For all the planning that went into The Durrells series two, producers only found the perfect location for the marketplace scenes by accident.
The ITV show’s second series sees Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes) come up with a brand-new idea to generate income, as hardline new landlady Vasilia demands more rent money and the family struggles to scrape a living. The English widow decides to make some English delicacies – toad in the hole, Bakewell tarts, spotted dick, scotch eggs – and take them by donkey to the local market.
But new behind-the-scenes footage reveals how difficult it was to find the perfect spot.
“We were looking for a village in Corfu that was controllable, that we could shut off streets, we could film with horses and extras, we wouldn’t need to worry about people going backwards and forwards,” explains executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle.
“When we were doing the recce we never found the village. And then one day Chris Hall – who’s the producer – and Steve Barron [the director] were actually wandering around the Corfu Museum of Banknotes, and came across a volunteer and explained what they were doing.”
That visit to an obscure museum was more productive than you’d think.
“She said, ‘You must go and see my village!'” Sally recalls. “They had built a replica of Corfu Town.”
The producers took their chance with this “gift of a location” and took over Bouas village, also known as Danilia. The village, also used in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only back in 1981, was build by a Mr I Bouas from the ground up as a way of capturing and preserving the island’s traditional atmosphere.
But though the filming of Mrs Durrell’s marketplace adventure came off perfectly, not everything goes smoothly when she tries to persuade the locals to eat her weird English food…
Series two of The Durrells is out on DVD on 29th May
The Durrells in Corfu airs on Sundays, 8/7c, PBS Masterpiece