UKTV – Wednesdays from 15 October, 8.30pm

Oscar-winning star Dame Judi Dench leads a magnificent ensemble cast in this rich, comic drama set in a small market town in Victorian England. Three classic novels by Elizabeth Gaskell; Cranford, My Lady Ludlow and Mr Harrison’s Confessions have been woven together to create a witty and poignant story following the small absurdities and major tragedies in the lives of the people of Cranford during one extraordinary year. Cranford in the 1840’s is a place governed by etiquette, custom and above all ladies. A place for everything and everything in its place. But Cranford is also a rural community on the cusp of change. Things are on the move. The railway is pushing its way relentlessly towards the town from Manchester, bringing fears of migrant workers and the breakdown of law and order. Can Cranford’s inhabitants cope with the disintegration of the world as they know it? Everyone – from charming rogue Dr Marshland to outspoken Captain Brown; old fashioned Dr Morgan to undertaker Jem; kindly Mr Forrester to mean Mrs Jamieson, talks, or is talked about, behind closed doors. From fear of technological advances to financial troubles, family values and criticism of the younger generation this portrayal of life in this tight knit community may take you by surprise.

‘It is as immediately compelling as Andre Davies 2005 adaptation of Dickens’ Bleak House and infinitely more charming’ Sunday Telegraph UK

Winner of 3 BAFTA Awards and watched by over 10 million Britons.

Stars: Dame Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal and Shakespeare in Love), Michael Gambon (Gosford Park and Harry Potter), Francesca Annis (Jane Eyre and Revolver), Philip Glenister (Life on Mars and State ofPlay), Alex Jennings (The Queen and Babel), Dean Lennox Kelly (Sorted and Shameless), Imelda Staunton (Vera Drake and Fingersmith), Julia Sawalha (Absolutely Fabulous and Lark Rise to Candleford).