The Larkins to return for Series 2

ExclusiveWednesday 19th January 2022, 2:38pm by Jay Richardson

The Larkins. Image shows from L to R: Ma Larkin (Joanna Scanlan), Pop Larkin (Bradley Walsh)

The Larkins is returning for a second series, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Starring Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan, ITV's latest adaptation of H. E. Bates's bucolic, Kent-set novel The Darling Buds Of May has largely proved a hit with viewers and critics.

With Walsh reprising the role of wheeler dealer Pop Larkin made famous by David Jason in the early 1990s, and Scanlan as his redoubtable wife Ma, the Sunday night fixture finished its first run last year with a Christmas special and Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett) and Charley (Tok Stephen) announcing their engagement.

Airing from October, the six initial episodes, chiefly written by Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly, The Durrells) with Abigail Wilson (French & Saunders: Funny Women, Call My Agent!), averaged more than five and a half million viewers.

However, ratings slipped from the opening episode, which attracted 7.2 million, making it the third most-watched show of the week, to 3.21 million for the festive instalment, which aired on Christmas Day.

Co-starring Lydia Page, Liam Middleton, Lola Shepelev, Davina Coleman and Rosie Coleman as the rest of the Larkin brood, the second series will again be directed by Andy De Emmony (Father Ted, Red Dwarf) and produced by Serena Cullen (Buffering) for Objective Fiction (Toast Of Tinseltown, Peep Show) and Nye's Genial Productions (Finding Alice, Island Of Dreams).

"The Larkins isn't necessarily anything revolutionary," Radio Times noted. "But what it is is a joyous, comforting and homely show which feels like you're getting a big old hug."

Meanwhile, The Times felt that "the jollity of the voracious Larkin family is undeniable, bursting with enough warmth to power an entire country village", while the Telegraph remarked that "the dialogue fizzes with playful wit".

Jason has not been quite so enamoured of the reboot, calling it "quite good" last week, before adding "not quite as good as the original but yeah it was fine".

Yesterday it was announced that Walsh will return to host a second series of the iconic game show Blankety Blank on BBC One, while Scanlan won best actress at the British Independent Film Awards last month for the film After Love, for her portrayal of a grieving widow discovering the truth about her marriage.

An ITV spokesperson declined to comment on The Larkins' return.

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