Acorn Media USA / Region 1 / 4 disc set

Featuring Francesca Annis, Denis Lill, Anthony Head, Patrick Holt, Peter Egan

The series that put Francesca Annis well and truly on the map, Lillie, based on the life of the legendary Lillie Langtry, comes to DVD in a 4 disc set. A hugely popular and critical success in its day (it was first broadcast in 1978) Lillie really had its roots in the earlier and equally popular 1975 production of Edward the Seventh which also saw Annie briefly playing Langtry.

The life of Lillie, told over the course of 13 episodes, was one of real rags to riches variations, having been born the daughter of a humble Channel Islander clergyman she rose to become the glamour figure of her day, Elizabeth Taylor or Paris Hilton could only imagine what it would be like to be her, courted by royalty and the most influential and intellectual figures of her day on both sides of the atlantic.

Anton Rodgers plays Lillie’s weak husband Edward who has to stand by and watch as Lillie becomes the plaything of Edward (or Bertie to his friends), the Prince of Wales (a role for the always excellent Denis Lill). Francesca Annis, always beautiful and deserving of her BAFTA for best actress, does a wonderful job as Lillie aging from a sparkling ingenue of 16 to a seen it all 70. Along the way embracing the likes of Oscar Wilde (Peter Egan) and James Whistler (Don Fellows) and the rest of well to do society.

A passionate and sometimes scandalous story from the golden age of British TV and one well worth seeking out.