Dawn plays Maggie, who causes a lot of trouble when she starts gossiping wildly!

ITV has released a first look picture of Dawn French starring opposite former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh in her new drama, Glass Houses.

Billed as being in the tradition of Doc Martin and The Darling Buds of May, it sees The Vicar of Dibley legend play gossip Maggie Connors, who doesn’t pay attention to the cautionary adage that “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”.

Dawn French and Julie Hesmondhalgh

Dawn French and Julie Hesmondhalgh play best mates in Glass Houses, which is set in a small coastal town

In the pretty coastal town where she lives, Maggie loves knowing every tiny detail of everyone’s lives and when she’s interviewed by a local radio journalist she spills the beans about what all the locals have been getting up to.

Maggie, whose been happily married to headmaster Peter (Friday Night Dinner star Mark Heap) for years, also embellishes a few of her tales and doesn’t think anything of it until she starts witnessing the fallout from all the gossip she’s shared.

Among those who could be affected by all the talk is her best friend Jill (played by Julie), the school secretary Karen (Getting On star Vicki Pepperdine) and handsome novelist Marcus (Mount Pleasant actor Patrick Robinson).

Talking about Glass Houses, Dawn says: It’s such a good story with a fantastic funny, touching script by Mark Brotherhood.”

Saskia Schuster, ITV’s Comedy Controller added:“Glass Houses is a new drama in the tradition of Doc Martin and The Darling Buds Of May, full of warmth and intriguing characters.  This new series will embrace its beautiful idyllic South Devon setting as we meet the villagers of Thurlbury and find out how an innocent afternoon spent indiscreetly gossiping has a domino effect on the whole village.“

Filming has started in South Devon and more casting announcements are expected soon. ITV hasn’t yet revealed exactly when Glass Houses, starring Dawn French and Julie Hesmondhalgh, will be screened, although it will be next year.

Main Dawn French picture: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock.