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TV Quickfire: Sun, sea and animals as The Durrells return for third series

Sunday nights have just gotten a whole lot cosier with the return of The Durrells. The stars of the show tell Gemma Dunn what to expect from the latest dose of the Corfu-based drama

Daisy Waterstone and Keeley Hawes, stars of The Durrells

SUNDAY evenings mean sun, sea and animals as ITV returns to Corfu for a third season of The Durrells. The much-loved mini-series, written by Simon Nye and based on Gerald Durrell's trilogy of books, follows the story of Louisa (Keeley Hawes) and her four spirited and unruly children, Larry (Josh O'Connor), Leslie (Callum Woodhouse), Margo (Daisy Waterstone) and Gerry (Milo Parker) as they up sticks to start a new life abroad in the 1930s.

Since it first aired in 2016, this feel-good Sunday fare has hit the right notes. Marrying gorgeous locations with family drama, the show's viewers last saw Louisa, who relocated to the Greek island from England following the death of her husband, split with Hugh (Daniel Lapaine) after refusing his offer to return to the UK together.

As for the children: Margo found her first love; Leslie's heroic midwifery deed earned him good fortune with the ladies; Larry returned home having ended his affair; and Gerry remained hell bent on boosting the otter population in Corfu. So what can we expect from the show's latest run?

LOUISA PUTS LOVE ON HOLD

"Louisa has decided to give up her search for love and concentrate on herself and the children, which is not a bad idea judging by her previous involvement with men," says Line Of Duty actress Hawes (42). "The family is still in financial dire straits, but Larry is earning a little bit of money with his writing and some money is trickling in from the market. Even so, they all need to get jobs."

THE ANIMALS REMAIN SCENE-STEALERS

"We have flamingos this time. They are beautiful," gushes Hawes. "And the pelicans [that] were babies when we started are now fully-grown birds. We know no-one is going to be listening to anything you say when there is an animal in the scene – we're used to that now. And in this series, we also have Frank the sloth. That was quite extraordinary because it's not an animal you get to see very often."

LARRY TRIES HIS HAND AT SAILING

"[We] took this boat out with a little motor and we went in the middle of the ocean between Albania and Greece," recalls God's Own Country star O'Connor (27). "Then all of the camera department and everyone else got off this sailing boat and went away. They filmed me from a distance. So I found myself in this weird position where I don't know how to sail and I'm stuck alone in the middle of the ocean. There were a couple of hairy moments but that was probably one of my favourite scenes ever to film."

LESLIE PLAYS THE FIELD

"As we start the new series Leslie is probably in one of the happiest situations we've seen him in so far," notes Woodhouse (24). "He's playing the Casanova of Corfu a little bit, balancing his time between three girls [but] obviously in typical Durrells' fashion, the family get involved and it all goes terribly wrong. But as the episodes play out and you start to see Leslie's reasoning, you can empathise with him a little bit."

MARGO IS FINDING HER FEET

"Margo has ditched her boyfriend and still hasn't got a job after leaving the Countess at the end of series one," says Waterstone (23). "So she's being the normal Margo, trying to find new hobbies and gets into soap sculpting. She does all these new bizarre things until she finally manages to find a job in an X-ray unit and also as a part-time nanny. It's just her growing up, really."

:: The Durrells is on ITV, Sundays.

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