“Unseasonably wet” year made filming The Durrells a logistical nightmare – except when they needed a downpour

It rains when you need sun, and it's sunny when you need rain

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Here is a fine example of irony: Keeley Hawes and the cast of The Durrells were hit with torrential rain while filming series two on the Greek island of Corfu – but for the one episode where they actually needed a downpour, the weather cleared right up and the rain clouds stubbornly stayed away. 

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Episode four of the ITV drama centres around a terrible storm which keeps the Durrells cooped up inside for days, with grumpy Larry suffering from mumps, Gerry insisting on keeping his animals inside, Margo mournfully nursing her spots and Leslie going stir crazy. 

But speaking at the Radio Times & BFI Television Festival in April, the team revealed how tricky it was to handle Corfu’s weather.

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The rain usually doesn’t start up until the winter, but executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle explained: “Well second season, actually it was raining much earlier than near Christmas.

“It was unseasonably wet. When you fly over Corfu it’s very green, and there is a reason why it’s very green, because once it starts raining it doesn’t stop.”

“Literally, there’s the crew looking up to work out when the sun might be coming out, and you go: ‘Okay it’s coming!’ And everybody’s ready to go for it.”

The rain they experienced filming series one inspired writer Simon Nye to build a whole episode around a rainstorm for series two. But of course the weather had other ideas. 

“I wrote one single episode where it rains a lot,” Nye explained, joking: “But of course it never rains at that time. We had to import rain.”

As the Greek god of thunder and rain, Zeus must be laughing at them from the top of Mount Olympus. 

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The Durrells airs on Sunday nights on ITV at 8pm