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Familiar backdrop to new Jane Austen adaptation

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Viewers of the BBC's new adaptaion of Emma on Sunday might spot
a few familiar landmarks as they watch.

It only took programme makers one visit to Chilham to decide it
was the place they would use for the setting of Emma's village

Producer George Ormond said "The place offers so much potential
for filming. The market square is just a superb centre for activity
and gives us plenty of room for manoevre."

It does not stop there for Kent viewers though. The fictional
estate of Hartfield, home to the rich matchmaker Emma Woodhouse
played by Atonement actress Romola Garai, is Squerryes Court in

The programme also stars Jonny Lee Miller as Mr Knightley,
Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates and Michael Gambon as Mr Woodhouse.

Despite his Knighthood, CBE and string of credits spanning the
West End to Hollywood, Gambon revealed his role in the new
adaptation was a first for him. It is the only Jane Austen
adaptation the Irish-born actor has worked on in a career spanning
some 50 years.

He said: "I didn't know Jane Austen nor had I read the books. I
have been in five Harry Potter films and never read a Harry Potter
book! If you are an actor all you have is the script you are given.
If you read the book you might get disappointed about what's been
left out.

"All you have got is the script so I think it's safer just to
follow that – well that's my excuse for not reading the book! If
you obey the writer it will play the part for you – that's the same
with every role."

The first episode of Emma will be shown on BBC One this Sunday
at 9pm. It is the first of four parts.

Read our full interviews with actress Tamsin
Greig producer George Ormond in What's On, free with
your local KM Group newspaper.

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