Win Grace & Favour
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Your Chance to Win
the setting for Grace & Favour?
A Golf Club
b) A Health Spa
A Rural Hotel
A Coffee Shop
To Enter the Competition
Tell us what
is the setting for Grace & Favour?
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UK visitors only
to Stay Young
Thursday, 7th April
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 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
British weather, uptight
Englishness and narrow horizons.
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
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
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
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
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
Were you familiar with the previous TV adaptations in 1987 and
“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
“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.
Who is Louisa Durrell?
“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
“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
Tell us about your screen family?
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
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
Gerry brings a number of animals home from his explorations.
Have you had many scenes with
“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
How would you describe Louisa’s relationship with Spiro, played
by Alexis Georgoulis?
“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
“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
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?
“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?
“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
“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
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?
“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
What has it been like filming in Corfu, including some
locations linked to the real
Durrell family when they lived
“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
“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?
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Boat Brokerage and Private Boat Sales options
are also available.
For more information and to book a holiday with
Le Boat visit
Or call 023 9222 2177.
to £200 off May
Half Term and
in South Devon
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
Here are just a few suggestions - visit
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
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 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
A week at 15 Dart Marina (was £1775) is
now £1675. For details
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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!
For more information
visit the Grape Escapes website at
call 01920 46 86 66
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
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
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
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
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.
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
for the 'Great Railway Adventures brochure.