains and the legendary 1938 BLS 'Blue Arrow' railcar.

For a full programme of heritage rail holidays visit The Railway Touring Company's website at
www.railwaytouring.net 

Or call
01553 661500 for the 'Great Railway Adventures brochure.