Before World War II Charles Ryder finds his life becoming entangled with that of the wealthy Sebastian Flyte and his stately home Bridehead Castle.
One of the finest and one the most expensive ITV series, Brideshead Revisited set the benchmark for others to follow. It launched the career of film star Jeremy Irons and co-starred a host of A-listers, including Sir Laurence Olivier in one of his most acclaimed TV roles. Off screen, the drama was just as intense. Filming was almost ruined by a broadcasting union strike in 1979, which put the production on hold.
Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons) first meets Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews) in Oxford. Charles’s father (Edward Ryder) pretends his friend is an American. The opening credits with Geoffrey Burgon’s exquisite score and the beautiful setting of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
The show won seven awards at the Baftas in 1982, with the Best Actor gong Anthony Andrews.
Sebastian’s teddy bear, Aloysius, was based on a real one called Archie. It belonged to John Betjeman, one of Waugh’s pals from his Oxford days.
UK / ITV – Granada / 11×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 12 October – 22 December 1980
Writer: John Mortimer / Novel: Evelyn Waugh / Music: Geoffrey Burgon / Design: Peter Phillips / Costume: Jane Robinson / Producer: Derek Granger / Directors: Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Charles Sturridge
JEREMY IRONS as Charles Ryder
ANTHONY ANDREWS as Sebastian Flyte
LAURENCE OLIVIER as Lord Marchmain
JOHN GIELGUD as Edward Ryder
DIANA QUICK as Lady Julia Flyte
CLAIRE BLOOM as Lady Marchmain
SIMON JONES as Lord Brideshead
PHOEBE NICHOLLS as Lady Cordelia Flyte
JANE ASHER as Celia Mulcaster
NICKOLAS GRACE as Anthony Blanche
STEPHANE AUDRAN as Cara