On the set of Grantchester

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BETWEEN watching Happy Valley, Grantchester, the epic War And Peace and interviewing actor James Norton who stars in all three, I’ve seen more of him than my husband these past few weeks.

A tough job, but someone’s got to do it. I visited the set of Grantchester in the same-named village near Cambridge for itv1’s Lorraine. Every single cast member said it wasn’t like going to work – filming the 1950s detective series feels like hanging out with pals. For any fans of the show, you might be pleased to know the on-screen chemistry between Vicar Sidney Chambers (Norton) and detective Geordie Keating (Robson Green) is even stronger when the cameras stop rolling. They didn’t stop laughing and japing around all day.

There’s a feeling – on the set and within the acting industry as a whole – that Norton is something pretty special. As Robson said: “He’s young, good-looking, talented. I hate him.” Robson became my new favourite interviewee – the kind of guy you could have a right laugh with over a pint or two..except he’d have a clear head come morning as he’s tea-total. There’s a great deal of affection – not only from his colleagues but the public – for Robson. Well, apart from keen fishers who are green with envy at anyone who lands a role as presenter of an extreme fishing show.

Even then, they like him really. Tessa Peake-Jones, who plays housekeeper Mrs Maguire and Kacey Ainsworth who is Robson’s wife in the drama, were also hugely giving interviewees. Part of the success in casting surely has to lie in choosing Raquel from Only Fools And Horses and EastEnder’s Little Mo a chance to shine as polar opposites of the characters which made them household names.

It was a day I’ll remember – the authenticity of the 1950s set – a village transported back in time from costumes to cars, was pretty special. And it’s always an easy sell when they know you’re there for Lorraine, like being vouched for by a trusted pal. Here’s the interview in full: http://www.itv.com/lorraine/style-beauty/martel-goes-behind-the-scenes-of-grantchester

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