Dawn French reveals what's in store as Delicious returns for a new series on Sky One
Tangled relationships, surprise arrivals and two weddings are all on the menu as Delicious, starring Dawn French and Emilia Fox, returns for a second series.
Dawn, plays Gina who is running Cornwall's Penrose Hotel along with her former love rival, Sam, (Emilia Fox). It's been almost a year since the women were flung together following the death of Leo, (Iain Glenn) the man they both married, and more dark secrets are set to come to light.
Here Dawn French reveals what's in store for series two, which also stars Sheila Hancock, and talks food, sex and tricky relationships!
It’s been almost a year since Leo (played by Iain Glenn), Gina’s husband died but he reappears in this series doesn’t he?
Dawn French: "Yes, the show is very much about women at the centre of it but the men are also important and Leo lives on for Gina, he’s the glue, the reason they’re all there. She and Sam have yet to shake him off. There are more secrets that come out and even though he’s dead, Leo’s trouble continues to be Gina and Sam’s trouble."
What big events can we look forward to this series at Penrose Hotel?
DF: "I don’t want to give too much away but there are two weddings. One in the first episode and later on, one involving one of our main characters. And Sam also turns 40 so there’s a big party for that."
Gina’s previous partner James turns up doesn't he?
DF: "Yes, James is Gina’s erstwhile lover, the father of her daughter Teresa. He returns to claim his position within the family but it’s at a time when Gina is feeling a little bit vulnerable so she turns to James for support."
And we also meet Gina’s Italian father, Gianni who’s known as “Joe”. What’s Gina’s relationship like with him?
DF: "We’ll see as the series goes on that Gina has had a very unpleasant experience of her father and he’s been negligent and absent. She learnt to live with that, so for him to return is an affront and difficult for her to process. It pushes her a little bit more towards James."
Joe is played by Hollywood’s, Franco Nero. What was it like working with him?
DF: "Fantastic, he’s such a huge presence, a Hollywood star and he’s a proper Italian! But I couldn’t help feeling sorry for him. He’d been encouraged to come to luscious Cornwall from Italy where it was 32 degrees and I don’t think we had a single day filming outside without rain. It was cold, wet, there was mud everywhere and he was forever sitting under an umbrella. But he was such a strong presence and I really enjoyed the scenes with him because he’s powerful and that character needs to be."
And there’s also a new chef, called Adam (played by Aaron Anthony) who makes quite an impression!
DF: "Yes, Adam gives Gina someone to battle with in the kitchen. Gina’s all about the control. In an effort to control things in her own life, she’s trying to control everyone else; her daughter, Sam, James, certainly the chefs in her kitchen and you see her struggle with that."
Gina’s relationship with her daughter, Teresa, is complex and tricky isn't it?
DF: "Yes that’s a massive part of it. I remember the relationship I had with my own mother and the warring we had. I firmly believe that it’s part of human nature to fight with your mum, otherwise how would you separate when you have to tear apart? The grief would kill you so you start warring early. I remember being utterly allergic to my mother for a long time and then realizing that she was my dearest, darling and that she was always going to have my back."
The food always looks amazing in Delicious. Did you manage to taste any of it and is it all real?
DF: "Yes it’s definitely real. We were all like gannets on set. Literally as the day started, I’d be thinking ‘right what can I take here?’, and squirrelling things away into fridges. The food is another member of the cast! And we have real chefs in the background of all the kitchen scenes doing real cooking, they’re not just extras folding teatowels."
It’s a very sexy and sensual show, will we see Gina enjoying any raunchy scenes this series?
DF: "There’s certainly some intimacy! It’s an odd thing isn’t it, to get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work, get undressed, get into bed with a strange man who you don’t really know but who you slightly fancy. You think, ‘Oooh this is naughty, I shouldn’t be doing this at all really, it should be illegal.’ Then you get dressed and go home and see your husband. What an odd job!"
You said you got taught a lot of cooking skills by Lisa Heathcote who is the food stylist on the show. Has that changed the way you cook at home?
DF: "Some things Lisa showed me I tried at home but I’m not committed enough, I just don’t have the flare. It was watching Lisa and how she moves around, her ease in the kitchen that helped me form the character Gina. I’m not like that in the kitchen at home though, I’m clumsy and I have to measure things!"
Was it a treat to be able to work in Cornwall where you live and where Delicious is filmed?
DF: "Ironically although it’s set in Cornwall, everybody from the team, the cast and crew, stay close by the set and I’m the person who lives furthest away with the long journey every day! "
What's your signature dish that you cook at home?
DF: "You wouldn’t want to eat it, it involves corned beef and pasta. It’s already sounding dreadful! I like comfort food, school food."
What’s the most memorable meal of your life?
DF: "Well it’s always going to be something involving my mum’s Cornish pasties, which sadly I don’t get to eat any more, but there’s no competition. My mother-in-law’s pasty is a pretty good second, I have to say. She’s come wading in and said, “Look, I know I’m on the reserve bench when it comes to pasties but I’ll give it a go”. Once a month we go to my mother-in-law’s for excellent homemade pasties."
Who would your ideal dining companion be?
DF: "Oh, that’s difficult. Does it have to be one? A few weeks ago I had my 60th birthday dinner and around the table were my most beloveds: my husband, my three kids, my best friend and my brother. That is just manna from heaven for me to have those people around the table together where anything goes, the gloves are off, and there’s fantastic quality swearing going on!"
Delicious starts on Sky One, Friday, December 29
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Tess is a senior writer for What’s On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite and WhattoWatch.com She's been writing about TV for over 25 years and worked on some of the UK’s biggest and best-selling publications including the Daily Mirror where she was assistant editor on the weekend TV magazine, The Look, and Closer magazine where she was TV editor. She has freelanced for a whole range of websites and publications including We Love TV, The Sun’s TV Mag, Woman, Woman’s Own, Fabulous, Good Living, Prima and Woman and Home.