The Lady In The Van. Image shows from L to R: Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings). Copyright: BBC Films.

The Lady In The Van

2015 British comedy film about an old woman with a secret. Stars Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances de la Tour, Roger Allam and others.

The Lady In The Van. Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith). Copyright: BBC Films.

The Lady In The Van

The Lady In The Van is a drama based on real events, about a vagrant who the playwright Alan Bennett allowed to park her van in his driveway, where she lived for fifteen years

Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Frances de la Tour, Roger Allam, Deborah Findlay, Gwen Taylor, Pandora Colin and others
Alan Bennett
Nicholas Hytner
Nicholas Hytner, Damian Jones and Kevin Loader

A mostly true story.

Miss Shepherd was a woman of uncertain origins who "temporarily" parked her van in Alan Bennett's London driveway and proceeded to live there for 15 years. Secretive, crotchety and nervous, her presence was soon felt not just by Alan but by all of those who knew him. What began as a begrudged favour became a relationship that would change both their lives.

Filmed on the street and in the house where Bennett and Miss Shepherd actually lived.

This film was not originally promoted as a comedy, but has been labelled as one by many parties since its original release so is included on British Comedy Guide for completeness and to avoid confusion.

Production Details

UK certificate
104 minutes
Release date
Friday 13th November 2015

Columbia Pictures

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

Last repeat
Monday 14th December 2020 at 9:00pm on BBC4

Website links


Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • View location details

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?