Thursday, March 15, 2007

ITV's Austen Season

Yes – she's back on television. ITV's Austen season begins with Billie Piper as Fanny Price this Sunday (18 March) at 9pm. The Mansfield Park dramatisation is by Maggie Wadey and it promises to make the rather dullard hero and heroine racier and raunchy. It is filmed in North Yorkshire at Newby Hall and apparently Billie romps for England but Blake Ritson (left) looks gloweringly sexy.

Mansfield Park is followed by Northanger Abbey with a script by Andrew 'Costume Porn King' Davies on March 25 and starring Felicity Jones. This script has been in a dusty cupboard of ITV's while they concentrated on quality television, such as celebrity pick your spots programmes. Then Persuasion (my favourite Austen) with Sally Hawkins fills the breeches slot on April 1. A rerun of the 1996 Emma will follow.

The cover of Radio Times shows the three leading ladies – Billie Piper, Felicity Jones and Sally Hawkins – in demure regency (and yet busty) splendour. Where are the men in their breeches? Pretty frocks are all very well, but where are those boots and oh so tightly clad thighs and bottoms when you need them? At least Rupert Penry-Jones looks dashing as Captain Wentworth on his horse.

We have something to aid the fact Dr Who returns on 31 March and so my Saturday nights will be dominated yet again by the Tardis.

ITV's fantastic website is here. Take part in the seduction survey!