POLDARK’S producers added serious steam to the novels by hiring hunky Aidan Turner for the title role.
Now ITV has got the same team reinventing another literary classic: Tom Jones.
But Mammoth Screen won’t need to add extra sex to this saucy story of a randy rascal in the 18th century.
Just ask anyone who saw the 1963 film starring Albert Finney or BBC1’s 1997 mini-series with Max Beesley.
A TV insider said: “The makers want to revisit this romping story for old fans and a whole new generation.
“They achieved a similar feat with Poldark, which breathed new life into a Seventies TV series.
“Like the BBC1 show, they are looking to cast relatively unknown actors who could become big stars on the back of the show’s success.
“It’s been a long time coming – under discussion for several years – but filming finally starts next month.”
Max got his breakthrough with BBC1’s The History Of Tom Jones, A Foundling – the book’s full title – and raised the profile of co-star Samantha Morton as well.
It was a similar story with the revived Poldark, which ran from 2015 to 2019 after first airing in 1975.
That brought fame for stars Eleanor Tomlinson and Heida Reed, as well as Aidan.
If they want to recapture that show’s magic, I hope whoever plays Tom has spent all of lockdown doing press-ups in his garden.
Line up for parent duty
AFTER playing milk-curdling DCS Patricia Carmichael in Line Of Duty, Anna Maxwell Martin looks strangely out of place in Motherland.
The BBC2 sitcom – which centres on a group of competitive middle-class parents – is back for a third series tonight with Anna as hapless mum Julia.
After her sinister turn in LoD, Anna is joined by the star of another Jed Mercurio police hit.
Paul Ready – who played dodgy political adviser Rob MacDonald in Bodyguard – appears as gullible stay-at-home-dad Kevin in Motherland.
With more Line Of Duty and Bodyguard a long way off, seeing Anna and Paul together is some compensation.
Feather friends fill their buckets
BIRDS Of A Feather pals Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph are in talks to appear in a new reality show where they fulfil their life’s ambitions.
The programme would see them explore their “bucket list” of weird and wacky wishes – which Lesley, 75, says amount to: “Ten things to do before we pop our clogs.”
“I’d also like to go to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and be in the background on the stage as I’ve seen people performing there.
“And I want to do a crowd dive too. You know, jumping into a crowd of people from the front of a stage and they catch me and pass me around.”
I wonder if Pauline Quirke, their old co-star on the ITV sitcom whom they’ve reportedly fallen out with, features on the list in some way . . .
Gordon's diary is rammed
HE’S in between finishing gameshow Bank Balance and tackling Future Food Stars, for the Beeb.
But celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is still finding time to open a whopping 20 restaurants – many of them boasting good old fish and chips as their main offering.
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He’s already opened five outlets since lockdown lifted, but is keen to hit the ground running in 2021.
An insider said: “It’s been an incredibly tough 18 months and he’s taken a huge financial hit.
“But Gordon feels passionately about getting the businesses open as soon as possible so people can get back to work and go out for dinner.”
I reckon it won’t be long before Gordon’s also making a TV documentary about the rapid expansion of a certain restaurant empire – and I’d be first in line to watch it.