THE Duke and Duchess getting stuck into a litter pick, a pair of underpants discarded in a toilet cistern and the birth of spring lambs were the highlights of a new TV series about Chatsworth.
The fly-on-the-wall look at the nation’s best-loved country home was filmed over the entire 2011 season, and features some of the most colourful characters from the estate’s 700-strong work force.
In the first episode, which aired on BBC One on Monday, the cameras followed the staff as they prepared for last March’s season opening.
Wirksworth-based Heather Redmond, 25, the house’s first female head guide, featured as a new member of staff getting to grips with managing a team of 60 guides, many of whom have worked there since before she was born.
Speaking to the Derbyshire Times before the show aired, she said: “My story is about me being new to Chatsworth. I’m not looking forward to seeing myself getting things wrong, because I was new and they caught my mistakes on camera, but that’s just part of any new job.”
As well as seeing Heather successfully complete her probabation period on camera, viewers got a glimpse of the reality of the ‘upstairs downstairs’ perception of the aristocracy as the 12th Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine ‘Stoker’ Cavendish and the Duchess, Amanda Cavendish, get involved in the house’s running.
“They really do get involved in everything,” said Stephanie Cliffe, senior PR executive at Chatsworth. “I think that does come across on the programmes.”
The hour-long episode was a hit with viewers, attracting 4.1m and 17.6 per cent of the available audience. It runs for two more weeks, at 9pm on Monday on BBC One.
l Want to know more about the show’s stars? Don’t miss our Bank Holiday bonanza Special Edition where Ellie Hunter speaks to the staff involved.