By: Laura Denby
Only Fools and Horses star Sue Holderness has described how her iconic character Marlene had an influence on her new role.
Holderness plays Judith in The Madame Blanc Mysteries, a sun-soaked series about a string of antiques-related crimes in the South of France. Judith is a local lady in the village, who thrives on gossip and is married to her devoted husband Jeremy, played by Robin Askwith.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about her role in the upcoming Channel 5 comedy drama, the actress discusses the experience of reading both scripts for the first time, where she fell in love with each of her characters instantly.
“My reaction when I read the [Madame Blanc] script was very similar to the reaction when I read the script for Only Fools And Horses - when I first saw the words for Marlene on the page I thought I could just hear her,” Holderness says. “I heard Marlene’s voice and I knew this woman; and I thought if anybody else plays this part I’ll have to kill them because it’s mine!
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“And I felt exactly the same when I read Madame Blanc - I could just hear her,” she explains. “People say ‘Have you based her on anybody you know?’ but she’s just in there, she is the ghastly snob that is within me, I love her. She’s simply appalling and good fun.”
Holderness admits she could talk about her latest character all day, and she explains that Judith thinks very highly of herself. “Judith loves Judith! There’s no question, she thinks she’s the bee’s knees. I think [she] believes that everybody loves her.”
The actress adds, “Judith and Jeremy have a very touchy-feely, very passionate relationship; they adore each other but they also adore themselves - and although Judith comes from quite humble stock, she is now posher than the Queen.”
The Madame Blanc Mysteries begins on Channel 5 this weekend.The series follows lead character Jean (Sally Lindsay) who jets off to France to find answers after the sudden death of her husband. Jean is drawn into the mysteries of Sainte Victoire from the minute she arrives, and soon becomes acquainted with the local residents - including the outspoken Judith.