'A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater' everything we know about the new series on C5

Helen Drinkwater in a Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater
'A Year in Provence with Carol Drinkwater' sees the actor and author share her love of the French region. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Actor Carol Drinkwater, best known for playing Helen Herriot in the original BBC series of All Creatures Great and Small, (which ran from 1978-1990), is sharing her love of Provence in a new series A Year in Provence with Carol Drinkwater.

Carol moved to the area, in the south of France, thirty-five years ago, after falling in love with a derelict olive farm perched on a hillside overlooking the Bay of Cannes. 

She bought the farm with her French husband, film producer Michel Noll and the couple have lived there, gradually restoring it and bringing it back to life over the decades. 

Now, in this new series, Carol, who has carved out a successful career as an author, takes viewers on a personal journey exploring the food, crafts, and culture of Provence, an area she loves and calls home. 

What To Watch spoke to Carol to find out more and here we tell you everything you need to know about A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater....

A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater release date

A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater will start on C5 on 10 Oct. at 9pm on Channel 5

What areas will Carol Drinkwater explore in A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater?

In the first episode Carol travels inland to a traditional family-run lavender farm in Sault. 

She says, “It’s run by a couple called Sylvie and Thierry and I helped them with their harvest.The scent of lavender reminds me of my mum who I had a very special relationship with. She used to wear Yardley’s lavender water when I was little and I used to save up my pocket money to buy it for her for Christmas. I had a wonderful couple of days helping Sylvie and Thierry with the lavender harvest, it was one of my highlights of the series."

Carol Drinkwater in a Year In Provence With Carol Drinkwater

Carol Drinkwater has carved out a successful career as an author and often takes inspiration from her surroundings. (Image credit: Channel 5)

What else does Carol Drinkwater say about the series?

Carol, who shows viewers around her home and the olive farm in the series,  tells us how her love of Provence started. 

She says, “I’d been looking for a house by the sea to live in and thought it would probably be in Australia where I was working but then I met and fell in love with Michel. He invited me over to the Cannes Film Festival and while we were in the area we came across this broken down place on the hillside overlooking the bay of Cannes. We weren’t married then and hadn’t even decided to live together but that’s where it all began. There was no water, no electricity. Over the years we’ve restored it and lived here ever since. It’s been a labour of love."

Carol Drinkwater in A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater

Carol often buys her food supplies from the Forville Market in Cannes. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Where else does Carol explore in episode one in 'A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater'? 

Carol also travels to the Ile de Lérins to Fort Royal where the Man in the Iron Mask spent eleven years in prison. 

She visits the  Forville Market in Cannes to pick up fresh produce and and also snorkels beneath the sparkling crystal clear waters of Cote D’Azur to visit a new eco-underwater museum. 

She says, “The channel between the Isle de Lérins used to be full of yachts and polluted but now they keep the boats out and they've cleaned it all up and created an underwater museum. There are statue like figures under the water and you can snorkel around them. I think it’s a fantastic idea and I had fun exploring there."

Carol Drinkwater trims an olive tree in A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater

Carol has over 300 olive trees at the farm where she lives with her husband Michel. (Image credit: Channel 5)

What other areas will feature in A Year In Provence with Carol Drinkwater? 

In the course of the series Carol will also visit many different areas and towns in the region of Provence including the area of Camargue, famous for its white horses.

Carol says: “The Camargue is one of my favourite places. There are pockets of it that are terribly touristy and rather ugly now but if you move away from those, there are places where it’s still really wild. It’s well known for its white horses and the black bulls. It has a frontier, cowboy quality  to it with long stretches of sandy beaches that go on for miles and miles. Michel and I often go there before Christmas for walks or antique hunting. ”

Carol also takes viewers to the coastal city of  Marseilles. She says, “Marseilles is a city I love. It has such a rich history, it’s where the Greeks first landed from Asia Minor and where they brought olive cultivation to France. It’s a grubby city that is gritty and lively and I like all that.  It appeals to my Irish soul!  I prefer that to something that’s tranquil and bourgeois. 

Tess Lamacraft
Senior Writer for What's On TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite week, Whattowatch.com

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.