Weekend Post (South Africa) - - TV SCHEDULES & STARS -

FOL­LOW­ING crit­i­cal ac­claim and record rat­ings world­wide, Septem­ber 4 sees the re­turn of the hugely pop­u­lar drama Vic­to­ria on ITV Choice.

Once again writ­ten by cre­ator and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Daisy Good­win, the new eight-part sea­son will see Jenna Cole­man and Tom Hughes reprise their roles as Queen Vic­to­ria and Prince Al­bert, as they face new chal­lenges both at home and abroad.

Re­sum­ing one month af­ter the first se­ries ended, the new sea­son es­tab­lishes Vic­to­ria as a work­ing mother, learn­ing to bal­ance her re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as both par­ent and queen.

How­ever, Al­bert is still strug­gling to find a role for him­self along­side his pow­er­ful wife as she re­turns to her du­ties, in­tent on prov­ing she can be both mother and du­ti­ful sov­er­eign.

Join­ing the leads are much-loved cast mem­bers, in­clud­ing Nigel Lind­say as Sir Robert Peel, Alex Jen­nings as King Leopold, Peter Bowles as the Duke of Welling­ton, David Oakes as Prince Ernest, Daniela Holtz as Baroness Le­hzen and Cather­ine Flem­ming as the Duchess of Kent.

Be­low stairs, Nell Hud­son re­turns as Nancy Sk­er­rett, Fer­di­nand Kings­ley as chef Fran­catelli and Adrian Schiller as Penge.

Young tal­ent Bebe Cave and Leo Suter have also joined the cast for the sec­ond sea­son.

The new se­ries will also see some new faces ar­rive at the palace, with iconic Bafta Award-win­ning ac­tress Dame Diana Rigg ( Game of Thrones) join­ing the reg­u­lar cast as the Duchess of Buc­cleuch, the young Queen’s new mis­tress of the robes, and guest ap­pear­ances from fel­low lead­ing ac­tors, in­clud­ing Emer­ald Fen­nell, Martin Comp­ston, Bruno Wolkow­itch and De­nis Law­son.

“In se­ries one, Vic­to­ria mar­ried the hand­some prince, but in this se­ries she and Al­bert get down to the se­ri­ous busi­ness of liv­ing hap­pily, some­times stormily, ever af­ter,” Good­win said.

“Vic­to­ria is the only Queen Reg­nant to marry and give birth while on the throne and the chal­lenges of be­ing head of state, as well as a wife and mother, are le­gion.

“In many ways, Vic­to­ria’s dilemma is a mod­ern one – how do you have a suc­cess­ful mar­riage and a happy fam­ily when you are hold­ing down an im­por­tant job. Can you re­ally have it all?” Good­win con­tin­ued.

Ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Damien Tim­mer added: “Se­ries one of Vic­to­ria was a big suc­cess both at home and abroad, and it is a priv­i­lege to con­tinue to tell the story of this fas­ci­nat­ing woman at a par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing point in her reign.

“Au­di­ences will be in­trigued by the sto­ries we have lined up this year, full of scan­dal, ro­mance and tragedy. At the cen­tre of it is a beau­ti­fully nu­anced study of a young mar­riage, and it’s a joy to watch Jenna and Tom find new lay­ers to this iconic cou­ple,” Tim­mer said.

Catch Vic­to­ria on ITV Choice (DStv 123) from Mon­day Septem­ber 4 at 8pm.

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