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Black Work

Geraldine James in Black Work

      With Geraldine James and
Sheridan Smith - Watch it on ITV1

Sheridan Smith, Matthew McNulty, Douglas Henshall, Geraldine James and Phil Davis star in ITV1's new riveting three part thriller, Black Work.

Following her critically acclaimed roles in Cilla and Mrs Biggs, Sheridan plays police woman Jo Gillespie whose world is thrown into turmoil when husband Ryan (Kenny Doughty), an undercover policeman is hot dead in mysterious circumstances. She resolutely sets out to discover who murdered him and has to confront difficult truths about her family life and her marriage to Ryan.

Police office Jo is mother to 7-years-old Melly (Honor Kneafsey) and stepston Hal (Oliver Wooldford). Understandably Jo is emotionally distraught and heavily conflicted as she unravels the last six months of her husband's life. She's grieving and wracked with guilt following an attachment to Ryan's colleague and fellow police office DC Jack Clark (Matthew McNulty) which puts further strain on her grieving family.

Sheridan Smith talks about her role as Jo Gillespie

Sheridan Smith talks about her role as Jo Gillespie

What appealed to you about Black Work?

"The writer Matt Charman got in touch with me, explained the premise of Black Work and why he wanted me to play Jo Gillespie. She has two worlds: Her family life and then her police family. Jo is strong and tough but goes through so much turmoil and mental torment. It was different to anything I've done before. I like trying different things and challenging myself and Matt is a really clever writer, so I said yes."

Who is Jo Gillespie?

"Jo is a police constable married to Ryan, played by Kenny Doughty, who is a police detective. They have a young daughter Melly (Honor Kneafsey) and Ryan has a 16-year-old son Hal (Oliver Woollford from a previous marriage who also lives with them. It's a modern family."

Ryan has regularly spent time away from home?

"There's a strain on their relationship evident right from the start. Ryan has been working away three days a week training CID officers. At least that's what Jo thinks. In fact he has been working undercover on a secret special investigation. Jo and Ryan haven't been spending a lot of time together and hardly talk anymore. He's a closed book and she's becoming guarded and conflicted. But they both adore the children."

Tell us about Jo's relationship with Jack Clark, played by Matthew McNulty?

Matthew McNulty as Jack Clark

   Matthew McNulty as Jack Clark

"Jack is also in the force and is best friends with Ryan. Jo and Jack have become close. His son and her daughter Melly both go swimming together. So Jo and Jack would see each other there very week and would sit and talk. And it was just talking. It never developed into anything more. But because Jo's relationship was so strained, and so was his with his wife, they felt they had no-one to talk to and they've just become close. It was something they needed."

Geraldine James talks about her role as Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki

Geraldine James as Chief Constable Carolyn Jarecki

Black Work is an intriguing story, written by Matt Charman, what appealed to you about the role?

"I'd never worked with Matt before but I think he's one of the greatest writers for telly. He's exceptional. To me that's the most important thing, the writing. there are a lot of cop shows on TV but this is an unusual take on it. I was really intrigued when I read the scripts."

Who is Carolyn Jacecki?

"Carolyn is a Yorkshire girl whose father was Polish. She has worked her way up through the police force. It wasn't easy for her to reach the position of Chief Constable. It's a fairly unusual
position for a woman but getting less so. She's quite a complex character, which I liked."

Douglas Henshall as DS William Hepburn

Douglas Henshall as DS William Hepburn

"The way she runs her police force is interesting, as is her professional relationship with her second in command William Hepburn (Douglas Henshall) and young WPC Jo Gillespie (Sheridan Smith).

"She's not just a bossy policewoman. She has to be politically astute. It's like being a Mayor. She has to balance what she can and cannot pursue. It's very topical."

What is it like playing a powerful police chief?

"This is the first time I've played a Chief Constable and the first time I've worn a police uniform, which I found rather scary. But it's a huge help to get into the character. When I first put it on I thought, 'This is idiotic. I look like  a complete fool in this. It doesn't work at all.'

"And then I got rather keen on it and enjoyed wearing it. The uniform does do a lot of the work for you, particularly when the medals are on. It's empowering.

"I really got to like strutting about. It's good fun. The fact it's the first police officer I've ever played is surprising. It was good to play an upright person in the community. I usually play a dodgy low life."


A Song for Jenny

Emily Watson as Julie Nicholson

Coming soon to BBC ONE

A Song For Jenny is the true story of Julie Nicholson's response to her daughter Jenny’s murder in the July 7th bombing at Edgware Road tube station. Starring Emily Watson as Julie, A Song For Jenny details the dramatic and profound impact of violence on one woman and a family.

Adapted from Julie’s book, Frank McGuinness’s script is a moving and precise exploration of a mother’s responses from the moment she hears about the attacks to the news that her daughter is missing, to the confirmation that Jenny is among the dead.

Julie and her family experience hope, denial, acceptance of grim reality, the anguish of grief and a final desire not to be broken and to honour Jenny.

July 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London, which killed 52 people and injured more than 700. It was the greatest loss of life in a British terrorist attack since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.

Ten years on, A Song For Jenny will be a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives in that tragedy.

Emily Watson talks about her role as Julie Nicholson

Emily Watson as Julie Nicholson

What attracted you to the project?

"It felt like a call to duty."

How did you approach taking on this role?

"I met with Julie after reading her book. In a way it just sucked me in. It's so powerful."

In what ways could you relate to Julie’s story?

"I'm a mother. I'm a Londoner."

Did you meet Julie and her family?

"We met before the shoot and she shared very intimate, raw and tender memories with me. She’s incredibly generous. I met the family at a screening."

Do you have any of your own personal memories of 7/7?

"I was at home in London, heavily pregnant with my first child, about to go and get the tube. We turned on the radio and heard there'd been an incident - I remember so much confusion - and then the chilling moment when the bus explosion came - a power surge became London was under attack."

What did you find most challenging and which aspect did you enjoy?

"Having to inhabit the deep traumatic grief and shock was pretty hard. Enjoy is not really the word - but there was a great sense of serious commitment amongst the cast and crew. Unlike anything I've experienced."

Do you think the drama is a fitting tribute to the anniversary?

"I hope so. Obviously there are many stories from that day. Each unique. Everybody's loss is equally important. Julie is a natural storyteller, and very significantly, a priest who lost her child to what purported to be, however twisted, a religiously motivated act.

"Her religious faith was very shaken - she's no longer a priest. And though in honouring her daughter she drove herself to the edge, staring into a dark abyss, ultimately she chose humanity and chose love over hatred."

A Song for Jenny is directed by Brian Percival. The executive producer is Stephen Wright and the producer is Liz Trubridge.

Vet School

Vet School

           Monday 6th July on ITV1

Vet School is a documentary series following the pioneering work of the vets and students at the Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies as they battle to save lives and undertake tricky surgeries on all kinds of animals from the farmyard, to domestic pets and even the exotic.

Will Freddie the West Highland Terrier's complicated heart surgery be a success? Can the farm vets help Phanta the goat with her phantom pregnancy?

Vet School

And can Kevin cure a wallaby of a terrible runny nose...

Prized Apart

Prized Apart with Emma Willis and Reggie Yates

             Watch it on BBC ONE

Prized Apart is a brand-new Saturday night entertainment show for BBC One, commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and presented by Emma Willis and Reggie Yates.

Filmed on location in Morocco and in a UK studio, Prized Apart features 10 couples who compete in a series of stunts and tasks to win a life-changing sum of money. However, there is a twist as the couples are 'prized' apart for a maximum of six weeks without any contact - but even at a distance, they are still in it together.

Each couple comprises an adventurer and a studio player. The adventurers compete in a set of physically and mentally challenging tasks in Morocco with Reggie Yates on hand to support them - their aim is to stay in the competition as long as possible and avoid being sent home to the UK until the last episode.

The studio players remain in the UK, watching the week’s action unfold in the studio, and could find themselves answering make-or-break questions posed by Emma Willis to keep them and their partner in the competition and in the running for the prize.

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One says, “I’ve been looking for an entertainment format that feels genuinely game-changing and Prized Apart delivers to the max. Jeopardy, heart and high emotion come together inside the studio and out.”

Prized Apart is executive produced by Karl Warner, Meredith Chambers, Martin Dance and Francesca Maudsley.

It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Rachel Ashdown.

Entertainment & Travel


Sixtyplusurfers Competition

Win Tickets for an Elvis Tribute Cruise

Win Tickets for an Elvis Tribute Cruise

Sixtyplusurfers has teamed up with 
City Cruises to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to an Elvis Tribute Cruise departing from North Greenwich Pier. This fantastic prize includes a three hour cruise with a welcome glass of sparkling wine on arrival, a  three course dinner followed with tea or coffee, two musical sets featuring an award winning Elvis tribute artist, and Elvis themed music for dancing to end the cruise.

Show stopping Thames cruises with City Cruises this summer

This summer, sailing down the River Thames with City Cruises is the place to be for fans of sightseeing experiences in London like no other. With special sailings and offers, summer is the best time to take to the water to enjoy show stopping musical cruises.

Whilst on board, passengers can take in an incredible Elvis tribute performance by award-winning Ben Thompson, as he sings his way up and down the Thames

On selected dates, London’s number one sightseeing operator on the Thames will be inviting Elvis lovers to rock the boat and put on their blue suede shoes for a special Elvis dinner cruise.

Departing from North Greenwich Pier, this cruise is the perfect addition to visits to Britain’s largest Elvis exhibition, now on at Greenwich’s O2. After attending the exhibition, Elvis enthusiasts can enjoy a short stroll down by the riverside to the pier, where they hop on board the dinner cruise and continue to commemorate the memories of this renowned pop icon.

Win Tickets for an Elvis Tribute Cruise

Whilst on board, passengers can take in an incredible Elvis tribute performance by award-winning Ben Thompson, as he sings his way up and down the Thames. Following a welcoming glass of sparkling wine, there will be a lavish three course meal to be enjoyed whilst watching this exciting rock ‘n’ roll experience and admiring iconic views of the city by night.


Enjoy the iconic views of London at night

Providing a mixture of exciting entertainment and incredible London skyline views, it is now or never to enjoy this one off experience. Standard tickets cost £49 per person*. This cruise is set to take place on 9th, 23rd and 30th July and 27th August plus monthly dates right up until December.

Fans of show tunes can also take advantage of special 2 for 1 prices on selected London Showboat sailings throughout the summer months. Check website  for details.

Fans of show tunes can also take advantage of special 2 for 1 prices on selected London Showboat sailings throughout the summer months

Departing from Westminster Pier daily at 7.45pm and returning at 11pm, the London Showboat is the perfect way to spend an evening on the river with a loved one or group of friends. Guests will dine on a delicious four-course meal whilst sailing down the Thames, taking in London’s best views from the river at night. And, a live singer will provide the soundtrack to the evening, performing a selection of popular hits and show tunes whist the boat gently glides past the Tower of London and Greenwich to the Thames Barrier and back.

After enjoying the delights of the dinner, passengers can take to the dance floor to show off their moves, or head upstairs to the open-top deck for unrivalled night-time views of the capital. The London Showboat is an evening to remember and it doesn’t get any better. Good food, great entertainment and fabulous views. That’s the London Showboat. The best night out on the river.

The London Showboat is an evening to remember with good food, great entertainment and fabulous views

Twice a month, jazz enthusiasts can set sail on Thames Jazz, the coolest cruise on the Thames. This three-course dining cruise is accompanied with music from a live five-piece jazz band. ChiJazz will perform a range of cool, ambient tunes, as well as more lively numbers guaranteed to get passengers up on their feet. Thames Jazz will cruise down the Thames from Westminster Pier on 2nd and 16th July and 6th and 20th August and is priced from £49 per person**.

Those looking to spend the evening on the river taking in the sights, enjoying an indulgent meal, and listening to top class musical entertainment, should look no further than City Cruises this summer

Those looking to spend the evening on the river taking in the sights, enjoying an indulgent meal, and listening to top class musical entertainment, should look no further than City Cruises this summer.

To book either the Elvis Cruise, the London Showboat, or Jazz Cruise this summer visit

For more information about the Elvis Cruise click on

Those looking to spend the evening on the river taking in the sights, enjoying an indulgent meal, and listening to top class musical entertainment, should look no further than City Cruises this summer

* Availability at discounted prices is limited and dates can be withdrawn without notice.

** Based on a standard seat for adults and children. Window seats are available from £59 per person.


For Your Chance to Win

Tell us what type
of shoes would be popular on an Elvis dinner cruise?

Tell us what type of shoes would be popular on an Elvis dinner cruise?

     a) Red Velvet
     b) Blue Suede
     c) White Satin
     d) Black Patent

 To Enter the Competition

Tell us what type of shoes would be popular on an Elvis dinner cruise? Then send in your answer together with your full name, postal
address and telephone number to the special email address given below:

Please fill in the subject box
of your email with the title:
Elvis Dinner cruise
Competition (Sixtyplusurfers)

Competition Terms & Conditions

Win a pair of tickets for an Elvis Tribute Cruise

1. The prize is a pair of tickets for an Elvis Tribute Cruise departing from North Greenwich Pier. The prize includes a three hour cruise with a welcome glass of sparkling wine on arrival, a  three course dinner followed with tea or coffee, two musical sets featuring an award winning Elvis tribute artist, and Elvis themed music for dancing to end the cruise.

Entrants must be aged 18 or over.

. One lucky reader with the correct answer chosen from the 'hat' at random will win the prize.

4. Please let us know if you do not wish to receive any further correspondence from City Cruises.

5. The competition is open to our UK visitors only.

6. We do not accept automated entries.

7. The competition closes on 31st July 2015.


Have an Active Summer Holiday
with HF Holidays

Have an Active Summer Holiday with HF Holidays

If lazing on a sun lounger isn’t for you, why not get active this summer with HF Holidays, the UK’s biggest walking and activity holiday provider.

With a beautiful range of accommodation across the UK, from Derwentwater in the Northern Lake District, to Lulworth Cove set on the stunning UNESCO Jurassic coast, HF Holidays can offer you an array of different walks with contrasting terrains and stunning views. Other destinations in the UK include Dolgellau, Dovedale and Church Stretton, which all have something different to offer visitors.

Lulworth Cove

HF Holidays offers comfortable accommodation from stays as little as three nights. Or if you’re looking to get away for a bit longer, the walking company can also supply week long stays.

Prices start from as little as £299 per person for a three night break inclusive of full board en-suite accommodation, daily choice of walks and services of walk leaders.

As an extra benefit for families looking for an active summer break, children under 11 go free and under 17s get a 50% discount on HF Holidays’ family adventure packages offering great value for money.

HF Holidays has over 100 years’ experience and offers an award winning service to ensure that your holiday is perfect, right down to the last detail.

Derwent Water

For more information about HF Holidays, or to book now, please visit

Or call 0345 470 7558

Auto Rally at Blenheim Palace

Auto Rally at Blenheim Palace

Calling all classic car fans! Blenheim Palace is hosting the Pre-50 American Auto Club 'Rally of Giants' on 26 July, celebrating the event's 50th birthday. This superlative gathering offers a rare opportunity for collectors and admirers to see the finest and most valuable examples found anywhere in Europe.

There will be more than 400 classic American vehicles attending, including some of the best examples of motoring history and the most valuable.

Dating from the early 1920's through to the 1970's the Rally of Giants is a must visit for those with a passion for American motorcars. For those with only a passing interest in motoring avocation expect your interest to be piqued with this remarkable collection of American motorcars, trucks, military vehicles and bikes.

Attracting collectors from the UK and continental Europe to Blenheim Palace the rally provides the perfect backdrop for admiring, purchasing and selling classics. Visitors can enjoy a full day out in Blenheim Palace, Park and Gardens with delicious food and refreshments available in the wonderful eateries.

To find out more information about the Pre50AAC and the 'Rally of Giants' visit the Pre '50 American Auto Club website at


Park & Gardens ticket required
Adult £13.80/ Child £6.70 (5-16 yrs)
Concession £10.40/ Family £36.50 (2 adults, 2 children)

For more information about the Car Rally click on 

Long Weekends at Lumley Castle

Long weekends at Lumley Castle

A 600-year-old castle, close to a number of leading North East tourist attractions, is offering visitors some medieval magic this summer.

Lumley Castle, overlooking the Emirates Cricket Ground at Chester-le-Street, is a four star hotel set within a 14th century castle and is one of the region’s top leisure, wedding and conference venues.

Now, it is offering visitors to attractions such as The Angel of the North, Durham Cathedral and Castle and the intu Metrocentre shopping mall – a two night break with dinner, bed and breakfast from just £325 per couple.

The package includes accommodation in an individually designed double room in the castle’s courtyard, which offers modern amenities, such as a flat screen TV and free Wi-Fi, alongside a wealth of historical features.

Alternatively, for a small supplement, guests can upgrade to a Castle Feature room with an authentic four poster bed.

An à la carte evening meal on both nights and breakfast each morning will be served in the hotel’s renowned Black Knight restaurant and a reduced rate for those wishing to stay an additional night is available upon request.

The Lumley Castle Weekend Break applies to any two-night stay between Thursday and Sunday and is based on two people sharing a Courtyard Double or Twin bedroom.

Upgrades are available subject to availability and a small supplement and terms and conditions apply.

For further information visit the website at

       Celebrity Interview

   Judi Dench Talks
about the Second Best
 Exotic Marigold Hotel

Judi Dench

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the delightful and eagerly anticipated sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, dances onto Blu-ray and DVD. Actress Judi Dench talks about her role as Evelyn in the film and what you can look forward to on the new DVD.

Do you ever worry that these great roles will stop coming?

"Yes, but I have always been afraid that the next role is not going to come. Trevor Nunn once said to me when he came to wish me luck on the first night, ‘Why are you always in tears on the first night?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I am never going to be employed again.’ In a way, it is quite a jokey, light-hearted thing to say, but at the depths of me I do have that fear."

Even after all your success?

"I still have that fear and perhaps it is very healthy to be like that. Perhaps I don’t want it to change. It is like nerves. You need the nerves because that supplies you with an energy you can use as petrol. And perhaps this fear is something that I need.

"What I don’t like very much is the fact that you play something and then after that you get sent scripts just like the last role you played, which is the last thing you want to do. You don’t want to play someone like the last person you played. You want to play somebody as different from that as possible."

Did you have any reservations about this film, especially after the first one did so well?

"We had no expectation of there being a second one. None at all. The first film was a one-off where I don’t think anyone thought it would be the success it was. Probably, it was quite refreshing to have people who were all of our age and all struggling and trying not to fit into a slot and not being taken for granted, and doing something daring. They are defying what is happening to them."

What is it like working with such a tight group of friends on these films?

Judi Dench and Bill Nighy

"It is lovely because you have got a shorthand. You don’t have to worry about making a fool of yourself in front of them because they have seen you make a fool of yourself for years! You know them very well and you know the pace they work at. I never realized until I directed that such a lot of directing is not interpreting the play so much as finding out the speeds and the manner in which an actor works.

"Afterwards, when I was asked about directing, I said it is like getting 11 horses over the line at the same time. Some of them just want to go off and eat a bit of grass and some of them charge ahead and for the director it is about trying to get them over a line at the same time at the end. It is that.

"But if they are friends — and we are all good friends, all of us, which is lucky — there is a kind of shorthand because we all know each other so well that you don’t have that embarrassment. Sometimes, it can be like taking all your clothes off in front of somebody. You have to make a fool of yourself to get anywhere."

Has working on these films in India changed you as a person?

"The whole experience of India changed me. The one thing I didn’t have to act about Evelyn was her passion for the country and for the people. I just was bewitched by it. I have played in France, Belgium, Japan, America, Australia, Canada and Bangkok and West Africa, so many places, but I found a kind of ease of settling into India quicker than any other country I have ever been in, including America.

"There are a lot of things to come to terms with that I thought I wouldn’t be very brave about. But the people enchanted me, really. About 70 per cent of the crew on the first film came back to work on the second one. So we knew everybody’s names. It was lovely."

There’s a story out there that you might get a tattoo?

"It is a long old joke between Harvey Weinstein and me."

So it is not true?

"Well, I haven’t said that! (laughs). He saw Mrs. Brown and it was made for television and he then made it into a movie. Then, after that, I had a movie career. I have done, I think, eight films for Harvey so far; touch wood. Are you listening, Harvey?

"So I said to him, ‘One day I am going to have your name tattooed,’ and he laughed. Then when we went out to lunch at the Four Seasons and I got my make up person to write Harvey Weinstein on my skin!"

Do you help younger actors when you work with them on set?

"If they want it and they need it, and if I can, I would. A long time ago in my career, I was in The Cherry Orchard with Sir John Gielgud and Dame Peggy Ashcroft and they taught me an incredible amount of things, an incredible amount. It was directed by Michel Saint-Denis, and I had a hard time with him.

"They’d all been at Stratford for quite a long time, and I had come straight up from the Old Vic and I had quite a hard time. But Sir John and Peggy were absolutely wonderful to me. They taught me to have a bit of backbone."

Do you have any regrets — any roles you’ve turned down or which you wish you’d been offered?

"I don’t, really. Maybe a couple of things. I never liked the play The Merchant of Venice. It is the only Shakespeare play I don’t like and Michael [Williams] and I did it the year we were married. That turned a play that I didn’t like very much into something that I was glad to have done.

"I don’t really [have regrets]. I think it is a bit negative to have regrets. I do have some regrets about some things I have done, some plays I have done, and I wish I was offered something, which I turned down that went on to be an enormous success. I don’t want to say what it is because the person who played it was absolutely wonderful and doesn’t know that I was offered it in the first place. So you’ll never know!"

How did you get involved in the Best Exotic Marigold films in the first place?

"John [Madden, the director] approached me. He came down and he read it to me, I think. I can’t read easily. I have to have the print blown up. So he came down, which is actually something I have always liked very much indeed. I have always thought it was terribly important.

"As children we were told stories. And if they were told in a wonderful way they captured your imagination. Well, if a director comes to you and tells you this story and that story catches you, then you get to tell the audience. I love that."

Have many ordinary people in the street come up and spoken to you about your role as Evelyn?

"I don’t think anybody has asked me about it very much, but the joy was that we came to do another one. And I don’t think any of us hesitated for a second about being asked to do a second one. In fact, I don’t think it was even asked of me whether do I want to do this or not. I think I was just told! (laughs). Sometimes, when you are a child you love a place and you go back to it and it is not the same. This was the same and better."

Now you are no longer in the James Bond films, how do you feel?

"How could I possibly feel? I’d have been chucked out by MI6 by now anyway (laughs). ‘Don’t let her come in. Get her out.’ They seem to change quite regularly the heads at MI6. She would be living in a big house somewhere with a pension. I don’t like seeing pictures of the Bond cast in the Swiss Alps, or wherever doing great big fun things."

Which is your favourite of the seven James Bond films in which you’ve appeared?

"I don’t know. I just remember complaining that I was never taken away anywhere. So in one of the films we were at Stowe Public School and they put me in a trailer with ‘Innsbruck’ written along the side. They said, ‘Now you can never complain about not going anywhere.’ (laughs) Then I did go to Nassau and Panama, so that was all right. I am a huge fan of James Bond and a huge fan of Bernard Lee who used to play M. The first television I ever did, I worked with him. He was a really good actor."

How do you choose your roles these days?

"How wonderful to be asked! I do think, ‘God, how wonderful to be asked!’ Especially when there are lots of people who could be asked. That’s not modesty. There are lots and lots and lots of people who are standing around waiting for jobs so I think, you know, how wonderful, how wonderful."

In this film did you enjoy the fact that Evelyn is the one who’s worried about commitment?

"It is both of them a bit, isn’t it? The surprise in this one is that they haven’t got together. That quite surprised me. I thought, ‘Gracious me, they haven’t moved on much!’ They are both in the slow lane."

Maybe when you are older love is slower; when you are young it is all very impetuous?

"Or maybe when you are older it has to be faster because you haven’t got much time left!"

What are the good things about getting older?

"Nothing is good about getting older. Nothing. Being young is better!"

When you turned 80 what changed in your mind?

"I hate it when you said 80. It changes in your mind but it’s a number that people say."

Is it just a number?

"Well, it is not even that for me. I don’t use it. I also don’t use the word ‘retire’. It is supposed that when you reach a certain age you pack it up."

But you look great. How do keep looking so fantastic?

"Drinking lots of water. And learning something new every single day. I learnt yesterday that a man who makes arrows is called a fletcher. Then yesterday I was quoting the last two lines of Love’s Labours Lost and I couldn’t remember what they were, so I have been and looked them up. And I now know them: ‘The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo,’ which is quite a good quote for this film, actually. And I learned that a man who makes barrels is called a cooper!"

Do people approach you much on the street?

"Not really, not like in America. I walk everywhere in America and what is so lovely is that people come towards you and high-five you. I love it. You’d never get anybody doing that here, would you? Never. They would stare at you. Maybe they’re too polite. Now I’ve said that, maybe everyone will be high-fiving me all the time!"

How much did you enjoy the dance scene at the end of this film?

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

"Heaven. It was great. They gave us a class but I kept missing one bit [of the routine] out. I couldn’t remember it. I could only remember it by thinking, ‘Wash the dog and clap when it is over,’ [she mimes the dance move]. ‘Wash the dog and clap when it is over.’

"It was lovely standing there because the boys who danced at the beginning dance so wonderfully. And Dev [Patel] and Tina [Desai] together, they were just enchanting. And we had the joy of standing there watching while it was filmed and it was glorious to do."

The Second Best Exotic Marigold DVD

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel DVD

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the delightful and eagerly anticipated sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, dances onto Blu-ray and DVD on 29 June 2015.

Director John Madden returns with his stellar cast and a couple of extra guests too, for a second life-affirming visit to Jaipur and the biggest, most vibrant celebration of the year.

Maggie Smith in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The smash hit of the spring, notably toppling Fifty Shades of Grey from its top spot in the box office charts, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel will transport fans of all ages to the colours, sights and smells of an Indian summer.

Jaipur's Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful has become a huge success for ambitious young Sonny (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire).

Richard Gere and Dev Patel

Muriel (Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey) is now installed as his business partner, and Douglas (Bill Nighy, Pride) and Evelyn (Judi Dench, Philomena) have also joined the workforce.

With new guests arriving every day, including mysterious younger visitor Lavinia (Tamsin Greig, Episodes) and American writer Guy (Richard Gere, Pretty Woman) who vie for the one remaining room, it's clearly time for expansion.

Richard Gere in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

But busy Sonny is also occupied by his impending marriage to Sunaina (Tina Desai), and the love in the air seems to be contagious, as Madge (Celia Imrie, Bridget Jones’s Diary) swoons over suave, handsome Guy, and Douglas and Evelyn's romance continues to develop…

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray and DVD features exclusive extra content including featurettes on filming in India, returning to the Marigold, the cast and an image gallery.

Ronald Pickup in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Take a magical trip from the comfort of your living room with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on Blu-ray and DVD this summer!

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is available to buy now on DVD RRP £14.99 and Blu-ray RRP £19.99. Running time is 122 minutes. Certificate is PG.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Special Features:

· Promotional Featurettes
· Story
· Cast
· Returning to the Marigold
· Blossoming Romance
· The Marigold Wedding
· Filming in India
· Gallery

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is available to buy now from