Mapp & Lucia. Image shows from L to R: Lucia Lucas (Anna Chancellor), Georgie Pillson (Steve Pemberton), Elizabeth Mapp (Miranda Richardson). Copyright: BBC.

Mapp & Lucia (2014)

BBC One comedy drama based on EF Benson's characters. 3 episodes (1 series) in 2014. Stars Miranda Richardson, Anna Chancellor, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and others.

Elizabeth Mapp

Mapp & Lucia. Elizabeth Mapp (Miranda Richardson). Copyright: BBC.

Mapp is a formidable schemer and spends her days sitting in the bow window of her delightful home Mallards, opera-glasses in hand, noting and deliberating on the business of her neighbours. She considers herself the social arbiter of all things in Tilling - proud purveyor of garden produce, host of the most refined tea parties and woman in-the-know.

Often resorting to underhand moves to maintain her position; Mapp is no stranger to plagiarism, gossip and bribery. And she does it all with such stamina, a whirlwind at the heart of Tilling!

Lucia's arrival presents Mapp with the perfect opportunity to cement her position. She hopes to 'run' Lucia and mete her out to her fellow Tillingites but in this instance she may have bitten off more than she can chew...

Lucia Lucas

Played by: Anna Chancellor
Mapp & Lucia. Lucia Lucas (Anna Chancellor). Copyright: BBC.

Emmeline Lucas, known to one and all as 'Lucia', is Queen of her own domain, the very Tilling-like village of Riseholme.

After an uncompromising year of widowhood, Lucia's decided to re-enter society, seeking fresh challenges and a summer's lease of Miss Mapp's home 'Mallards'.

Vain, selfish, imperious, glorious, Lucia is a clear and present danger to Miss Mapp. A keen pianist, speaker of quaint Italian phrases and host of the latest fashions, in short a breath of fresh air for Tilling.

Lucia may not be entirely the mistress of culture she appears to be (maintaining high standards is a daily effort which she cleverly disguises) yet she's head and shoulders ahead of Mapp in outward taste and delicacy. More importantly, she's her own woman who will charm and bully her way into the Tillingites' lives. Let battle commence!

Major Benjamin 'Benjy' Flint

Played by: Mark Gatiss
Mapp & Lucia. Major Benjamin 'Benjy' Flint (Mark Gatiss). Copyright: BBC.

An old campaigner, avid golfer and soak, fond of ejaculating in Hindustani.

Demands from the Major are often accompanied by the command 'Quai-hi!' He spends his evenings poring over his old Indian experiences with a tumbler of whisky and a good fire, is prone to toasting the King, 'God bless him', and is full of tales from his days hunting tigers.

The Major's attitude to Tilling's women or 'the fairies' as he labels them is both gallant and pompous and those in the know might just spot his particular affection for Miss Mapp.

Georgie Pillson

Played by: Steve Pemberton
Mapp & Lucia. Georgie Pillson (Steve Pemberton). Copyright: BBC.

Lucia's devoted acolyte and chief courtier.

Georgie is always beautifully dressed, a skilled embroiderer and even more skilled gossip. Aware of his reputation as the jeune-premier of Riseholme, he carefully dyes and arranges his thinning hair to blend into his toupee.

Although he occasionally bridles at Lucia's hold over him, he is not a natural Bolshevik. He'll leave the warfare to Lucia, preferring to indulge in more cultured pursuits. He and Lucia enjoy musical evenings together in which they play 'for the first time', pieces they have been furiously rehearsing in private. In truth Georgie would be at a loss without Lucia, yet the thought of any romantic attachment petrifies him.

Georgie's other loves are his maid Foljambe whose opinion he values over all others and his precious bibelots, a collection of prized items which he polishes daily with utmost care.

Godiva 'Diva' Plaistow

Played by: Felicity Montagu
Mapp & Lucia. Godiva 'Diva' Plaistow (Felicity Montagu). Copyright: BBC.

Christened Godiva but known to her friends as merely 'Diva', she is a thrifty, rather clumsy widow. She is Mapp's best friend... and adversary. She poses no threat to Mapp's social dominance but 'dearest Diva' is invaluable as the source and disseminator of local gossip.

She is both ingenious and parsimonious and a devoted follower of the latest fashions and fads. If there's an extreme diet or dress pattern to be had then Diva's sure to be indulging it; if Mapp doesn't steal it first!

Irene Coles

Played by: Gemma Whelan
Mapp & Lucia. Irene Coles (Gemma Whelan). Copyright: BBC.

A free-spirited, pipe-smoking, slightly scandalous 'new' woman, Irene dresses like a tomboy and is something of an agent-provocateur in Tilling society.

She's flirtatious with most but has a particular eye for Lucia. From inside her studio she creates bold and colourful artwork that's deliberately designed to stir up the town's residents. The more shock administered the happier Irene becomes.

Whilst others may flock around Mapp and Lucia's 'high culture', Irene will contentedly sit on the side-lines making comment and stirring the hysteria.

Rev. Kenneth 'Padre' Bartlett

Played by: Paul Ritter
Mapp & Lucia. Rev. Kenneth 'Padre' Bartlett (Paul Ritter). Copyright: BBC.

A fixture at the bridge table, Tilling's vicar (known to everyone as 'Padre') makes up for the dreary misfortune of having been born in Birmingham by pretending to be Scottish.

He takes an active part in the social life of Tilling and must constantly weigh his heavy duties to the church against the more frivolous pursuits of the local residents.

Evie Bartlett

Played by: Poppy Miller
Mapp & Lucia. Evie Bartlett (Poppy Miller). Copyright: BBC.

Kenneth's wife Evie is a bird-like woman almost too shy to speak. Despite being married to a man of the cloth, she hugely enjoys the scandals Tilling so readily provides and will follow others' lead with very little encouragement.

Algernon Wyse

Mapp & Lucia. Algernon Wyse (Nicholas Woodeson). Copyright: BBC.

Algernon is half of a curious 'Jack Sprat' couple: he small and charming, she statuesque and voluble.

Proper and constantly bowing, Algernon Wyse is the arbiter of correctness in Tilling and has good family connections via his exotic sister - the Contessa de Faraglione. He is always immaculately (if eccentrically) dressed and has a courteous and captivating way with the ladies.

Susan Wyse MBE

Played by: Pippa Haywood
Mapp & Lucia. Susan Wyse MBE (Pippa Haywood). Copyright: BBC.

Rich and ostentatious, Susan is the proud recipient of an M.B.E. and owner of a swish Rolls-Royce which she always refers to as 'the Royce'. She'd far rather be driven the few meters to Mallards then risk life and limb on the street's tough cobbles.