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TV: J is for...

Jewel in the Crown, The

ELEPHANTINE RAMBLE around the Raj that reworked the same opulence, class-obsessions and willowy frocks from BRIDESHEAD REVISITED on an even more shameless scale. Lips quivered, giant skirts flapped, brows furrowed. TIM PIGGOTT-SMITH, ART MALIK, CHARLES DANCE, SUSAN WOOLDRIDGE, PEGGY ASHCROFT and GERALDINE JAMES were among those who did their best to look dignified when a giant fly landed on their nose in the middle of a poignant monologue. Filming almost killed the cast on location and nearly burned down the Rovers Return back home. Easy to confuse – as a kid, anyway – with A Passage To India, except this didn’t have a blacked-up wobbly-headed ALEC GUINNESS.



  1. Joanne Gray

    November 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Beautifully spoofed by Lenny Henry as The Jewel in India’s Passage, serialised on his self titled comedy sketch show.

  2. George White

    November 1, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    Not to be confused with the Far Pavilions, which had both Saeed Jaffrey and Art Malik from this, but gave the plummest Indian roles to Amy Irving, Christopher Lee, Omar Sharif and Rossano Brazzi. And was really Ben Cross as Shakin’ Kim.

  3. Richardpd

    November 1, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    My Mum really like this, & had the original book too.

    Along with Brideshead Revisited ITV managed to show they could at least match the BBC for period dramas in the early 1980s. At the same time the BBC had the twin flops of The Borgias & The Cleopatras.

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