The Darling Buds of May

The Darling Buds of May

Inspiration for the ITV drama The Larkins starring Bradley Walsh



Thirty years after The Darling Buds of May became one of the most popular comedy-dramas in ITV history, H.E. Bates's novel is back in a brand new adaptation starring Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan

'The warmth and affection that H. E. Bates has generated through his books is so uplifting' Bradley Walsh

'Home looks nice. Allus does though, don't it? Perfick'

One pleasant May evening, Pop and Ma Larkin and their six children - sated on fish, chips and ice cream - return to the rustic charms of their Kent farm. Waiting for them is a young man: Mr Cedric Charlton, an upstanding inspector of taxes, come to discover why they haven't paid any.

Yet as junk-dealer Pop patiently explains: nothing's ever that simple at the Larkins'. Mariette takes a shine to 'Charley' - as Pop calls him - and before long the family have introduced the uncomplaining inspector to the delights of country living: the lusty scents of wild flowers, the pleasures of a bottle of Dragon's Blood, cold cream dribbled over a bowl of strawberries and the sweet song of nightingales.

Will Cedric come to his senses?
Or will he beat a hasty retreat to the office?

'A pulsing comedy of country manners. A five-alarm blaze of a book. Just about perfick' TIME

'A gently, anarchic wish-fulfilling daydream' THE TIMES

'What better comfort could there be from all we have endured this year than the rolling laughter and outsize hugs of Ma and Pop? It's going to be an honour to help bring The Larkins to the nation's devices!' Joanna Scanlan on her casting as Ma


  • A pulsing comedy of country manners. A five-alarm blaze of a book. Just about perfick.

About the author

H. E. Bates

H. E. Bates was born in 1905 in Northamptonshire. He worked as a journalist and clerk on a local newspaper before publishing his first book, The Two Sisters, when he was twenty. In the next fifteen years he acquired a distinguished reputation for his stories about English country life. During the Second World War he was a Squadron Leader in the R.A.F. The Darling Buds of May, the first of the popular Larkin family novels, was followed by A Breath of French Air (1959), When the Green Woods Laugh (1960), Oh! To Be in England (1963). His works have been translated into sixteen languages. H. E. Bates was awarded the C.B.E. in 1973 and died in January 1974.
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