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Naked men and sex in the woods to feature in new ITV drama based on unfinished Jane Austen novel

If you thought Colin Firth in a wet shirt was as raunchy as a Jane Austen adaptation could get, you are in for a surprise.

Not content with the sex appeal of his famous version of Pride and Prejudice 25 years ago, director Andrew Davies has created a new Austen adaptation which is even more scantily clad.

The screenwriter’s new work is based on the unfinished novel Sanditon, started in the year of Austen’s death in 1817.

Screenwriter Andrew Davies’ new work is based on the unfinished novel Sanditon, started in the year of Austen’s death in 1817

Naked men, sex in the woods and even a 007-style shot of a hero emerging from the sea feature in the new show, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Speaking yesterday at a preview event for the ITV drama, Mr Davies admitted that he had spiced up Austen’s novel.

He said: ‘I write something that I would like to watch and I suppose the “sexing it up” thing comes in fairly naturally. Because if it’s not there I feel, well, that’s a shame. Let’s put some in.’

Starring Rose Williams (pictured) as Charlotte Heywood, Sanditon is named after a quiet seaside village that Tom Parker, played by Kris Marshall, plans to turn into a fancy Regency resort

Starring Rose Williams (pictured) as Charlotte Heywood, Sanditon is named after a quiet seaside village that Tom Parker, played by Kris Marshall, plans to turn into a fancy Regency resort

Starring Rose Williams as Charlotte Heywood, Sanditon is named after a quiet seaside village that Tom Parker, played by Kris Marshall, plans to turn into a fancy Regency resort.

Charlotte takes a trip to stay in the town and comes across Sidney, played by Theo James, Tom’s dark and handsome brother. She also meets the evil Edward Denham, played by Edwin Fox.

Austen traditionalists will have to learn to be content with some scenes where Mr Davies has taken some creative licence.

In one scene Charlotte takes a trip to stay in the town and comes across Sidney, played by Theo James (pictured), Tom¿s dark and handsome brother

In one scene Charlotte takes a trip to stay in the town and comes across Sidney, played by Theo James (pictured), Tom’s dark and handsome brother 

Star Rose Williams (pictured) welcomed an audience member's comment that she was ¿beginning to feel sorry for male actors¿ having to strip off as it discussed the objectification of men, rather than women, for once

Star Rose Williams (pictured) welcomed an audience member’s comment that she was ‘beginning to feel sorry for male actors’ having to strip off as it discussed the objectification of men, rather than women, for once

A moment where Denham and a female character appear to be ‘closely engaged in gentle conversation’, which is observed by Charlotte, has been turned into a sex scene.

Fresh Meat actor Jack Fox said that sex was just as common in the early 19th Century as it is today, but we wrongly think of people in the 19th Century as ‘too good and too proper to indulge in such things’.

The 33-year-old added: ‘Obviously people got up to all sorts of mischief.’

A member of the audience at yesterday’s screening said that she was ‘beginning to feel sorry for male actors’ as they are often required to strip off on screen.

Star Rose Williams welcomed the comment as it discussed the objectification of men, rather than women, for once.

‘For so long, it’s been the norm for women to expose their bodies and that’s something we’re culturally used to. So for there to be a conversation now,’ she said. ‘The shift is needed. It’s interesting that the focus is on males stripping when women have been for so long.’

Creator Mr Davies said that the nudity in his scripts was historically accurate.

Customarily men bathed in the sea in the nude, whereas women were wheeled to the edge of the water in bathing machines and wore outfits that completely covered them up.

He said: ‘Female nudity can be a contentious area so one feels comfortable not [including it]. But maybe the pendulum might swing back.’

Former Coronation Street star Anne Reid, who plays Lady Denham, said it took time for her to get used to the nudity in the series.

In character: Death In Paradise and Love Actually favourite Kris Marshall is seen fully immersed in his role as Tom Parker

In character: Death In Paradise and Love Actually favourite Kris Marshall is seen fully immersed in his role as Tom Parker

She said: ‘I’m very old-fashioned. Nobody did it in my day, in movies and things – people didn’t take their clothes off very much.

‘I don’t have any strong feelings about it either way, It’s just when I was young, people didn’t do half the things they do now.’

Sanditon went unfinished after Austen died having written just 11 chapters of the novel.

Mr Davies said: ‘I used up the material in the first half of the first episode.’

The series will be broadcast in eight parts over the autumn and Mr Davies hopes that it will be renewed for a second series.

Sanditon is not the only classic novel to get a raunchy adaptation, with Mr Davies’s own version of Pride and Prejudice and a BBC production adaptation and Leo Tolstoy epic War and Peace, jokingly dubbed War and Penis, also setting pulses racing.       

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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