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'The Larkins' fans praise 'perfick' first episode

The Larkins
The Larkins family. (Image credit: ITV)

The Larkins watchers were charmed by the first episode of the new series that aired last night, branding it “perfick Sunday night TV”.

Set in 1950s Kent, The Larkins is a modern adaptation of the H.E. Bates books which were famously turned into the TV series The Darling Buds of May, which starred David Jason, Pam Ferris, and future Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. It first aired in 1991 and has been a classic ever since. 

The Larkins centres on the iconic Larkins family living in rural 1950s England. The large working-class family is led by the relaxed and kind-hearted wheeler-dealer Pop Larkin, played by Bradley Walsh, along with his confident and energetic wife Ma Larkin (Joanna Scanlan). They have six children, the eldest being the stunning Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett), who gets stuck in a love triangle between two neighbours. Their other children include Montgomery, Primrose, Victoria, Petunia and Zinnia.

The first episode saw a buzz in the village for the May Day Fair, but Mariette dropped some bombshell news that she wanted to move to Paris, which worried the Larkin family.

We also got a glimpse of a more fiery side to Mariette as she thumped a man over the head with a plank of wood for upsetting her sister!

Viewers also enjoyed Bradley’s performance in emulating Pop Larkin’s cheeky spirit. 

Plus, fans appreciated the show's ability to capture and update the magic of the original series, without spoiling it either.

The Larkins fans wasted no time in complementing the wholesome series on Twitter, with many sharing their enthusiastic thoughts on how great it was for a Sunday night viewing.

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The next episode sees the Larkins woo Charley the tax man. Mariette agrees to stay for the summer, but her plans are soon altered as Mariette finds herself torn with the arrival of Charley and Tom Fisher

The Larkins airs Sunday 17 Oct. at 8pm on ITV- see our TV Guide for full listings.

Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film, and TV grow stronger.


Some of her favourite TV shows are Line of Duty, Fresh Meat, The Great British Bake Off, and Gogglebox. In her spare time, Grace likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series!