20 Daily Express Friday, August 23, 2019
From Daniel Bates in New York
Bares All. Oliver and presenter
Davina McCall both became
emotional as he talked her
through what went wrong with
his empire and the stress he has
Oliver had sunk a reported
£25million of his money to try
and save the businesses, all to
He told the TV crew closing his
first Fifteen was the “hardest
thing I ever had to do”.
Jamie’s tears at heartbreak
of losing restaurant empire
JAMIE Oliver was in tears
following the collapse of his
eatery empire as he went back to
the first restaurant he opened.
The chef, 44, saw chains
Fifteen, Jamie’s Italian and
Barbecoa go into administration
in May, with more than 20
restaurants shutting and 1,
He returned to his first Fifteen
site in east London, which he
opened in 2002, as part of this
week’s Channel 4 documentary
Jamie Oliver: The Naked Chef Oliver: ‘Hardest thing I had to do’
MOIST MOMENT: Colin Firth
How Jane Austen’s genteel final
novel was spun into racy TV gold
By Neil Armstrong
E GET our first glimpse
of naked flesh just 21
minutes into Sanditon,
the lavish new eight-part
adaptation of Jane
Austen’s final, unfinished
work by TV maestro Andrew Davies.
A couple of strapping chaps in the
buff stride down a beach to sample
the delights of the new-fangled
practice of sea-bathing.
“Are they... are they wearing no
clothes at all?” asks our shocked
young heroine, Charlotte Heywood.
“None whatsoever,” confirms her
By this point, we’ve already had a
little light incest. And shortly after-
wards, Charlotte, played by new-
comer Rose Williams, catches a
glimpse of a couple engaged in an
al fresco act of intimacy.
Typical Jane Austen, you might
think, all sex and nudity! Or, rather,
it’s a typical Andrew
Davies adaptation of
an Austen work.
Because when it
comes to “sexing up”
the dusty classics,
Davies, 82, and one of
the few British screen-
writers to be a house-
hold name, is the TV
industry’s go-to guy.
You can depend on
him to lard a plot
with lesbianism, as he
did with Dickens’s
For him, a pond isn’t
simply a landscape
feature but an oppor-
tunity to have a
character dive in and then parade
around in a clinging wet shirt, as
Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy famously did
in Pride And Prejudice 24 years ago.
If anyone is going to insert the
incest that Tolstoy barely alluded to
in War and Peace, it will be Davies.
Indeed, Fanny Hill, based on the
John Cleland novel about a prostitute
that scandalised 18th-century society,
is the only Davies adaptation where
the source was saucier than the show.
A Love Island fan, Davies has
already compared his new drama to
the reality TV dating show and
mischievously talked about his
characters “cracking on”.
Sanditon is the book Austen, not
known for her racy sex scenes, was
writing when she died in 1817, aged
Her six previous novels have been
filmed numerous times, both for
television and the big screen.
There are at least five versions of
Pride And Prejudice, arguably her
best-loved novel, including the one
by Davies himself, who also adapted
Sense and Sensibility, Northanger
Abbey and Emma.
But this is the first television inter-
pretation of Sanditon, Austen’s least
read work, perhaps because it’s
not so much unfinished as barely
begun. It stops in the middle of chap-
ter 12 and the handsome new
Penguin Classics edition, out next
month, runs to just 65 pages.
The untitled fragment, which
Austen probably abandoned because
of ill health, wasn’t even published
until more than 100 years after her
death which is when it was given its
name – having been known to the
late novelist’s family as The Brothers.
Davies “used up” Austen’s scant
text even before the first ad break
of the first episode, so the vast
majority of the series is his own
invention and he gives full rein to his
“I write something that I would
like to watch and I suppose the
‘sexing it up’ thing comes in fairly
naturally. Because if it’s not there I
feel, well, that’s a shame, let’s put
some in,” he says.
The drama stars 25-year-old
Williams as sensible
country girl Charlotte,
invited for a stay in
Sanditon, a small
sleepy town on the
resorts can be odd
places. No one quite
knows who anyone
else is, where they
come from, what
they’re up to,” warns
Charlotte’s father, as
she sets off.
stimulating,” she says.
And so it proves.
Charlotte is the
guest of Tom Parker,
played by Death In Paradise star Kris
Marshall, 46, to whose aid she comes
when his coach overturns near
R PARKER, entrepreneur-
ial but desperate, is
determined to make
Sanditon happen as a fashionable
seaside resort and health spa. He
believes you speculate to accumulate.
Anne Reid, 84, the star of Last
Tango In Halifax, is the wealthy and
hard-nosed lady of the manor, Lady
Denham, who has seen off two
husbands and is now financing Mr
Parker. She wants a return on her
investment and Parker’s brand of
Boris Johnson-style positivity doesn’t
seem to be delivering it.
An elderly, childless, widow in
possession of a good fortune must be
in want of an heir and Lady Denham
is adept at juggling family members
with designs on her cash.
Mr Parker also has relatives to
consider, including his younger
brother Sidney, played by Theo
James, 34, best known as the hand-
some Turk who died while attempting
to take Lady Mary’s virginity in the