Bridgerton star Sabrina Bartlett cast in Catherine Zeta-Jones’ role in ITV’s The Darling Buds of May reboot

Everything you need to know about ITV’s The Larkins...

Sabrina Bartlett attends "Knightfall" photocall during MIPTV 2017 on April 4, 2017 in Cannes, France.
(Image credit: Photo by Toni Anne Barson/FilmMagic via Getty)

Bridgerton's Sabrina Bartlett may be best known for her role as opera singer Siena Rosso in the steamy Netflix period drama, but she’ll soon be stepping into some pretty big shoes in ITV's new exciting reboot. The original comedy-drama series, The Darling Buds of May, aired back in the 1990s and featured none other than the Oscar-winning actor Catherine Zeta-Jones as Mariette Larkin. 

Now after 28 years off the air, ITV is bringing the show back and you might even be tempted to get out your best eReader to enjoy the novel it's based on before it returns. Titled The Larkins, the six-part reboot series will see Sabrina Bartlett take on Catherine’s role of Mariette. 

There’s still a while to wait yet until Bridgerton Season 2 lands on Netflix and with fans still eagerly awaiting confirmation of a Firefly Lane Season 2, there’s a definite place in our hearts and on our screens for another new binge-able series in the future. 

And from what we already know about ITV’s The Darling Buds of May reboot, we may well have found it...

What was The Darling Buds of May about and what will The Larkins be about?

The '90s series was based on the H.E. Bates novel of the same name and followed the Larkin family, lead by Sidney ‘Pop’ Larkin, played in the original series by David Jason and his wife Florence, known as ‘Ma’, who was played by Pam Ferris. As hardworking parents of six children, Pop and Ma set about forging a life for themselves in the countryside of 1950s Kent. 

Along the way, they must contend with government officials and certain more snobbish members of their local community, though they never take things lying down. 

Catherine Zeta Jones actress star of Darling Buds of May

(Image credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo)

And fans of The Darling Buds of May need not be alarmed as it seems that ITV’s reboot, The Larkins, will follow a similar path to the original show. The Larkins will also focus on the exploits of the titular family and the relationship between Mariette Larkin and village newcomer Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton - an accountant from the city. 

Though it soon emerges that he might just have a rival for beautiful Mariette’s affections...

Who did Catherine Zeta-Jones play in The Darling Buds of May?

Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones played Pop and Ma’s eldest child Mariette Larkin in the original The Darling Buds of May and remained in the role from 1991-93. Now Bridgerton star Sabrina is set to play this iconic character. And if the statement featured in ITV’s casting announcement is anything to go by, she’s more than a little thrilled. 

“I am really REALLY excited to be taking on the role of Mariette Larkin in this new adaption of H.E. Bates novels”, Sabrina said. “I can’t wait to bring these heart-warming stories to life alongside such a wonderful team. It’s just the perfect dose of escapism we all need right now.”

Who else is in The Larkins cast?

Alongside Sabrina will be Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin, perhaps most recognisable in recent years from his position as host of ITV’s The Chase. Whilst Joanna Scanlan, star of The Thick of It, will be replacing Pam Ferris as Ma and Tok Stephen will play Mariette’s love interest Charley. It’s understood that further casting will be announced in 2021 before filming for the series begins. 

Darling Buds Of May TV Programme the cast members next to truck

(Image credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo)

Meanwhile, screenwriter Simon Nye, who also wrote ITV hit The Durrells, has previously said: “The novels are short, hilarious and magical. We will be expanding the Larkins’ world a little and can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this glorious countryside idyll.”

The Larkins is reportedly due to begin filming in 2021 and we may well see the six-part series hit our screens by the end of this year or perhaps early 2022.

Until then, we’ll just have to enjoy re-watching Sabrina’s wonderful performance in Bridgerton once more...

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!