Like half the village, The Shed’s tv reviewer, Goggleboxer, sat in on Wednesday evening to catch the first episode of The Trouble With Maggie Cole.
Dawn French plays Maggie Cole, the local busybody of a fictional village called Thurlbury, put together from shots of Noss Mayo, Newton Ferrers – and Horrabridge.
We have not yet got to the scenes filmed in and around the Reflections hair salon in Horrabridge but flattering shots of the Yealm estuary – big on the blue water, light on the mud – will have done no harm to Devon’s reputation. Sadly the same cannot be said for the lead character, who is so far much more irritating than lovable. And the plot scenario is hard to swallow.
Maggie Cole gets plied with gin and tonics by a radio reporter who says he is looking for interesting people to interview for a feature on country life. Then he edits her indiscretions into one spilling-the-beans commentary on the other side of village life and it gets broadcast by a station where apparently nobody has ever heard of the laws of libel.
Well, okay, it’s light fiction and there may be better to come as Maggie tries to work her way out of the mess she has poured. But Doc Martin it ain’t. Still striving for anything like the same charm. And there is hardly a trace of local accent to be heard – although in yachtie country, maybe that’s realistic.
First reviews elsewhere have been kinder. Sean O’Grady of The Independent thought it was “delightful”. Chris Stevens of the Daily Mail thought it was “terrific fun”.
Tell us what you thought?
FROM THE DIARY
Cirque Berserk at Exeter Northcott until Sunday night.
Comedian Simon Evans at The Red House, Plymouth, Thurs. March 5.
Dick & Angel from Escape To The Chateau at Plymouth Pavilions this Friday (March 6).
Horrabridge Village Market Saturday morning.
Impressionist Jon Culshaw at Plymouth Red House on Friday March 13.
Also Friday 13, acappella concert at Meavy Church from 7.
Seed swap day at Knightsbridge Gardens, near Exeter, on Saturday March 14.
Workshop on running a garden for cut flowers at Chicken Shed, Dartington, on Sat 14: see www.dartington.org
Performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at Exeter Cathedral on Sat 14.
Contemporary drama Amsterdam at Theatre Royal until Sat 14.
For more what’s on listings, see our CALENDAR
MUCK FOR SALE
Tavistock Young Farmers looking for orders for ****. See poster on our gardening page HERE
WHAT’S THIS THEN?
Local artist and fishing tackle dealer Robin Armstrong picked this up at a sale, thinking at first it was a bait box or lunch box …
But it has a solid liner which lifts out of the perforated outer case and he is struggling for a reason. Jinks Fitzsimmons thinks it might be an army field cooker. Anyone else? If you could use it, make Robin an offer on 859165. He’s got some nice rods and reels in stock for the new fishing season, too.
CARTOON OF THE WEEK
Cartoon from Private Eye, by Fran = Fran Orford, available for commissions at www.francartoons.co.uk/wp