Bradley goes Pop! Food glorious food on the set of The Larkins

Bradley goes Pop!

Food glorious food on the set of The Larkins


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Anyone who has watched The Larkins on ITV will understand why Bradley Walsh issued a warning to producers for the series when it came to the amount he was eating.

Talking about the way in which scenes with food were done authentically, with real food for the actors, Bradley confessed he couldn’t ‘keep going’.

Lunch at The Larkins

He said that by the time he had finished the series, in which he plays Pop Larkin, he had put on about eight pounds in weight.

Bradley added that food was brought to the Larkin’s table and he would have it for his lunch, then stay there eating – which wasn’t good for when he had his measurements taken for a new suit for his TV presenting work.

Bradley Walsh on the set of The Larkins. Image courtesy of BBC pictures.

TV Takeover

He barely has a day without being on the television somewhere – The Chase, Beat The Chasers, Blankety Blank and more recently in his role as Pop.

The show is an update of The Darling Buds of May, adapted from the books by H. E. Bates which are about a family who moved from London just after the war, out to a beautiful farm in Kent.

Bradley, who plays a bit of a wheeler dealer and a huge family man, explained that they tried to stick as close to the original books by H.E. Bates as possible.

“The scripts were beautifully written and adapted by Simon Nye,” he said.

Bradley Walsh on the set of The Larkins. Image courtesy of BBC pictures.

Being set in a different era, did the show tell us anything about our lives today?

“This was a big family values show –about caring, worrying and loving all about your nearest and dearest. Which in these strange and worrying times we’ve all had recently seems to be more prevalent and has become more important than ever.

“This was a big family values show –about caring, worrying and loving all about your nearest and dearest. Which in these strange and worrying times we’ve all had recently seems to be more prevalent and has become more important than ever.

“I think the [virus] has brought a lot of people closer together and they’ve realised how much they miss people in their lives and to stop rushing around, stop chasing and spend time more time with your family.”

Stop rushing around

Bradley added that the show took the audience back to the days when none of that rushing around existed, there were no mobile phones, there was no internet, when you needed something, you had to go and ask somebody (face to face).

“I think we can learn a lot from looking at a family like this, we could learn an awful lot from the Larkin’s.”

Bradley said he loved playing Pop because he’s never had the chance to play someone quite like him before.

Brad;ey Walsh on set of The Larkins
Bradley Walsh on the set of The Larkins. Image courtesy of BBC pictures.

Laughter is the best medicine

“To play this guy who’s laughing all the time and laughing with his family, having fun with his wife and his children and the whole community, and to see him say to everyone, come on, do you know what, we’ll have fun, it’s just a wonderful thing to do, it really is.”

The period of dress was a great pull for Bradley, as was the opportunity to drive all the old cars in the Kent countryside.

Breathe in the country air

The joy of shooting here in Kent is the fact that this is where the books took place, so you get an affinity with it and you get a real feel for it. I think the farm we’re working on has a good couple of hundred, three hundred acres maybe, it’s beautiful. The interiors are the true inside of the farmhouse, it’s so lovely.

Bradley Walsh

Traditional family values

He added that The Larkin’s was a warm show, that’s beautifully shot with lovely warm colours on screen.  The family believes in traditional values such as respecting others and treating them as equals.

Coming home to good food

And, of course, one of the main traditions in the household is putting on impressive spreads of food for guests -Ma Larkin prides herself on her cooking and she is always prepared to rustle up a hearty meal.

Bradley admits that despite training throughout his work schedule, the temptation of the amazing spreads has been a bit too much for him to resist.

“It’s a tricky old show, that’s for sure,’ he said, adding that he has suggested to the series writers that the next episodes should be set somewhere in the Mediterranean, where the diet might be better for his waistline!”