What happened to the original Ma Larkin from Darling Buds of May?

The Larkins reboot with Bradley Walsh begins on ITV

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The Larkins is airing on ITV and the uplifting family drama has brought the original Darling Buds of May characters back to life. In the new TV series the matriarch of the family, Ma Larkin, is played by Joanna Scanlan. Express.co.uk has all you need to know about wh played the original Florence Daisy “Ma” Larkin in the series from the 90s.

What happened to the original Ma Larkin?

In the new ITV series, Ma and Pa Larkin are played by the bubbly duo Joanna Scanlan and Bradley Walsh.

They are the heart of the series and family values are the most important thing to them.

Ma adores her children and always makes sure they know right from wrong, and she ensures they respect others.

The original character from The Darling Buds of May was played by Pam Ferris, a Welsh actress.

Ferris, now 73, starred in the role for three years between 1991 and 1993.

She went on to feature in the popular shows Rosemary and Thyme and Call the Midwife.

Fans will most likely recognise her as playing Miss Trunchbull from the film Matilda, or Aunt Marge from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The actress is also known for her career on stage and has stood out in a number of theatre productions.

She has starred in The Entertainer, as well as other Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre productions.

Her most recent film roles were as Queen Victoria in Holmes and Watson in 2018, and Mrs Faulkner in Tolkien in 2019.

As for her TV credits, she appeared in an episode of Urban Myths and had a main role of Sister Evangelina in Call the Midwife.

She featured in a total of 36 episodes between 2012 and 2016 and was a fan-favourite character.

The actress spoke about whether she still kept in touch with her Darling Buds of May co-stars.

In a Daily Mail interview, she said: “Not really. I do occasionally send messages to Catherine [Zeta-Jones], because we have a six degrees of separation thing going on.

“I’ve worked a couple of times with Danny DeVito, who is very good friends with her husband, Michael Douglas, so I send messages through him.

“I’ve never had a message back though. Many years ago, I was invited to the première of one of her films – I think it was Zorro – but my car got stuck in terrible traffic.

“It was a royal première and you’re not allowed to be late, so I had to miss it. I’ve effectively been sending apology messages for nearly 15 years.”

The star said she had been keen to do a sequel to the TV series for a long time, but convinced herself it would never happen.

David Jason, who played Pop in the original series, joined her for a radio broadcast based on the final HE Bates book.

However, it was not made for television due to the nature of the content, as Pop suffered a heart attack.

She added: “They wanted him hale and hearty, and ruddy-cheeked. Personally, though, I would have liked to see it done.”

It seems the creators of the new adaptation were keen to include fresh talent rather than bring back familiar faces.

Bradley Walsh has been praised for slotting right into the role of Pa, a wheeler-dealer with a kind heart.

Actress Scanlan said she used to read the original books as a child and was excited to be part of such a heartwarming series.

The Larkins airs on ITV on Sundays at 8pm.

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