With hindsight, it's probably a good thing they didn't let Felicity Kendal assume any editorial control of The Good Life scripts.
Otherwise it might have turned a bit East Enders on us. She's a drama addict, then – so, factoring in the sheer sexiness of the woman ('Yes, it comes naturally, oddly enough, more so now that I'm older'), is it any wonder her private life has been a touch colourful?
''I think when you're young you're striving to have the perfect life and it means you can carelessly lose something when you should have worked it through. But we both had very difficult personalities and we said, 'Right, this isn't working.''Do you think we're supposed to be? If you take sheer physical attraction out of the equation, you match people up with interests, values.
There's a lot to be said for it.'It's apt then that partner-swapping is one of the themes in Noël Coward's comedy of manners Hay Fever, which Felicity is bringing to the West End next month after a sell-out run at the Theatre Royal Bath last summer.
While she remains grateful for the role that made her famous, the eternally wholesome Barbara Good – or 'the sweetest, happiest little person in blue jeans', as she calls her – she admits the sheer niceness of the woman drove her a bit nuts. Now that she's a grandmother (and back with a man she once divorced), is she in any way ashamed of what she got up to in her youth? In her world, affairs are as much a part of life as breathing.'I'm always amazed at people's interest in affairs when they're so common – and not reserved for theatrical people.
We're too buttoned up about sex, too sanctimonious about affairs, and too quick to abandon a marriage that's in trouble, says the actress (make-up: Simon Vollmer, hair: Michael Douglas, stylist: Fiona Parkhouse)Blimey. She takes a while to think about this, which tells its own story. Mostly the person involved ducked.'So there you have it. She isn't even all that British (she grew up in India). Take the people I know just in my little community in Chelsea: the marriages, the families, the goings-on – all of them are more outrageous and atrocious.' Gosh. 'Oh the things I've seen would fill the Daily Mail. I mean you can go back to the Bible, back through history – it's there. What is sad is that so many people give up on marriages when trouble hits. It's a very confusing thing being married.'Her first marriage to the actor Drewe Henley lasted for 11 years, but foundered partly because of the reality of coping with his manic depression.
9 and 10th) but I didn’t cover them because to be honest I wasn’t that keen on the lineup.
Sure, I like Rocketship and Rose Melberg a lot, but I’ve seen them before so not that special for me, and anyhow I wasn’t going to fly to Portland.
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'Charley was 18 months old then and I just didn't know what had hit me.'Her second marriage, to director Michael Rudman, foundered too (this one produced her second son Jacob, now 28) – but romance was rekindled between the two and they're now 'as solid as you can get'. I don't see any need to revisit that – other than a great party, and we can have a party any time.