The cast and crew behind ITV’s new period drama ‘Victoria’ gathered at the Curzon Soho on Thursday night for an intimate screening of upcoming episodes. As the awkward early encounters between a young, sour Albert of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, (Tom Hughes) and Her Majesty (Jenna Coleman) unfolded, Victoria’s official biographer A. N. Wilson admits the brewing TV romance left him feeling like “a creepy old man”.
Wilson asserts that the producers “cleaned up the acts” of all the palace’s promiscuous characters a bit too much for his liking. “But then again it is aired at 9 o’clock in the evening.”
“From my experience of my friends, couples that really work very often have one half who is extremely animated with a strong sense of humour while the other has none of these qualities,” he adds. “Humourlessness is a tremendously sexy quality and Tom’s Albert brings this out terribly well.”
Echoing fans of the show who have taken to social media to comment on the casting of former Dr Who star Coleman as the 19th century-monarch, Wilson says he, too, deemed her “far too beautiful and glamorous at first” to have taken to the throne. Yet, during a private Q&A after the screening, he praises Coleman for doing an excellent job of “acting away from such a pretty face.”
Accepting the compliment graciously, Coleman pays tribute to a skilled make-up artist on set who works hard to make her eyes “googley” like the Queen’s.
Remarkably, there have been very few critiques concerning Hughes’ glamorous resemblance of the German Prince – such dashing looks that have recently landed him at the centre of the James Bond-to-be rumour mill.
The 30-year-old actor from Chester admits that shooting the steamy marriage proposal scene for the eight-part series was no small feat:
“What looked easy on paper turned out to be a complete nightmare. There were about 50 takes to get it right because of a stray bird up on the roof. Every time I asked to kiss Jenna, the bird would make a variety of different noises. It was tough.”
Perhaps Miss Steerpike should warn Hughes that the action sequences required to play 007 may be slightly more taxing…