Journalist Daniel Parish returns to the village this week to apologise for betraying everyone. And he particularly wants to win back postmistress Laura’s affections, reveals actor Ben Aldridge…

Daniel got off on the wrong foot with Laura Timmins and the residents of Lark Rise and Candleford in the first episode, when he wrote a mocking article about them based on Laura’s diary. How does he gain their trust this week?
“They are really annoyed with Daniel as he has completely exposed them and made them look like they’re poor and stuck in the backwater. He has to go back and really apologise, but he doesn’t do it without saving face. He doesn’t admit he was completely wrong, he has more pride than that.”

How do the communities react to his apologies?
“He knows Robert doesn’t like him and Daniel is slightly afraid of him. But Robert isn’t the only one he’s afraid of – he has to give Dorcas his sincere apologies as she always suspected him of making up this story. She asks him to write about decent things and love, not stories that hurt people. Emma absolutely has it in for him – there’s a scene where she intimidates him quite well, in fact, and for the first time really makes him think.”

He seemed to develop feelings for Laura. Does that continue?
“When we first saw him, he wanted to make a name for himself as a journalist. He’s young and ambitious and hungry to write a good story even though it could affect a lot of people, including Laura. But he’s really taken by her and feels terrible about what he’s done. He develops a conscience and becomes a hack with a heart. She makes him think differently.”

So will there be a romance between them?
“Well, it’ll be interesting to see what happens between Daniel and Laura. They have a lot in common and she raises questions for him, which throws his plan and what he wanted to do in life. He’s also taken aback by Lark Rise and Candleford and how kind everyone is. He’s used to city life and these communities have a real effect on him.”

What was it like joining the cast of Lark Rise to Candleford?
“It was lovely, they’re such a nice bunch of people and everyone gets on very well. They were very caring towards me and took me under their wing. You get a real sense of community, which I think reflects what the values of the show are – it is very much about community. I thought it was too good to be true and originally wondered why everyone was so easy to get along with! But it is very harmonious.”

You get to wear some very smart suits, how did you find that?
“I love my costumes and I love braces – I don’t know why because other people keep pulling on them! I think they are just really evocative of the period.”

Lark Rise to Candleford is on BBC1 on Sundays at 8pm.