Berkeley Square (BBC-1 1998, Victoria Smurfit, Hermione Norris)

Period drama series set in turn of the century London and following the lives and loves of three young Nanny’s working for the aristocratic families that live in well to do Berkeley Square.

Clare Wilkie (who had previously starred in ill fated soap Eldorado as well as Eastenders) is Matty Wickham, young but definitely knows how she wants her nursery run. She is hired by the strict Victoria St John (Hermoine Norris of Cold Feet and Spooks) Lydia Weston (played by Tabitha Wadey) is the small town farm girl who is taken in to replace ageing Nanny Collins (Rosemary Leach) in the household of the Earl and Countess Lamson-Scribner, whilst Hannah Randall Ballyk’s Victoria Smurfit) gets a job as nurse maid with the Hutchinsons but has a desperate secret she is hiding from her new employees, she has had a child illegitimately and has had to leave it in the care of her landlady Mrs Bronowski.

As the episodes progress, the three girls get to know each other and friendships develop and they find their places in their respective households and along the way Matty falls for Ned (Jason O’Mara), the son who is seeking shelter with his mum, housekeeper Mrs McClusky (the brilliant Kate Williams from Love Thy Neighbour), after accidentally killing a man in a fight. Midway through this highly enjoyable series there is a sad twist which allows Hannah to bring her own baby into the Hutchinson household an event that leads to major trouble for all concerned, not least poor old Mrs Branowski.

High production values, great casting and strong storylines make this a great series, it’s clear that the producers had plans for a second series and its hard to understand why the BBC didn’t commit to a second run of episodes.

production details
UK / BBC One / 10×50 minutes / 1998

Creators: Deborah Cook, Suzanne Van de Velde
Music: John Altman
Costume: Jeremy Turner
Producer: Alison Davis

cast
VICTORIA SMURFIT as Hannah Randall
TABITHA WADEY as Lydia Weston
CLARE WILKIE as Matty Wickham
ROSEMARY LEACH as Nanny Collins
KATE WILLIAMS as Mrs McClusky
BRIONY GLASSCO as Constance
RUTH SHEEN as Nanny Simmons
HERMIONE NORRIS as Victoria St John

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.