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Romp and ceremony

As Colin and Penelope take centre stage in Bridgerton, we catch up with the cast


As gossip goes, there’s little more juicy than what’s divulged in the missives of Bridgerton’s elusive Lady Whistledow­n. Her rumour mill has kept the ton talking through lurid love affairs and societal scandals aplenty, but as Bridgerton returns to Netflix for a third season, our writer might just be finding herself the talk of the town.

For those who might need a reminder, season two of Bridgerton saw Penelope Feathering­ton’s identity as Lady Whistledow­n revealed to her best friend, Eloise Bridgerton, resulting in a fiery falling-out. But Penelope doesn’t put down her pen, and season three sees her resume her writing about all the goings-on in high society – though the burden of someone knowing her secret seems to be weigh heavy on her shoulders.

To make matters worse for Penelope, her long-time crush Colin Bridgerton has just returned from his trip around Europe, where he’s worked his way around the countries – and women – of the continent and re-enters society with a new worldlines­s. Thus, Penelope becomes the protagonis­t of season three – a season which makes her and Colin the subject of attention – heartbroke­n and friendless, while Colin’s had something of a glow up.

“He comes back with this newfound confidence, and he thinks he’s the king of charm,” says Luke Newton, 31, who plays Colin.

“It’s a fun place to start the season.” Before he left, Penelope overheard Colin saying that he would never court her, which broke her heart – and with seemingly a newfound ego packed into his travelling bags, a romance seems even less likely.

With one last shot at finding a husband, Penelope has something of a Cinderella moment, stepping into the year’s marriage market with a transforme­d look that’s sure to turn some heads.

“It’s really fun,” smiles Nicola Coughlan, 37, who plays Penelope, of her new look.

“I hoped that we’d get to our season and that she was going to have this transforma­tion.”

Fans of the Regency romance series, which is based on the book series by Julia Quinn, have been getting hot under the collar about the fact that the new season will focus

on the will-they-won’t-they relation

nd ship between Colin and Penelope, a pairing they dub ‘Polin’.

“It kind of hits you like a train, the first episode,” teases Newton, who starred in teen dramas before Bridgerton.

Meanwhile, there’s another member of the Bridgerton clan dealing with complicate­d emotions about love – though we’re not talking in a romantic sense. Following the explosive finale of season two, Eloise and Penelope’s friendship is in tatters, and Eloise holds the secret of the true identity of Lady Whistledow­n like a loaded gun.

“I feel like she’s been quite courteous, considerin­g she knows a huge secret that could be dropped at any minute,” says Claudia Jessie, 34, who plays Eloise and previously had roles in Line Of Duty and Porters.

“There’s a lot of love that Eloise and Penelope have for each other, irrespecti­ve of their circumstan­ces, but the pain is equal to the level of betrayal. On TV and in movies we really celebrate romantic love, and platonic love is not held in the same reverentia­l light,” Coughlan reflects.

“And it should be but I love the way it’s written, and it’s such an important part of the story. And I know it’s one of Julia Quinn’s favourite love stories within all of Bridgerton.” Season three of Bridgerton comes to Netflix on Thursday, May 16

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 ?? ?? Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Feathering­ton. Inset, Penelope with former best friend Eloise Bridgerton, played by Claudia Jessie
Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Feathering­ton. Inset, Penelope with former best friend Eloise Bridgerton, played by Claudia Jessie

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