THERE was a palpable air of excitement in Truro’s Plaza Cinema last night at the world premiere of the much anticipated, in Cornwall at least, BBC production of Poldark.

The stars of the show Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza), Heida Reed (Elizabeth Chenoweth), Jack Farthing (George Warleggan) were there to add a bit of glamour and after the screening treated the audience to a Q&A.

For those who don’t know the story, it’s 1783 and Britain is in the grip of a chilling recession with falling wages, rising prices and civil unrest. Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwall to find his world in ruins: his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin.

Asked what it was like to take on an iconic television role like this, actor Aidan Turner told the audience it had been a “little bit” scary. He said: “Especially being in Cornwall where it has a lot of gravitas down here. Winston Graham had all these great stories and Debbie [Horsfield the scriptwriter] has adapted them so well, in many ways it is quite terrifying but it is so good, the scripts are so strong, the cast is fantastic, everything is all in the right place and we kind of let it do its thing and got on with it.”

The series of eight episodes took five months to film in Cornwall last summer with Cadgwith Cove being one of the stunning sites used for filming.

Cornwall looks stunning in the first episode with many in the audience trying to work out where each scene was filmed, although some were shot around Bristol.

It is hoped that when the series is screened on BBC1 Sunday, March 8, it will do wonders for the Cornish tourism economy, much as the original series did in the 1970s.

That series, which ran in 1975 and 1977, had audiences as high as 15 million, figures today’s TV executives can only dream off. The love lives of Ross Poldark and Demelza had the nation glued to their screens.

Actress Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Demelza, does a pretty convincing Cornish accent, as the Illogan girl who becomes Ross Poldark’s wife told the audience she had a lot of fun playing the role but it had taken a long time to get the makeup off.

She said she had spent weeks with a voice coach and hoped that she had got the accent right as she had been really worried about it.

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