By: Laura Denby
The Madame Blanc Mysteries star Sally Lindsay has spoken about the inspiration for her latest alter ego Jean White, saying that she is based on a number of classic characters.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press about her new Channel 5 comedy drama, Lindsay explains that Jean is an “homage” to her favourite TV detectives.
“There’s aspects of Jean that I wanted to be absolutely Sherlockian,” says the actress. “I wanted her observation to be off the scale, and I think she didn’t know how amazing it was until she was put in a situation where she [had] to remember stuff.”
“But that kind of Sherlockian observation has grown from her love of antiques and art - so observing stuff and understanding it and relating it to a time and place.”
Lindsay adds, “I thought it would be really interesting to make her as normal as Miss Marple, and as inconspicuous as Miss Marple, so I’ve massively nicked from that as well. Obviously slightly younger, not much but slightly younger!”
“That sort of ordinariness really, and warmth of Miss Marple depending who plays it; but that very approachable character, just here to have a nice time but also she’s got this amazing observation.
"So yeah, I’ve nicked from the classics really, definitely. I admit that! Homage, shall we call it? Homage.”
Best known for her roles in Mount Pleasant and Coronation Street as well as her work in Scott & Bailey, Lindsay co-wrote and produced this series with the intention of brightening up our screens.
“I just wanted an hour of sunshine and television. It’s a modern classic, really, that’s what I wanted to write - in the vein of Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders or Father Brown.
“I wasn’t trying to achieve anything else but a great murder mystery, warmth, great venue, somewhere you want to be for an hour with your glass of wine or your cup of tea. That was all I wanted really, I didn’t want to take it too seriously and hopefully it’s come across like that.”
The idyllic setting is certainly welcome in The Madame Blanc Mysteries, which debuts on Channel 5 this weekend.
We meet Lindsay’s character Jean shortly after her husband dies in suspicious circumstances. Upon learning that all of their assets have disappeared, Jean heads to France to investigate, but soon has a new set of mysteries to contend with.