Where is The Durrells set?
The Durrells is set in Corfu, where the family lived between 1935 and 1939. Nature lover Gerry Durrell later wrote about his unusual childhood in My Family and Other Animals, the first book of the beloved Corfu trilogy.
Where is The Durrells filmed?
The production team has been all over the island during the last four series, making use of Corfu’s many beautiful beaches and pretty houses and traditional streets. Hawes tells us: “By the fourth series we got recognized on the island a lot, which was very different from the first!”
One key location is Corfu Town, the capital city which is home to almost a third of Corfu’s inhabitants. The town boasts Corfu’s principal port, and has a huge variety of architecture, with Sicilian, Venetian, French and English styles all jumbled together. The Old Town on the northern side is particularly picturesque.
Milo Parker, who plays Gerry Durrell, said: “We actually filmed a lot more towards the north of the island this year in a place called Agios Stefanos where you can virtually touch Albania from the coastline. It was absolutely stunning. We were filming one day on a beach that was only accessible by boat so we had the whole crew on speed boats in convoy going around the island.”
In terms of more specific filming locations, the house where Leslie Caron’s character Countess Mavrodaki lives is filmed at a villa called Mon Repos in the forest of Palaeopolis, now used as an archeological museum.
The Durrells’ weatherbeaten Venetian villa with its green shutters and the beautiful view of the sea has been a core part of every episode. This is the Villa Annemoyani in Kontokali, a few minutes walk from Telesilla Hotel, which may be the original “Daffodil Yellow Villa” that Gerry referred to in his books. The Villa Annemoyani is only used for exteriors, with interior scenes shot at Ealing Studios in London.
What do we know about the real-life Durrells and their adventures in Corfu?
Louisa Durrell and her family moved to Corfu in 1935. Discover the true story of this remarkable family as ITV series The Durrells starring Keeley Hawes returns.
How did the Durrells end up in Corfu?
Louisa Durrell, her husband, and their four kids were all born in India during the British Raj. Traveling engineer Mr. Durrell died in 1928, so Louisa took the three youngest (Leslie, Margo, and Gerald) to England where they tried to get by on a widow’s pension. Eldest son Lawrence had already been sent to a boarding school in England to be educated, something he definitely wasn’t happy about. By 1935 Lawrence was living in Corfu with his first wife Nancy (although in the TV series Larry is single and unmarried). That was the year his mother, sister and brothers arrived to join him on the island.
What really happened to the Durrells in Corfu?
Gerald began to collect and keep local wildlife as pets, spurring a life-long interest in nature and conservation. He was home-schooled and allowed to run wild. The young boy also found a friend and mentor in the Greek doctor, scientist, poet, and philosopher Theodore Stephanides. The two explored the island together, accompanied by Theodore’s young daughter Alexia (who doesn’t appear in the series). Though Larry and his wife initially lived with the whole family at their house at Kontokali, in early 1936 the young couple moved to a tiny fishing village on their own. Larry later struck up a friendship with the writer Henry Miller, who came to visit in 1939. Larry’s first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers was published in 1935. He drew on his experiences growing up in British India, his loss of a parent, and his difficult time fitting in when sent to school in England. The novel then moves on to his discovery of sexuality and his character’s burgeoning love life. The semi-autobiographical novel had a disappointing reception and a small print run. It was not republished in Lawrence’s lifetime.