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Last time we saw Becky (Olivia Cooke) she was sitting in the back of a carriage giggling with Aunt Matilda, as she escaped the Crawley household and set off to the big smoke.

Sir Pitt (Martin Clunes) is bereft now she’s gone (mainly because he has to actually interact with his own family again), but Becky isn’t looking back.

TV Times caught up with Martin Clunes on set during a break in filming to ask him more about his role…

‘My initial reaction when they asked me to play him was, “I wonder who let them down?” and 
I was worried that I’m maybe a bit younger than the part is written for, but then I just felt deep joy.

‘He’s one of the few characters who 
sees Becky for exactly who she is. 
I was overjoyed when I read in 
the script that he drives his own horses, because I do, too. I was immediately drawn to that and 
I started carriage driving again, he says.’

Martin Clunes as Sir Pitt in Vanity Fair

Martin Clunes as Sir Pitt

‘I’d seen Vanity Stage on stage years ago and 
it grabbed me, because it’s not the stock characters of costume dramas that usually don’t appeal to me, this is much more. Nobody is what they appear to be – the baddies are good and the goodies are bad. Becky is possibly the greatest woman in British literature, she’s a heroine 
in my mind.

‘It was extraordinary for that time to have a woman behave that way and be the central character without being damned to hell. It’s a story that’s relevant today too, because it’s about what people are really like. These things don’t become classics for no reason.’

 

Becky Sharpe (Olivia Cooke) and Rawdon Crawley (Tom Bateman)

Becky Sharpe (Olivia Cooke) and Rawdon Crawley (Tom Bateman)

Content with her new position for now, she’s flirting with Rawdon and dressing in fancier clothes, but will the new company she’s keeping 
be enough to boost her social status?

Meanwhile, Amelia’s fortunes are on 
the decline as she learns of her father’s financial crisis and begins to understand the implications for her relationship 
with George…

TV Times rating: ****