The sparkling story of Lillie Langtry, who rose from an innocent in Jersey to become the favourite mistress of the Prince of Wales and, in time, a feted actress on both sides of the Atlantic.
Francesca Annis’s Lillie is perfectly judged, and presents a more rounded character than other actresses might have given. As her put-upon husband Edward, Anton Rodgers is also very good, as a fish out of water who declines from yacht-racing champion through to drunken cuckold. And with Denis Lill as Bertie, the Prince, and Peter Egan as Oscar Wilde, this benefits from excellent supporting players too.
These days period dramas are done and dusted in a few short parts, but here we have ten hours of solid drama which takes Lillie from the age of fifteen in St Helier through to her time as a grandmother in the teens. Beautifully written, light in tone, and extremely enjoyable.