Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen... (2022)

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When Foyle’s War ended in 2010 after seven series I was sad but not despondent.

After all, ITV had already axed the show once in 2007, then brought it back due to public demand.

In the last episode, my character Sam Stewart had just received a proposal of marriage from her Bletchley Park code-breaker boyfriend Adam Wainwright, and I felt sure there was more mileage in the character.

Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen... (1)

In the last episode, my character Sam Stewart had just received a proposal of marriage from her Bletchley Park code-breaker boyfriend Adam Wainwright

So I was delighted when writer Anthony Horowitz and executive producer Jill Green decided to give us three more episodes, set in 1946-47 and the world of Cold War espionage. Here are some excerpts from the diary I wrote on set last autumn during the four-month shoot in Ireland…

The new series is set in London, but we’re filming in Dublin because it has the same beautiful Georgian architecture but none of the modern skyscrapers like the Shard or the Gherkin.

This makes it much easier just to CGI in St Paul’s or the bombed-out buildings that would have dotted the landscape back then. It’s also much cheaper than paying to close off roads in London.

(Video) Foyle's War (S05E03) All Clear (Michael Kitchen)

My scenes today are with actor Stephen Boxer who plays my new boss, atomic scientist Professor Fraser, for the first episode called The Eternity Ring, a dastardly tale of double-crossing and missing uranium. In all the previous series I was driver to Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle.

Now he’s been lured out of retirement to become a Senior Intelligence Officer at MI5 rooting out the traitors and Communist sympathisers rife in the British Establishment. Sam has bagged a position as Professor Fraser’s secretary, which puts her close to valuable nuclear secrets.

I was only 20 when Foyle’s War began, and Michael Kitchen, who plays Foyle, is like a father to me in real life (he read at my wedding to hypnotherapist Lorne Stormonth-Darling in 2007) as well as on the show. As soon as I saw him this week it was as if the previous three years had evaporated and we were immediately comfortable with one another.

It’s supposed to be the height of summer in the drama but as we rehearse today I’m wearing a pair of sturdy thermal pantaloons, a woolly vest, knee-high socks, Ugg boots and a padded brown coat because of the cold and, of course, the ubiquitous hairnet.

Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen... (2)

Honeysuckle gets a touch-up on set

At one point a tarpaulin shielding us from the sun for a cloudy shot is blown over. The great metal structure supporting it comes thundering down almost clobbering the hair and make-up teams, and Daniel Weyman, who plays Sam’s new husband Adam – now an MP – rushes over to help.

Daniel, who’s replaced Max Brown in the role, has prodigious energy, and we’re all convinced it’s down to the enormous bag of Smarties he always carries with him: he’s fuelled by E numbers!
Today we’re doing some driving scenes, which I relish, in Phoenix Park.

The vehicle this year, an Austin, is smaller than the Wolseley I was used to driving in previous series, but only slightly less powerful. No double de-clutching luckily as I’m a little rusty after three years out of action.

We have to fit one director of photography, one bear of a camera operator, the camera itself, Michael Kitchen and myself inside, and there’s no de-mister.

Michael is nervous – he always is when I’m driving. I’m told to drive at 35mph by the director. Michael suggests 25. I decide to stick at 30 but embarrass myself by kangaroo-hopping up the drive. ‘Tell you what,’ says Michael after the third take, ‘you do the steering wheel, I’ll change the gears. All right?’ ‘OK. Got it.’ It works a treat.

(Video) Foyle's War S02E02 - Among the Few / full episode

Sam and Adam were married before the new series starts and today is our first day’s filming at their prefabricated house. It’s in a dilapidated part of town, the effects of the Blitz visible all around.

Food was scarce so Sam hasn’t much in her shopping basket, but what she has is fascinating – to see how little butter people were allowed, how little jam. For Sam, who’s always been a good eater, I feel this must be one of her harshest privations.

I’ve also had three proposals of marriage from gentlemen of a certain age – I had to explain I’m already spoken for

I see a picture of Winston Churchill’s daughter Mary in a newspaper article today and scour it, because Lady Soames was an Auxiliary Territorial Service driver like Sam used to be.

I see she has excessively shiny shoes and now I don’t feel quite so bad about asking the wardrobe department to polish my costume shoes. I get inundated with letters from ex-army types ticking me off for Sam’s lack of attention to detail.

I’ve also had three proposals of marriage from gentlemen of a certain age – I had to explain I’m already spoken for.

My son Wade, who’s nearly 15 months old, is with me for the shoot along with his nanny, and I often turn up for lunch with two extra mouths to feed. The catering staff are very obliging but a crew isn’t really a crew unless they’re complaining about the catering. The latest gripe has been that we’re all going to grow wings and start clucking because of the quantity of chicken served up.

The real flapping on our set came about when some extras broke with protocol and marched to the front of the lunch queue before the principal cast and crew.

There was much muttering but no one was brave enough to tick them off because they were real soldiers. Some of them told me they wanted to be stuntmen, so I pointed them in the direction of one of our carpenters who doubled for George Clooney on the 2010 film The American.

Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen... (3)

(Video) Foyle's War (S01E04) Eagle Day (Michael Kitchen) 720p (Τέλος της 1ης σεζόν)

A new series of Foyle's War will see Foyle and loyal friend Sam in a new post War era as their worlds shift into those of MI5

It’s 11am, and Michael and I go for a proper coffee at a local café as we’re not needed for a while. Queuing up for our frothies, a local lady asks if Michael is an actor. ‘Spot on,’ he says.

The lady looks delighted. Her hand goes to her handbag – we assume she’s searching for paper and pen for an autograph – and she draws out a leaflet for the Dundrum Amateur Dramatic Society. ‘They’re looking for new recruits,’ she says. ‘I myself have been a member for some time. They have very high standards.’

She creeps a little closer to him while I hide my giggles by getting the coffees. In a conspiratorial voice she tells Michael she could ‘put in a good word’ for him at the auditions at the village hall. Michael thanks her for her kind offer, but says he must regretfully decline her introduction as he’s already gainfully employed!

A jolly lunch in a local restaurant with our executive producer Jill Green and writer Anthony Horowitz. We’re all firm friends and talk of everything but the show. I thank Anthony for naming the hotel in which Foyle stays in the first episode The Wade Hotel after my son.

I’ve also resolved to buy myself a green tweed Ted Baker military style jacket after lunch as Foyle fans are a loyal lot, and anyone who’s caught a glimpse of us filming has been appalled to see Sam without a uniform in her new post-war role.

We’re filming on an airfield today and there’s no protection from the biting wind. At this stage in the shoot everyone, including Michael, who’s normally impervious to heat or cold, is putting on every thermal layer available to them.

The wardrobe girls keep morale up by handing out hot water bottles, blankets and thermal patches. These last items can be lodged down period leather gloves to spare one’s digits from frostbite or even added to a bra as wonderfully sensual nipple warmers.

Honeysuckle Weeks opens her diary to share her secrets from the set of the new series of Foyle's War - including a bizarre offer for co-star Michael Kitchen... (4)

The cast back in 1994

They also boost one up a cup size, so double tick.

(Video) Foyle's War (S03E01) The French Drop (Michael Kitchen)

It’s the Foyle’s War wrap party tonight. Battling some pretty stiff odds, I’d implored Michael to come. ‘I’ll politely decline, I’m afraid,’ he said. ‘Oh come on, sir,’ I pleaded, still in character hoping it might encourage a spirit of wartime allegiance. ‘I’m not good at parties,’ he said.

‘Besides, I like to remember people as they are.’ At the time this struck me as rather cryptic, but by 2am in a dark club somewhere in Dublin’s lively Temple Bar district, I begin to understand exactly what he meant. There was definitely something in the Black Stuff.

It’s my final day on set and we head to my favourite part of Dublin Bay, the Howth peninsula, to film more driving scenes. I adore the area and used to come here with Wade on my days off.

I’d walk round the peninsula with the baby on my shoulders in a backpack, working up a gargantuan appetite then spoil the pair of us with a feast of crab, langoustine and oysters from a shack on the quayside, followed by an ice cream from one of Howth’s absurdly large array of ice cream parlours.

But there’s no time for such niceties on set especially when the weather’s been wreaking havoc with schedules. It’s a mad dash to the finishing line as we motor up and down a steep drive that leads to Howth Castle. I say motor, but in many of the takes there was no ‘motor’ at all.

The Austin is on its last legs. By necessity, we had to start the scene at the top of the hill so it was easier for members of the crew to jump start what was supposed to be our ‘action’ vehicle.

When we’ve finally finished it’s off to nearby Sandycove, where we mock up some still shots of Sam and Adam’s wedding to adorn the shelves of their prefab. It’s always odd pretending to ‘marry’ someone on TV, especially as Daniel and I are old friends.

But I do hope Sam and Adam live happily ever after as they enter Foyle’s new world of counter intelligence and espionage. In sickness and in stealth!

Foyle’s War returns to ITV next Sunday, 24 March.

FAQs

Are Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks friends? ›

Honeysuckle has become the envy of millions of female viewers for working alongside Michael Kitchen and they have become close friends.

Where was Foyle's War filmed? ›

2. Hastings. The seaside town of Hastings is the setting for the majority of the show Foyle's War. Although depicted as many decades ago in World War II, the show has utilized the town and the surrounding area often for filming in the past.

Was Max Brown in Foyle's War? ›

He originated the role of Adam Wainwright in Foyle's War, though the role needed to be re-cast when Brown moved to the United States. Brown also played Evan Marks in the first eighteen episodes of the first season of The CW's Beauty and the Beast.

What happened to Michael Kitchen? ›

Christopher Foyle - Michael Kitchen

Michael, 71, has kept a low profile since concluding the series, and has starred in just two projects following his role as Christopher Foyle, including the BBC and Amazon Prime Video show The Collection as Frederic Lemaire. He also appeared in Brian Pern: A Tribute.

What is Honeysuckle Weeks real name? ›

Why was Foyle's War Cancelled? ›

The Foyle's War TV show on ITV was cancelled after eight seasons, because of rising production costs. Creator Anthony Horowitz tells Digital Spy he was ready for the British detective drama series to end. In the Us, some seasons of Foyle's War aired on PBS.

Where is Foyle's house in Hastings? ›

'St Just', in Croft Road, Hastings, was used as the residence of Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle in the British detective drama television series set during and shortly after the Second World War.

Why did Foyle go to America? ›

Trivia (3) DCS Foyle's determination to travel to America to take care of some unfinished business refers to the events of Foyle's War: Fifty Ships (2003), during which, for purposes of the war, Foyle was forced to release a murderer.

Where is Honeysuckle Weeks now? ›

Weeks had last been seen at her home in Chichester, in West Sussex, on Thursday and was reported missing an hour later. Police have confirmed now that the actor had been found safe and well. We can confirm missing #Petworth woman Honeysuckle Weeks has been found safe and well, and is with police.

How old was Honeysuckle Weeks in Foyle's War? ›

Who is Michael Kitchens wife? ›

Are Michael Kitchen and Rowena Miller still married? ›

He is an actor and producer, known for Out of Africa (1985), GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He has been married to Rowena Miller since 1988. They have two children.

How tall is Michael's Kitchen? ›

What age is Honeysuckle Weeks? ›

When did Honeysuckle Weeks get married? ›

What age is honeysuckle the horse? ›

She is 8 years old (foaled 28 April 2014). The owner of HONEYSUCKLE is Kenneth Alexander and her current trainer is Henry de Bromhead, Ireland. The pedigree for HONEYSUCKLE is: SULAMANI (IRE) - FIRST ROYAL (GER) - LANDO (GER).

Is Honeysuckle Weeks a smoker? ›

At its peak it attracted more than seven million viewers and gained an unlikely fan in the shape of New York's billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg. He developed a crush on Weeks and invited her to a dinner party at the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Gavroche but went off her after discovering she smoked.

Who are Honeysuckle Weeks parents? ›

Honeysuckle Weeks

Who is the female lead in Magnum PI? ›

British actress Perdita Weeks is set as the female lead opposite Jay Hernandez in CBS' Magnum P.I. pilot from Peter Lenkov, Davis Entertainment, CBS TV Studios and Universal TV Studios.

Does Foyle have a love interest? ›

Later in the sixth series, Stewart has a new love interest: Adam Wainwright, a former Bletchley Park codebreaker who proposes to her in that series' final episode. By series seven they are married, and in series eight are expecting their first child. Her capabilities develop during the series.

What does the word Foyle mean? ›

Proper noun

Foyle. A river in Ireland which forms part of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, before flowing through Derry (Londonderry) and into Lough Foyle and the Atlantic Ocean.

What happened in the last episode of Foyle's war? ›

Where is Digby Manor in Foyle's War? ›

Knebworth House is an English country house in the parish of Knebworth in Hertfordshire, England.

Is Foyles War returning? ›

Foyle's War topped a recent poll of Britain's most-missed TV shows - but it won't be returning to our screens, creator Anthony Horowitz reveals to Event.

When was Foyle's War set? ›

Series 1 of the ITV programme Foyle's War was first broadcast in 2002; comprising four episodes, it is set in Spring/Summer 1940.

Why did Foyle not drive? ›

She is eager to return to the business of solving crime and chauffeuring her boss around. Foyle won't drive, presumably for the same reasons that he doesn't yell, tomcat, ingratiate or unsubtly provoke: he directs traffic, he doesn't create it.

Is Foyle's War historically accurate? ›

“Foyle's War” has long been celebrated for the “historical accuracy” (those are the words always used) achieved by its creator and writer, Anthony Horowitz. It's questionable how much accuracy is possible or even desirable in a 90-minute mystery story.

How many Foyles War episodes are there? ›

Does Honeysuckle Weeks have a son? ›

How old is the actor Michael Kitchen? ›

Does Perdita Weeks have a sister? ›

Who played Agatha Christie in Frankie Drake mysteries? ›

Frankie Drake Mysteries (TV Series 2017–2021) - Honeysuckle Weeks as Agatha Christie - IMDb.

Who plays higgy on Magnum PI? ›

Shooting on a golf course in Hawaii makes Perdita Weeks' choice of vocation look pretty appealing. Why did you decide to become an actor? It was never really a decision. I did it from when I was age 6.

Who plays Miss Pierce in Foyle's War? ›

"Foyle's War" Elise (TV Episode 2015) - Ellie Haddington as Hilda Pierce - IMDb.

How rich is Michael's Kitchen? ›

Michael Kitchen net worth: Michael Kitchen is an English actor and television presenter who has a net worth of $6 million.

Has Michael Kitchen been married? ›

Is Michael Kitchen a fly fisherman? ›

My mentor, when I started Fly Fishing, was a Gentleman called Michael Kitchen. He was, from my perspective, indeed an expert Fly Fisherman. Not only did he cast superbly, but he also used the flies that he tied himself to c ontinually catch fish, irrespective of the conditions or location.

Who is the actor who plays Foyle? ›

Michael Kitchen played the modest detective Christopher Foyle in the hit show from 2002 to when it finished in 2015, but what is he up to now?

Is Michael Roy Kitchen married? ›

Are there any Foyle's War books? ›

Foyle's War-The Series (Hardcover)

Where was Michael Kitchen born? ›

What has Michael Kitchen been in? ›

Michael Kitchen

What films has Michael Kitchen been in? ›

Michael Kitchen

Was Foyle's War filmed in Liverpool? ›

ITV Drama to be filmed in Liverpool

The ninth series of the acclaimed programme Foyle's War will be shot in its entirety in various locations across the city, as Liverpool doubles for London on the small screen.

Was Foyle's War filmed in Ireland? ›

ITV Series 'Foyle's War' To Shoot In Ireland | The Irish Film & Television Network. A new series of 'Foyle's War' is to begin shooting in Ireland later this year, it has been confirmed.

When was Foyle's War filmed? ›

Series seven was filmed in Ireland and London from late August to December 2012, and was broadcast in the UK in March and April 2013. Series eight, three two-hour episodes, aired in the UK in January 2015.

What was the first episode of Foyles War? ›

"Foyle's War" The German Woman (TV Episode 2002) - IMDb.

1. Foyle's War S01E02 - The White Feather / full episode
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