Win A Year in Provence
Available on DVD
from March 24th
Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with Second Sight to offer
three lucky readers the chance to win A Year in
Provence on DVD.
Peter Mayle's much-loved best-seller A Year In Provence
is brought wonderfully to life in this BBC adaptation,
which comes to DVD for the first time in its complete,
unedited version as originally broadcast, thanks to
Starring one of Britainís most esteemed actors John Thaw
(Inspector Morse, The Sweeney, Kavanagh QC) alongside
Lindsay Duncan (Oliver Twist, Mansfield Park, Rome), it
originally aired to an audience of 14.5 million and now
A Year In Provence is available in its original format
over 12 episodes, on DVD as a two-disc set on 24 March
2014 and makes the perfect gift for Motherís Day.
Leaving their jobs and the rat race behind them, the
Mayles head off to the South of France, seduced by the
prospect of an idyllic rural life in the sun. They soon
discover the reality to be somewhat different however,
as one outlandish comic situation follows another and a
succession of colourful characters constantly interrupt
their pan for a quiet life.
This wonderful programme is one of BBCís most treasured
and can now be enjoyed as it was originally created.
A Year In Provence, starring John Thaw and Lindsay
Duncan is available on DVD from 24th March 2014. Price
For Your Chance to Win
tell us which famous actress
John Thaw in
A Year in Provence?
b) Felicity Kendall
c) Lindsay Duncan
d) Caroline Quentin
To Enter the Competition
Tell us which famous actress starred alongside John Thaw
in a Year in Provence? Then send in your answer, with your full
name, address and telephone number to the
Sixtyplusurfers link below:
* Please label your entry
A Year in Provence Competition
* This competition is open to
our UK readers only
A Moving Story
Watch it on Thursday 6th March,
9.00 - 10.00pm, ITV1
Filmed over two years,
Coronation Street: A Moving Story follows the Streetís
ambitious move of its entire production, cast and crew
from its 53-year-old base at Granada Studios to its new
home in Trafford.
There is unprecedented access behind the scenes as
Corrie stars like Sally Dynevor, Helen Worth and Jane
Danson pack up their dressing rooms and film their final
scenes on set at the old studios.
Doris Speed at the Coronation
Street Quay Street site in 1981
The documentary also features previously unseen footage
of Coronation Street being filmed in the early 1960s and
tells the story of the evolution of filming the series -
this new set is the fifth incarnation in the show's
Georgia May Foote visits the new
Coronation Street lot in Trafford
Show creator Tony Warren relives the moment he drove
around the streets of Salford with the shows designer
looking for the inspiration for the original Coronation
Barbara Knox takes one final tour of the old set before
saying a tearful farewell to the studios that she has
called home for nearly 50 years.
says an emotional
goodbye to the Rovers Return
Julie Goodyear says an emotional goodbye to the Rovers
Return at Granada, a set that gave
her 25 glorious years.
The programme also records the final scenes ever to be
filmed at Coronation Street on the Granada site while
actors including Ryan Thomas and Samia Ghadie are filmed
looking around the new set for the first time.
cast of Coronation Street
The programme features contributions from Beverley
Callard, Sally Dynevor, Simon Gregson, Brooke Vincent,
Helen Worth, Jane Danson, Sue Nicholls, Georgia May
Foote and Tony Warren many others.
MacAlpine signs a cobble
Street - A Moving Story is on Thursday 6th March, 9.00 -
By James Rampton
Lesley Joseph, best known for
her role as Dorien Green in
Birds of a Feather, is starring
in a brand new comedy musical
called Hot Flush! Touring the UK
in the Spring, the musical is
about a quartet of feisty
menopausal women who get
together every Tuesday night to
offer each other moral support
and gossip about the men in
their lives - 15 of them all
played by Matt Slack!
Lesley plays the part of Myra, a
specialising in divorce. Her
friends are Sylvia (Lori Haley
Fox), Helen (Anne Smith) and
Jessica (Ruth Keeling),
collectively referred to as 'The
Hot Flush Club'. We caught up
with Lesley to find out more
about the musical and her well
loved role as Dorien in Birds of
What appealed you about starring
in the touring production of Hot
"Iíve done it
twice before, and I just
couldnít resist doing it again.
It has gone down so well with
audiences. Itís the only show
Iíve ever done where on the
first night we overran by 15
minutes because there were so
"Of course, that could have just
been me overplaying it! Itís a
hybrid show - itís got music,
drama, stand-up and revue. But
the main thing is that itís
very, very funny."
Why do you think audiences
respond so well to this show?
"It strikes a chord because itís
about menopausal women, and a
lot of women identify with that.
The Vagina Monologues started a
trend for bringing in an
audience who might not have been
to the theatre before and Hot
Flush! is merely continuing
What do you think the show
offers to an audience?
"Its sense of humour is very
near the knuckle and that really
appeals. One of the characters
has a moment with a Rampant
Rabbit and you donít get much
more near the knuckle than that!
"Itís part of a genre of theatre
that connects with hormonal
housewives and hen parties. They
are people who want to leave
their troubles behind and come
out for a real laugh. Hot Flush!
speaks directly to that
audience, and thatís why it
works so brilliantly."
You play Myra in Hot Flush! Can
you describe her to us?
"Myra is middle-aged and
frustrated. Her husband has gone
off with a bimbo, and so, like a
lot of women her age, sheís
trying to find a new life for
herself. Sheís wisecracking, but
also vulnerable. You have to let
the audience see different
layers to a character.
"Myra is in this gang of four
women who are going through
everything together. By the end,
you see them singing and dancing
together. Itís like One
ĎSingular Sensationí at the end
of A Chorus Line.
been on a journey together and
they want to celebrate that. All
the characters have a degree of
pathos. Itís not a facile show Ė
itís aimed at making people
laugh and think at the same
What do you think the characters
learn during the course of Hot
"Myra learns to be herself and
that she is worth something.
Sheís not just defined by a man.
Itís a tremendous journey that
all of the characters go
through. The show demonstrates
the strength they all have when
Hot Flush! is a musical comedy Ė
how did you find the musical
part of Hot Flush!?
"Iíve loved it. I may not be the
greatest singer in the world,
but I can sell a song. Iíve
previously starred in The
Boyfriend and Thoroughly Modern
Millie, so I know my way round a
musical. I also job shared the
role of Miss Hannigan with Paul
OíGrady for two and a half years
in a production of Annie. It was
brilliant to dip in and out of
"Sometimes I get very possessive
about a role, and I was far
happier that a man was playing
my part than a woman on that
occasion. I knew I couldnít
compete with Paul, but it was
great as we had very different
Which part of the show do you
"Thereís a section in the middle
which feels almost like
stand-up. I talk to the audience
and pick on someone in the front
row. I would never want to be a
straight stand-up, but I love
doing it within the parameters
of the show.
"Hot Flush! ticks all the boxes
for me. It gives me my stand-up
and my musical fix for the
You obviously have a real love
"Absolutely. Iím a theatre girl
Ė I grew up loving it. I love
standing in the wings waiting to
go on and seeing the scenery
change. I used to do very
serious, kosher acting, but then
I went down the comedy route.
"Thatís top of the tree for me
now. I just love working with an
audience. Iím a pure theatre
What other theatre productions
have you enjoyed appearing in?
"Every sort of theatre is valid,
and I love doing it all. I once
did Harold Pinterís Home
directed by Sir Peter Hall. The
play is magical. The original
production starred Sir John
Gielgud and Sir Ralph
Richardson, and I worshipped the
ground they walked on.
"To be able to do that and then
shows such as Hot Flush! or The
Gingerbread Lady about a
recovering alcoholic or Titania
in A Midsummer Nightís Dream is
truly wonderful. Iíve never done
The National Theatre or the
Royal Shakespeare Company, but
Iíve done so many other
marvellous things on stage.
"Iíve entertained thousands of
people in the theatre and put
smiles on their faces and thatís
a great feeling."
Youíve recently returned to our
TV screens on ITV1 as Dorien in
Birds of a Feather, which is
probably your best known role.
Did you have any doubts about
"There will always be people who
say, ďFor Godís sake, why did
you bring it back?Ē Youíll
always have lovers and haters.
But you canít spend your life
worrying about what other people
think. Some people wonít like my
work, but many people will.
"All I know is that every day I
walk down the street and someone
stops me to say, ďThank you for
making me laugh.Ē Those people
are delighted that Birds of a
Feather is back."
How would you describe Dorien,
the man-eating neighbour in
Birds of a Feather?
"Sheís a comic creation born
with high heels and long nails.
Laurence [Marks] and Maurice [Gran]
based her on someone they knew
who used to go and put petrol in
her car wearing a white mink
coat. She used to get a nice
young man to do it for her, and
then she would disappear with
him for the afternoon.
"The high heels gave her that
distinctive trot, and the nails
meant that everyone else had to
do everything for her. She had a
very vacuous life, but there was
still a huge vulnerability about
Dorien. I think thatís why
people related to her."
Why else do audiences identify
"People simply love her. Yes,
sheís a nasty piece of work, but
people really like her because
she is also vulnerable. Thereís
a real pathos to her. She can
never be too successful. We
would never make her a big fish
in a big pond. She has to be
still stuck in Chigwell.
"She makes people laugh, but she
also makes them cry because you
see her vulnerability. Sheís the
wrong side of forty and refuses
to grow old gracefully. She
takes life by the balls and just
goes for it. Sheís a true life
Dorien is an identifiable human
being, isnít she?
"Definitely. It would have been
very, very easy to play her as a
clichť. Sheís glamorous and
loves power dressing. Sheís got
big hair and short skirts. Sheís
a very iconic TV character and
Iím really proud of her.
"It would have been very simple
to come on, get some corking
laughs and go off again. But we
never did that. We wanted to
make Dorien a more rounded
Do you feel you have been
typecast as Dorien?
"I suppose to an extent I have
been, but I donít mind at all
because sheís opened so many
doors for me. Thanks to her, I
have been able to really
diversify. I did a BBC Radio
London show for two and a half
years interviewing everyone from
comedians to Cabinet Ministers.
Iíve also travelled the world
presenting Wish You Were Here.
"Iíve always thought outside the
box. Thatís given me longevity.
A lot of people say the older
you get, the harder work gets,
but touch wood, itís been very
good for me because I have
ducked and dived. If you only do
one thing, itís more difficult.
"But I love that diversity Ė it
means I never get bored. If
someone asked me, ďWhat role put
you on the map?Ē, of course Iíd
say Dorien. Iím very proud of
her. But my career has never
just been about Dorien.
In real life, are you more like
like Dorien or Myra?
"Iím not like either. I havenít
got any thing in common with
them Ė apart from my age!"
You are also a regular in Panto
"Yes, I love doing panto. All
comedy timing is about hearing
the rhythm in your head, and
thatís crucial in panto. Ian
Hislop wrote an article saying,
ďI always thought panto was for
performers at the tail end of
their careers. But having seen
Dick Whittington in Wimbledon, I
now realise itís something you
should do at the peak of your
"When I read that, I thought,
ďThank you.Ē Some people donít
get panto, but itís great
because you learn the skill of
working with an audience. I hate
it when people put panto down.
Itís so important to get panto
right. If children donít have a
good time at panto, they wonít
go again and theatre will die."
How do you relax?
"Iím a very good knitter. I
recently knitted myself a dress,
and it was only meant to be a
jumper! I also love walking Ė I
walk everywhere. I love doing
the great London walks, learning
about Charles Dickens or Jack
"I also love
shopping. So Iím especially
happy at Christmas when thereís
an excuse to spend money!
"Every single job I do, I buy
myself a present. When I finish
a job, I think, ďRight, now Iíve
earned myself a pair of shoes!Ē
Finally, will men feel excluded
if they come to see Hot Flush!?
"Not at all. There is a very
funny moment where Myra goes
speed-dating. One actor plays
all the men, and he ends up
wearing a leather pouch and a
mask. At that point, the
audience goes berserk, and the
roof comes off the theatre. That
sums up the evening.
"People might be snobby about
Hot Flush! But itís great
entertainment, and it sends
audiences out with a smile on
their faces. Theyíve left their
troubles behind and had a
wonderful night out.
"Itís a ďlet your hair downĒ
show, and above all, itís laugh
out loud funny. When you watch
it, it blows your head off.
Watching Hot Flush! is like
having a Hot Flush!"
For more information about Hot
Flush visit the website at
Third Series for Legal Drama,
on BBC ONE
Silk returns for a third series,
and feelings run high when a
murder trial close to home sends
shockwaves through Shoe Lane
Clive (Rupert Penry-Jones) is
now a Silk and he and Martha
(Maxine Peake) get closer, but a
change in direction for the
Chambers could seriously divide
Meanwhile Billy (Neil Stuke) is
struggling to cope with the
secret of his illness and new
Practice Manager Harriet
(Miranda Raison) sends ripples
through the Clerks Room.
A shock resignation jolts
chambers and Billy begins to
take steps to ensure the future
of Shoe Lane, with or without
Maxine Peake talks about her
role as Martha Costello QC
We see Martha's frustration
after a miscarriage of justice
affects her personally at the
beginning of the series. Was it
good to allow her to lose
"I think Martha has always been
teetering on the brink of losing
control but recent events have
pushed her to the edge. It was
good to let Ďripí."
How does Martha feel about the
changes at Shoe Lane and does
Harriet and Billyís conflict
"Martha is really unsettled
about the changes. Shoe Lane is
her family and it feels like the
unit is disintegrating. Martha
is concerned about Harriet and
Clive is open about the strength
of his feelings for Martha. Is
there a flicker of hope that
Martha might reciprocate?
"I think there is. If Clive
could prove himself trustworthy.
Whether Martha could handle or
want a serious long-term
relationship is another thing."
Cliveís move into prosecuting
puts him and Martha against each
other in court, does this create
conflict between them?
"Martha likes being opposite
Clive in court. Heís a great
barrister so she has to up her
game. It can create conflict,
but they both enjoy competing
against each other. Thatís were
their spark is created."
An appearance from someone in
Marthaís past compels her to mix
her personal and professional
life. What does this mean for
Martha and her future at the
"Martha has to start to reassess
what is really important in her
life. This personís arrival
forces Martha to remember the
person she was and why she
embarked on the career she did.
"She realises that things have
changed greatly and that her
teenage goals and ideals have
gone somewhat Ďout of the
Rupert Penry-Jones talks about
his role as Clive Reader
Has achieving his ambition of
becoming a ĎSilkí changed Clive
"Heís decided to be a grown-up I
think, and this was something
that both I and the writers
really wanted. He still seemed
very much a Ďpublic school boyí,
so Iíve been trying to make him
a bit more grown up and I think
that becoming a Silk has helped
Clive seems much more open about
his feelings for MarthaÖ is
there a chance that theyíll make
a go of it?
"Iím not sure why he decides to
suddenly tell her how he feels,
but I donít think you can always
explain these things. Heís
looking at her; sheís dancing,
sheís free, so he thinks heíll
give it a go. I think thereís
always hope for them. I think
sheís who he wants, in the end,
but Iím not sure heíll ever get
Thereís a shake-up at Shoe Lane
in the wake of Harrietís
arrival. Is Clive in favour of
the new guard or is he loyal to
"I think heís a bit torn, but
when he realises itís going to
be good for his career then I
donít think he has a problem
with a change in direction. And
I think he truly believes that
it is the way forward (for the
Chambers is to become a
prosecution practice. Thereís
also a new head of Chambers vote
going on which heís in the
Is Clive flattered by Harrietís
attempt to champion him at
"Yes he is. His ego is boosted.
And I think he likes her too,
thereís an attraction there.
Itís purely professional at
first but it gradually develops
as they slowly realise that they
quite like each other.
"Iím not sure if it was intended
but itís something that comes
through and the creators
realised that it worked and
decided to run with it. Miranda
and I had worked together before
so there was shorthand there."
Is Martha jealous?
"I think Marthaís got other
things on her mind really. Clive
hates her ex-boyfriend and they
end up having a massive fight.
It took a while to shoot but
even longer to get over the
bruises - we were a bit bashed
up! We were throwing each other
around and against walls, but
how much of it will end up in
the final cut I donít know."
What does Cliveís backing of
Harriet to make Shoe Lane a
prosecution Chambers mean for
"Marthaís a defence barrister so
she thinks that if the Chambers
becomes a prosecution service,
then she canít stay there. Clive
doesnít agree but I think sheís
batted him away for so long that
heís had enough and heís just
trying to move on."
Was it good to get everyone back
together for filming?
"Itís very nice to come back to
a character that you know.
Although itís also good coming
to a new character and why I
donít often like to stay too
long. While it stays interesting
and keeps developing, then you
want to stay. And in terms of
working with the same people
again, I love that.
"One of the sad things about
being an actor is that you get
to know people really well,
really intimately and you spend
more time with them than your
family and then when the show
finishes you donít see each
other again. A lot of the Spooks
guys I just donít see any more
and we were really close, so
itís sad. It makes it hard to
leave a show when you know that
youíre walking away from
friendships, but obviously some
friendships bridge the gap."
Miranda Raison talks about her
role as Harriet
How are we first introduced to
"When we first meet Harriet, she
is in a state of high tension
outside the Royal Courts of
Justice, organising the
finishing touches to Clive
Readersí Silk party. He has been
made a QC and right from the
start Harriet has been on
"She wants the Chambers to
become a prosecution set. She is
absolutely buttering up Clive
from the beginning and wants to
make his party as smooth as
possible and seduce anyone who
may hire him as a prosecution
Can you tell us a little about
her back story and her role at
"Harriet has spent 6 - 8 years at
a human rights charity. Often
when chambers employ a practice
manager, it is someone who is
not from a law background. I
think this is quite a deliberate
decision to have a fresh pair of
eyes, who is not trying to rise
up in the world of law.
"So sheís had this time in
Amnesty and it has really
toughened her Ė she has dealt
with some very difficult cases
and seen some very harrowing
things. In one way it makes her
prepared for anything to be
thrown at her Ė even though she
takes it incredibly seriously.
Although she and Billy really do
butt heads and rub each other up
the wrong way."
Thereís not much love lost
between her and Billy, what is
the reason for the tension
"Neil and I have both said that
there is definitely a mutual
respect between them but they
would never dream of saying that
to each other. They have a
completely different way of
working: she finds his
antiquated 'do business in the
pub over a handshake' horrifying
and believes that everything
needs to move forward into the
21st century, and he believes
the complete opposite.
"Billy believes the institution
needs to be about family and
contacts and she says that the
secret handshake and boys' club
is a completely dated concept."
Harriet seems to be championing
Cliveís career over Marthaís. Is
there any romantic motivation or
is it more to do with her own
ambitions for Chambers?
"She becomes very drawn to him. I
think initially itís not very
clear whether or not she has
picked up on the fact she is
attracted to him.
"Itís hard to know whether she
is just trying to manipulate
him. There are certainly some
developments that go beyond just
a working relationship."