Press clippings

Radio Times review

The series loosely based on PG Wodehouse stories rolls to a close with yet another bit of farcical matchmaking nonsense sprinkled with daft names that Lord Emsworth can turn into malapropisms. He gives us a grand tour of American attractions while trying to recall the name of Niagara Donaldson in this episode.

There's also an oversized pumpkin called Desdemona being cosseted for Harvest Festival and a pipe-smoking, suit-wearing, monosyllabic young woman hanging around the castle, although such details are really irrelevant.

You either enjoy the undemanding pantomime silliness of it all or you don't. And between three and four million people obviously do. Capital, as Lord Emsworth would say.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 30th March 2014

Radio Times review

Art for money's sake drives the farce forward in the penultimate episode of the upper-crust comedy. The choleric Lord Hannibal Didcot, played with a deep and convincing signature growl by John Sessions, thinks the canvas of a roly-poly popsie he bought from Clarence is a fake, and he wants his money back. His rumbles fall on deaf ears, since Clarence is busy posing with the Empress for a visiting American artist, Vanessa Polk (Daisy Beaumont), and Freddie is trying to shift a painting of a horse.

If the regular cast look just slightly bored in their gilded Wodehousian cage, Julian Rhind-Tutt brings proceedings to life. His return as the rakish Galahad, with his lightly devilled schemes and willingness to educate Freddie in the ways of the heart, is as welcome as any visitor to the great house could be.

Emma Sturgess, Radio Times, 23rd March 2014

Radio Times review

Daily life chez Lord Emsworth is always a little irregular but when neighbour Colonel Fanshawe (James Fleet) and his lovely daughter Valerie (Sophie Colquhoun) visit, it's even weirder than usual.

The indecipherable Scottish head gardener is blasting away at some pesky rabbits, Beach is falling asleep when he's not being overly familiar to his employers and Freddie's trying to teach Mugsy the pug how to juggle.

At times the jokes veer into Carry On territory: "He's indicated his intention to retire on the grounds of black tongue fever contracted up the Yangtze" and "He's frightened of dogs because he was badly bitten in the Khyber," should give you the idea.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 16th March 2014

Q&A: Timothy Spall

The worst thing anyone's said to me? 'Sorry old boy, but you've got leukaemia'

Rosanna Greenstreet, The Guardian, 15th March 2014

Radio Times review

The heating's on the blink at Blandings Castle although the sub-zero temperature doesn't explain why Lord Emsworth has sprouted a luxuriant beard nor why his sister Connie is so incensed by the sight of it she wants to pack the old fellow off to his London club. But that is part of this drama's charm - logic and clarification are superfluous to stories rooted in the absurd and farcical.

Breezing through the chilly corridors in tonight's episode is a brash film crew (headed by Michael Brandon) from Hollywood and Lady Drusilla (Nichola McAuliffe), a fanatically religious woman who favours leather gussets. The usual tangle of misunderstandings ensues.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 9th March 2014

Blandings, BBC One

A series about the bizarre shenanigans of a family of ludicrous aristocrats would seem an unlikely hit for 21st-century Sunday night telly.

Matthew Wright, The Arts Desk, 3rd March 2014

Radio Times review

Lord Emsworth is anxious. He suspects there's going to be some sort of "porcine subterfuge from Stinker" and he's right. Sir Gregory plans to hypnotise Empress so she stops eating. But Connie has more pressing concerns, namely some very indiscreet memoirs written by their rakish brother Galahad Threepwood (Julian Rhind-Tutt).

She orders the hapless Freddie to intervene even though, as she tells him, "If brains were dynamite, you couldn't blow the fuzz off a peach." It's the usual entertaining piece of nonsense with everyone hamming it up madly - apart from Empress the pig, who gives a nicely understated performance.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 2nd March 2014

Radio Times review

Clarence and Connie's battleaxe of a sister, Charlotte, stalks the corridors of Blandings, terrorising her siblings and braying orders at the servants, just like she used to do when she lived in India with her military-man husband. She's played by Celia Imrie with her usual deft comic touch as she adds another fearsomely posh harridan to her CV.

Charlotte thinks Blandings is a shambles and decides she's going to move in permanently. Meanwhile, Charlotte's lisping wet blanket of a ward, Millicent, is mooning over Clarence's presentable young male secretary, Carmody. A plot involving pigs, kidnappings and laxatives of course doesn't bear close scrutiny. But that's not the point of Blandings, it's just a bit of silliness. Tinkety tonk!

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 23rd February 2014

I was rather lukewarm towards the first series of Blandings, based on the books by PG Wodehouse. However, series two got off to a cracking start thanks, in no small part, to the contribution of Harry Enfield. Enfield, a man not known to underplay at the best of times, left no scenery unchewed as the apoplectically lunatic Duke of Dunstable, the most obnoxious man in the country.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 23rd February 2014

Blandings review

Timothy Spall makes a brilliant and utterly convincing crumbling aristocrat.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 17th February 2014

Share this page