Matthew Rhys has got a special quality about him; he’s not the best looking or the best at P.E, no: he’s nothing like a milk tray advert for handsomeness, and that’s why he’s landed the legendary role of Darcy in an upcoming sequel of Pride and Prejudice.

Ben Stephenson, head of BBC drama, can probably explain this better. He reckons Rhy landed the role because “he is likeable and yet has a dark edge. We did not want a Milk Tray advert type of handsomeness.” No? Okay then. Maybe we’ll just let Rhys himself speak for a while. “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who’ve institutionalised him in the past,” he explained to Deadline. “And also, I don’t have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches,” he added, much to the dismay of… fans of that scene. “The discussion on casting was about who can bring these characters alive again without having costume drama clichés,” said Stephenson, now making a lot more sense. “With Matthew Goode as Wickham you get an ambivalence [that] is perfect for the role . . . Anna Maxwell Martin is now perfect as a period actress and for playing Lizzie as a slightly older woman.”

The sequel is set six years after the events of Pride and Prejudice, and will be broadcast just before Christmas, promising to be one of the most popular TV events of the festive season.

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