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French Fields

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Title: French Fields  
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Subject: Fresh Fields, Karen Ascoe, Julia McKenzie, Fagging, ITV sitcoms
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French Fields

French Fields
Created by Writers:
John T. Chapman
Ian Davidson
Starring Julia McKenzie
Anton Rodgers
Pamela Salem
Karen Ascoe
Victoria Baker
Sally Baxter
Philip Bird
Nicholas Courtney
Olivia Courtney
Liz Crowther
Robin Kermode
Valerie Lush
Philip McGough
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 19 (list of episodes)
Running time 30 minutes
(including commercials)
Production company(s) Thames Television
Distributor Fremantle Media
Original channel ITV
Original release 5 September 1989 (1989-09-05) – 8 October 1991 (1991-10-08)
Preceded by Fresh Fields

French Fields is a British sitcom. It is a sequel/continuation of the series Fresh Fields and ran for 19 episodes from 5 September 1989 to 8 October 1991. It was written by John T. Chapman (who created and wrote all the episodes of Fresh Fields) and Ian Davidson and was produced by Thames Television for ITV.

The series starred Anton Rodgers and Julia McKenzie as middle-aged, middle-class husband and wife William and Hester Fields and followed the series Fresh Fields, which ran from 1984 to 1986. French Fields resumes the story three years later as William accepts a position with a French company and the series follows Hester and William as they move from London to Calais. The pair were regularly visited by their daughter Emma (Sally Baxter) and son-in-law Peter (Philip Bird), with Bird the only other actor from Fresh Fields to appear regularly (Emma having only appeared in voiceover in the original show, played by Debby Cummings).

Other regular cast members included their French real estate agent Chantal (Pamela Salem), who was also the Fields' neighbour to the left, and snobbish English couple the Trendles (Robin Kermode and Liz Crowther) (the neighbours to the right). Hester and William also coped with Madame Remoleux (Valerie Lush), the unintelligible, ancient and generally useless (but unsackable) French cleaner who lived on and cared for the estate — called Les Hirondelles (The Swallows) — where they all lived. Also popping in on a regular basis, were local farmer and mayor Monsieur Dax (Olivier Pierre in series 1 and 2 and Philip McGough in series 3) and his cheeky daughter Marie-Christine (Victoria Baker), to whom Hester did her best to teach English. Nicholas Courtney also appeared frequently as the Marquis, the owner of the estate.

Ann Beach, who played Sonia in Fresh Fields, made a guest appearance in the final episode, in which Hester and William decide to return to their old home in the UK.

French Fields had several different time slots on ITV:

  • Series 1 (6 Episodes) aired Tuesdays at 20:30 (5 September - 10 October 1989)
  • Series 2 (6 Episodes) aired Mondays at 20:00 (24 September - 29 October 1990)
  • Series 3 (6 Episodes) aired Tuesdays at 20:30 (3 September - 8 October 1991)

A special 45-minute Christmas episode aired on Tuesday, 25 December 1990 at 22:00.

Exteriors were filmed in the North France village of Hucqueliers.


DVD Releases

All three series of French Fields have been released on DVD by Network DVD. A 7-disc boxed set containing all episodes of both Fresh Fields and French Fields was also released by the company.

DVD Release date
The Complete Series 1 13 June 2011
The Complete Series 2 25 July 2011
The Complete Series 3 19 September 2011
The Complete Fresh Fields & French Fields Box Set 24 October 2011

External links

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