Joanna Lumley has travelled across the globe exploring some remarkable locations and now the Absolutely Fabulous actor is turning her attention to some stunning locations on her own shores as she journeys through Britain in ITV’s Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home.
The three-part series sees her visit a range of memorable places in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, many of which have a special significance for her.
Here, Lumley tells us everything we need to know about her fascinating documentary Joanna Lumley's Home Sweet Home.
When did Joanna Lumley's Home Sweet Home begin?
The series began on Tuesday 2 February on ITV at 8pm. The second episode airs on Tuesday February 9 on ITV at 8pm. The final episode will be shown on Tuesday February 16 at 8pm. You can catch up on episodes on the ITV Hub.
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Where does Joanna Lumley visit in Home Sweet Home?
Lumley begins her journey at Tilbury Docks in Essex where, as a child, she arrived on one of several trips to Britain from her home in the Far East, where her father was posted with the British Army. She then moves north taking in the Peak District, Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. The second episode sees her visit Scotland and Northern Ireland and the final episode sees her explore Wales and South West England before returning to London.
“Although I was born in India and brought up in the Far East, we always talked about this country as home. When eventually I came here, I fell in love with it,” says Lumley.
“So with all of us locked in, we thought this would be a lovely celebration of life in these islands. It was so touching to be in this country and realise how little I knew of it. I fell more deeply in love with the customs, people and countryside. There's no place like home.”
What happens in episode two of Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home?
Joanna will head off to Scotland and Northern Ireland in her second outing. She begins in Scotland, where she learns how Harris tweed and whisky are made. She also recalls her New Avengers days when she visits Eilean Donan castle where an episode was filmed. Then she visits Northern Ireland, where she sees the amazing Game of Thrones location Dark Hedges.
Which places have special meaning for Joanna Lumley?
Along the way, Lumley visits several locations that she holds dear including the set of long-running soap opera Coronation Street near Manchester. In 1973, Lumley played Elaine Perkins, the girlfriend of Ken Barlow (William Roache), the series’ longest-serving character.
“It brought it all back! It was wonderful to get a sense of the huge history of that phenomenal soap," says Lumley. “Virtually everywhere we went, I've been or worked there. So I drive a replica of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 [at Silverstone, in homage to her appearance in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service] and we explore the legend of Dracula in Whitby [she starred in 1973 horror film The Satanic Rites of Dracula]. I loved Whitby with all my heart, you see its ancientness and how they built the abbey with all that beauty.”
How was the series filmed during the pandemic?
Special precautions were taken to ensure the series was filmed safely.
“Lots of what we did was outside and we were all tested all the time,” says Lumley. “We don’t talk about it much in the show apart from during an extraordinary visit to Eyam in Derbyshire. That knocked my socks off with the heroism of this village that locked itself down [during the bubonic plague] in 1665 and they contained the disease there. I saw the graves where a woman in the space of seven days buried her husband and six children. We come from a strong, brave line of people.”
Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.
Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.
Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.
In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.
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