Sunday Times bestseller The Holiday has been given the TV treatment, with Jill Halfpenny (The Drowning, Dark Money, Humans) leading the cast as Kate, whose summer holiday with family and friends quickly spirals into a nightmare when she begins to suspect that her husband Sean (Owen McDonnell) is having an affair – and one of the group winds up lying in a pool of their own blood at the bottom of a cliff.


The series remains "pretty close" to the novel, Halfpenny told "Towards the end there are a few little changes here and there but other than that, I would say it was it was pretty close."

Speaking about how it feels to bring TM Logan's supremely popular book to Channel 5, Halfpenny said: "It's always difficult when somebody loves a book that's been adapted because you can't get the amount of detail and nuance in a drama that you get in a 600-page book, otherwise it'd be a 20-episode drama. So I think people do always feel like, 'Oh, you didn't put the part in that was my favourite.' But there just has to be a choice when you're adapting something and the story has to keep moving.

"With books, you read a lot about the characters' internal worlds. That's why we love novels. We love to know what people are thinking. But with drama, it's visual; you show, not tell. It doesn't make me nervous, but I think I'm very realistic about people holding books very, very dearly in their hearts."

The Holiday, Jill Halfpenny
Photographer Mark Cassar / Chalkboard / Clapperboard

Over the four episodes, there are multiple dramatic developments as the thriller progresses towards its shocking conclusion, which was a challenge for Halfpenny, even as a veteran of the gogglebox.

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"My body doesn't know that it's not real so my shoulders are really tense," she explained. "Your breathing gets really shallow. You feel exhausted at the end of the day... because you've been keeping emotionally at a very high intensity. You're shouting or you're screaming.

"It's what my job is, but thrillers are always really, really taxing because you're playing a level of anxiety almost all the time."

Catch The Holiday on 1st March at 9pm on Channel 5. Find out what else is on with our TV Guide, or visit our Drama Hub for all the latest news.


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