Daily Mirror

Daily Mirror

Postby Englishfan » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:11 am


It is fun to read about Honeysuckle and Mr. Kitchen driving the car!!!!


Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen...

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 17:02 EST, 15 March 2013 | UPDATED: 17:02 EST, 15 March 2013

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When Foyle’s War ended in 2010 after seven series I was sad but not despondent.

After all, ITV had already axed the show once in 2007, then brought it back due to public demand.

In the last episode, my character Sam Stewart had just received a proposal of marriage from her Bletchley Park code-breaker boyfriend Adam Wainwright, and I felt sure there was more mileage in the character.

So I was delighted when writer Anthony Horowitz and executive producer Jill Green decided to give us three more episodes, set in 1946-47 and the world of Cold War espionage. Here are some excerpts from the diary I wrote on set last autumn during the four-month shoot in Ireland…

The new series is set in London, but we’re filming in Dublin because it has the same beautiful Georgian architecture but none of the modern skyscrapers like the Shard or the Gherkin.

This makes it much easier just to CGI in St Paul’s or the bombed-out buildings that would have dotted the landscape back then. It’s also much cheaper than paying to close off roads in London.

My scenes today are with actor Stephen Boxer who plays my new boss, atomic scientist Professor Fraser, for the first episode called The Eternity Ring, a dastardly tale of double-crossing and missing uranium. In all the previous series I was driver to Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle.

Now he’s been lured out of retirement to become a Senior Intelligence Officer at MI5 rooting out the traitors and Communist sympathisers rife in the British Establishment. Sam has bagged a position as Professor Fraser’s secretary, which puts her close to valuable nuclear secrets.

I was only 20 when Foyle’s War began, and Michael Kitchen, who plays Foyle, is like a father to me in real life (he read at my wedding to hypnotherapist Lorne Stormonth-Darling in 2007) as well as on the show. As soon as I saw him this week it was as if the previous three years had evaporated and we were immediately comfortable with one another.

It’s supposed to be the height of summer in the drama but as we rehearse today I’m wearing a pair of sturdy thermal pantaloons, a woolly vest, knee-high socks, Ugg boots and a padded brown coat because of the cold and, of course, the ubiquitous hairnet.


At one point a tarpaulin shielding us from the sun for a cloudy shot is blown over. The great metal structure supporting it comes thundering down almost clobbering the hair and make-up teams, and Daniel Weyman, who plays Sam’s new husband Adam – now an MP – rushes over to help.

Daniel, who’s replaced Max Brown in the role, has prodigious energy, and we’re all convinced it’s down to the enormous bag of Smarties he always carries with him: he’s fuelled by E numbers!
Today we’re doing some driving scenes, which I relish, in Phoenix Park.

The vehicle this year, an Austin, is smaller than the Wolseley I was used to driving in previous series, but only slightly less powerful. No double de-clutching luckily as I’m a little rusty after three years out of action.

We have to fit one director of photography, one bear of a camera operator, the camera itself, Michael Kitchen and myself inside, and there’s no de-mister.

Michael is nervous – he always is when I’m driving. I’m told to drive at 35mph by the director. Michael suggests 25. I decide to stick at 30 but embarrass myself by kangaroo-hopping up the drive. ‘Tell you what,’ says Michael after the third take, ‘you do the steering wheel, I’ll change the gears. All right?’ ‘OK. Got it.’ It works a treat.


Sam and Adam were married before the new series starts and today is our first day’s filming at their prefabricated house. It’s in a dilapidated part of town, the effects of the Blitz visible all around.

Food was scarce so Sam hasn’t much in her shopping basket, but what she has is fascinating – to see how little butter people were allowed, how little jam. For Sam, who’s always been a good eater, I feel this must be one of her harshest privations.


I see a picture of Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary in a newspaper article today and scour it, because Lady Soames was an Auxiliary Territorial Service driver like Sam used to be.

I see she has excessively shiny shoes and now I don’t feel quite so bad about asking the wardrobe department to polish my costume shoes. I get inundated with letters from ex-army types ticking me off for Sam’s lack of attention to detail.
I’ve also had three proposals of marriage from gentlemen of a certain age – I had to explain I’m already spoken for.

My son Wade, who’s nearly 15 months old, is with me for the shoot along with his nanny, and I often turn up for lunch with two extra mouths to feed. The catering staff are very obliging but a crew isn’t really a crew unless they’re complaining about the catering. The latest gripe has been that we’re all going to grow wings and start clucking because of the quantity of chicken served up.

The real flapping on our set came about when some extras broke with protocol and marched to the front of the lunch queue before the principal cast and crew.

There was much muttering but no one was brave enough to tick them off because they were real soldiers. Some of them told me they wanted to be stuntmen, so I pointed them in the direction of one of our carpenters who doubled for George Clooney on the 2010 film The American.

It’s 11am, and Michael and I go for a proper coffee at a local café as we’re not needed for a while. Queuing up for our frothies, a local lady asks if Michael is an actor. ‘Spot on,’ he says.

The lady looks delighted. Her hand goes to her handbag – we assume she’s searching for paper and pen for an autograph – and she draws out a leaflet for the Dundrum Amateur Dramatic Society. ‘They’re looking for new recruits,’ she says. ‘I myself have been a member for some time. They have very high standards.’

She creeps a little closer to him while I hide my giggles by getting the coffees. In a conspiratorial voice she tells Michael she could ‘put in a good word’ for him at the auditions at the village hall. Michael thanks her for her kind offer, but says he must regretfully decline her introduction as he’s already gainfully employed!

A jolly lunch in a local restaurant with our executive producer Jill Green and writer Anthony Horowitz. We’re all firm friends and talk of everything but the show. I thank Anthony for naming the hotel in which Foyle stays in the first episode The Wade Hotel after my son.

I’ve also resolved to buy myself a green tweed Ted Baker military style jacket after lunch as Foyle fans are a loyal lot, and anyone who’s caught a glimpse of us filming has been appalled to see Sam without a uniform in her new post-war role.

We’re filming on an airfield today and there’s no protection from the biting wind. At this stage in the shoot everyone, including Michael, who’s normally impervious to heat or cold, is putting on every thermal layer available to them.

The wardrobe girls keep morale up by handing out hot water bottles, blankets and thermal patches. These last items can be lodged down period leather gloves to spare one’s digits from frostbite or even added to a bra as wonderfully sensual nipple warmers.

They also boost one up a cup size, so double tick.

It’s the Foyle’s War wrap party tonight. Battling some pretty stiff odds, I’d implored Michael to come. ‘I’ll politely decline, I’m afraid,’ he said. ‘Oh come on, sir,’ I pleaded, still in character hoping it might encourage a spirit of wartime allegiance. ‘I’m not good at parties,’ he said.

‘Besides, I like to remember people as they are.’ At the time this struck me as rather cryptic, but by 2am in a dark club somewhere in Dublin’s lively Temple Bar district, I begin to understand exactly what he meant. There was definitely something in the Black Stuff.

It’s my final day on set and we head to my favourite part of Dublin Bay, the Howth peninsula, to film more driving scenes. I adore the area and used to come here with Wade on my days off.

I’d walk round the peninsula with the baby on my shoulders in a backpack, working up a gargantuan appetite then spoil the pair of us with a feast of crab, langoustine and oysters from a shack on the quayside, followed by an ice cream from one of Howth’s absurdly large array of ice cream parlours.

But there’s no time for such niceties on set especially when the weather’s been wreaking havoc with schedules. It’s a mad dash to the finishing line as we motor up and down a steep drive that leads to Howth Castle. I say motor, but in many of the takes there was no ‘motor’ at all.

The Austin is on its last legs. By necessity, we had to start the scene at the top of the hill so it was easier for members of the crew to jump start what was supposed to be our ‘action’ vehicle.

When we’ve finally finished it’s off to nearby Sandycove, where we mock up some still shots of Sam and Adam’s wedding to adorn the shelves of their prefab. It’s always odd pretending to ‘marry’ someone on TV, especially as Daniel and I are old friends.

But I do hope Sam and Adam live happily ever after as they enter Foyle’s new world of counter intelligence and espionage. In sickness and in stealth!

Foyle’s War returns to ITV next Sunday, 24 March.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... z2Nelone2G
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby vicky » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:41 pm

Thanks for this link, Englishfan. Loved the amusing insights about
our favourite detective. At least one member of the cast is willing to
talk about Foyle's War.
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Wolesley » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:43 pm

How wonderful to read these behind-the-scenes glimpses!

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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby foylefan » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:27 am

Thanks so much, Englishfan! Really fun to read! :thankyou: Considering how much fun we've had on this site trying to figure out why MK always looks cold, I thought her comment that he was normally impervious to temperature funny. :biggrin:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby fe » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:07 am

Brilliant, Englishfan, thanks for sharing :thankyou:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Wintree » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:39 am

Thank you so very much, Englishfan. Wouldn't it be great if there were many more like this? Fun!
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby mohairMK » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:42 am

Englishfan wrote:

Michael is nervous – he always is when I’m driving. I’m told to drive at 35mph by the director. Michael suggests 25. I decide to stick at 30 but embarrass myself by kangaroo-hopping up the drive. ‘Tell you what,’ says Michael after the third take, ‘you do the steering wheel, I’ll change the gears. All right?’ ‘OK. Got it.’ It works a treat.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... z2Nelone2G
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Love this quote about MK- "you do the steering wheel, I'll change the gears". I'd have like to seen THAT! :wolseley:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby rngwen » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:27 pm

I enjoyed that article immensely. Thanks for posting it. :smile:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby ayresorchids » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:58 pm

mohairMK wrote:
Love this quote about MK- "you do the steering wheel, I'll change the gears". I'd have like to seen THAT! :wolseley:



Actually, Mohair, you can! The only problem is, I now cannot remember the episode it is in, though it may have been "Bleak Midwinter." Can anyone recall?

Her arm had been injured, and in one scene, you can plainly see (though the camera keeps above the level of their hands) that he does the shifting as they embark.
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Samfan » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:28 pm

I think it was A War of Nerves (episode 4 of season 3). I think you see MK shifting when they are pulling away from the shipyard. Also, you can see Honeysuckle favoring her arm in a scene where she is walking down the sidewalk with her friend.

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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby ayresorchids » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:54 pm

In her marvellous blog, kitchenfoyle has put that gear-shifting moment up in gif form for us:

http://kitchenfoyle.tumblr.com/post/689 ... yes-one-of
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Sunshine » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:17 am

That is some sneaky gear-shifting. Great stuff! :foyle5: :samkiss:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby mohairMK » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:39 pm

You people are GOOD! I totally missed that gear-shift shot, but now that I watch it, it is very plain what he is doing. I guess my eyes were on his face, not his hands... :foyle1:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Jillybean » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:20 pm

mohairMK wrote:I guess my eyes were on his face, not his hands... :foyle1:


Difficult not to... we must learn to use our peripheral vision :biggrin:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby hazeleyes57 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:23 pm

I didn't realise that he was changing gear for Honeysuckle, but I did notice him looking down and wondered what he was looking at when I first watched that episode. Naughty thoughts ensued, as usual. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby starlight » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:39 pm

hazeleyes57 wrote:I didn't realise that he was changing gear for Honeysuckle, but I did notice him looking down and wondered what he was looking at when I first watched that episode. Naughty thoughts ensued, as usual. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Sorry - picky geek here. :geek:

What I want to know is this: why does he need to shove the gearstick into position anyway? Sam is already sitting in the car when Foyle gets in. They could've set up the scene so that the stick was already in position with Honeysuckle's foot on the clutch. Then all she would have needed to do was release the clutch and pull off as soon as he was seated.

Hmm? Geekity geek geek geek :ugeek:
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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby jewell » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:03 pm

Starlight,

Two things come to mind as to why it wasn't already in gear.

Firstly, and mainly, the clutch on the old girl might be very stiff and difficult to hold in for any length of time. Older cars are fun to drive but they're a heck of a lot of work. Somebody would still have to put it in gear for HW and sweet cheeks is right there.

Secondly, we don't know how the shot was originally put together before editing. I'm going off memory but is there some action in the shot before MK puts it into gear? If there isn't now, there might have been before and it was cut.

Thirdly (a bonus), the owner of the car would not like HW holding the clutch for many many takes for a long time each. I'm sure a new clutch for that year of Wolesly (I never can spell that word - I blame Lesley) is plenty dear and not easy to change.

Just some thoughts to sooth you troubled mind.

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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby starlight » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:15 pm

jewell wrote:
Just some thoughts to sooth you troubled mind.

Jewell


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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby ayresorchids » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:51 pm

jewell wrote: I'm sure a new clutch for that year of Wolesly (I never can spell that word - I blame Lesley) is plenty dear and not easy to change.

Jewell


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Re: Daily Mirror

Postby Wolesley » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:07 pm

You can blame me for your spelling challenges, Jewell, but I actually never meant to spell my board name wrong in the first place - when I first joined Fiona's discussion board way back when, there were a number of variations on the spelling of Wolseley by different members, and I picked the wrong one - thinking, 'oh, isn't it cool that the make of Foyle's car contains my own name!' :biggrin:
Should have done the research (says the school librarian :oops: )

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