Posts Tagged ‘Making Poldark’


Yesterday the audio version of Making Poldark became available for download via Audible, Amazon or iTunes.



Below, I’m re-posting my account of recording it way back in January.


Just back from UK where I recorded my memoir of Poldark as an audio book–with an extra chapter about taking part in the new BBC/Mammoth version–40 years after doing the original!


Two days in a small, soundproof booth in a basement recording studio in Hove in Sussex, while the wind and the rain raged above ground.

I was fortunate to have three helpmates in the studio running the show–and keeping my nose to the microphone.

Chris Daniels, sound engineer, owns the studio and is a member of that fraternity of calm console operators who are never flustered.


They have seen it all before–and behave as though they read the first verse of Rudyard Kipling’s poem, IF, before sitting down to work:

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And you’ll be make a Sound Engineer, my son!
(With apologies to Mr. Kipling.)
My old friend, Constantine de Goguel Toulouse-Lautrec–his grandmother was in St. Petersburg in the October Revolution of 1917 and survived–sat in the producer’s seat and guided a rusty performer through the sessions with grace and years of experience.
He’s a fine actor and an experienced dialogue coach for movies.
He also runs Spoken Ink–subtitled “The Home of Short Audio“–well worth checking out.
Meredith made up the triumvirate as back-up producer keeping a beady eye on the script and an ear out for things that could be better (like the American pronunciation of “Potomac”!).
Her occasional ripple of involuntary laughter was a morale boost for The Man in the Sound Proof Booth!
The project is in post production now. When complete, we’ll announce it here.

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My memoir of MAKING POLDARK–with a chapter on how I got involved in the 2015 adaptation of Winston Graham’s romantic saga, and behind-the-scenes photos taken during the shooting of the new series–is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER on Amazon.

(The book is currently available only on Amazon USA.)


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That was then!

The BBC have just announced the news–Mammoth Screen have offered me a cameo in their new production of Poldark.

Poldark has brought much joy to my life–I’ve often called them Poldark Perks–which doesn’t do them justice.

It continues to deliver.

I am delighted to be invited to play a role in the new venture which has got off to a flying start with superb scripts from Debbie Horsfield (I have just finished reading them) and a tremendous first tranche of principal casting.

I am cast as Dr. Halse–the clergyman with whom Ross shares the coach on his journey home to Nampara from Truro in the opening scene of the first series. Back then, a benign figure–in the new series he comes over as rather less so!

I fear I’ll be exchanging the marvelous leather coat and boots for drab, black church cloth and a sneer.

Joining the Cornish establishment that Ross so despises (though he was born into it) will be a challenge!

Joining the new Poldark will be exciting–but also poignant for me, bringing back many wonderful memories of 40 years ago.

Not least in my mind will be fellow members of the original cast–especially those no longer with us: the beloved Angharad Rees, Ralph Bates, Richard Morant, Frank Middlemas, Paul Curran and Mary Wimbush.

I’ll be there for their memory–and for the late Winston Graham–as well as for the intriguing prospect of acting with the new cast to help bring this wonderful saga to a new audience.











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Making Poldark has been Nooked at last!

Nick it on NOOK–it’s a steal!

It’s available now on NOOK.

Making Poldark: Memoir of a BBC/Masterpiece Theatre Actor
Making Poldark: Memoir of a BBC/Masterpiece Theatre Actor
by Robin Ellis
This revised version came out in April 2012 and is greatly expanded–including new photos from Winston Graham’s personal Poldark photo album.
And while we are at it…
Delicious Dishes for Diabetics
Delicious Dishes for Diabetics 

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…from the local Amazon service in the UK, France, Italy, Germany  and Spain!

The postage and packaging charges should be significantly cheaper than when ordering it from the US.

The revision is 9000 words longer and tells the sad story of the how the promising third series of Poldark failed to materialise– plus further stories of life after Poldark, including our move to France and how a passion for cooking and a diagnosis of Type Two diabetes had very positive consequences…

There are many more photos, some from Winston Graham’s private collection, taken when he and his wife Jean joined us on location in Cornwall during the filming of the second series.

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Originally written and published by a small Cornish publisher in 1978–Making Poldark was updated in 1987 when the BBC aired the series again.

When I heard that Acorn Media were going to make Poldark available in a double DVD set for the first time in the United States, it seemed like a good opportunity to take another look at the book to see if it was worth updating again.

This extended version is the result. With many more photographs, some from Winston’s own album of photos he took while with us on location for the second series (published with the kind permission of his son, Andrew Graham).

It covers both the professional and the personal.

The original was a light-hearted memoir of the making of the series.

The new edition includes an account of how and why the plan to make a third series ended so badly–a sad and disappointing tale–enlivened towards the end by The Poldark Appreciation Society’s valiant and colorful protest campaign.

It sketches in the intervening years which have seen our move to France, my diagnosis with Type Two diabetes and the publication of Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

There are  two versions of the new edition. One is a color-enhanced Collectors Edition, the other is a standard black & white version.

They are available via the website, CreateSpace: 

 The Black and White version $14.99

Colour version $24.99

or http://www.Amazon.com/.

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This blog, was set up at the end of January 2011 to help promote my book of recipesDelicious Dishes for Diabeticswhich was published on the 4th of August in The UK and on November 1st in the USA.

Today I’m publishing my 200th post!

To mark the  occasion, here’s a review of the book we discovered yesterday on an interesting site targeted at book lovers:

Delicious Dishes for Diabetics

Robin Ellis (Author)

Better known for his role as the dashing Captain Ross in the 1970s BBC series ofPoldark, the writer having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes was determined to manage his condition through life style changes rather than medication.

This is a very well written, visually attractive, concise cookbook, which appeals to diabetics and non-diabetics alike. It is organised in clear sections, from Soups in Section 1, through to Grains and Pulses in Section 11.

Instead of the usual photos of dishes, there are enchanting illustrations instead.

The recipes are tantalizing; Farinata (Pancake), Comfort Lentils and Caponata, to name just a few. My only criticism is that a few healthy puds or cakes could have been included as there is no sweet section.

The book is based on the ‘Mediterranean’ diet; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish etc.

It really appealed to me, firstly being vegan vegetarian and secondly with Type 2 diabetes in my family. This book would make an ideal gift.

Reviewed by: Alison B-Hill – Bradford

How did I come to write a cookbook?

I tell that story in my updated memoir, Making Poldark.

That slim volume is being republished later this year, to coincide with the release in American of the boxed set of Poldark dvds by Acorn Media. I thought I’d share an excerpt of the new chapter with my blog readers….

“Why don’t you write a cookbook Robin?”.

A cookbook? That’s a bit of a leap!

I liked to cook—in fact that’s mainly what I did now.

Twice a day I cooked (still do)—lunch and dinner–and did the marketing.

But a cookbook…?

Weren’t there too many cooks writing too many cookbooks?

And I wasn’t a professional.

It was flattering that friends suggested it though.

My resistence stayed firm for some time–for a few years in fact. I was happy cooking for Meredith and friends who came to visit.

I continued collecting recipes and pasting them in a red foolscap notebook—Ma had done the same in a blue one. We clearly shared a compulsive urge to look for recipes that work.

Brother Jack and sister-in-law Christine kept my bookshelves up-to-date with the newest cookbooks—as did friends who knew I’d be delighted with any new addition.

The pressure was growing though!

When Meredith noticed me writing up a few recipes for the fun of it, she began to say at lunch and dinner tables, “Robin’s writing a cookbook”!

“Really–what a good idea!”

“Um—yes. I’m enjoying it—we’ll see….”

Then on subsequent visits the first question to me was:

“How’s the cookbook going, Robin?”

“Um–fine thanks–slowly.”

About four years ago I’d started working with a laptop—more practical than the desktop in my office.

One afternoon I found myself sitting in the shade under the trees in the garden, experimenting with an introduction to the putative book!

Clearly I had started believing in the idea myself.

The following summer a friend emailed me from her home in the Basque country asking for recipes. She knew I liked to cook, and was too busy working to do much searching for new dishes.

It was a tipping point.

I realised I had a range of interesting recipes ready to send off.

These later formed the basis of the collection that Meredith packaged up to send to potential publishers, testing the waters.

The response was friendly but unproductive.

Unless you are a TV chef/cook or have a current celebrity profile, it is hard to interest that cash-strapped world.

It is tough out there.

Meredith then had a brainwave. It was obvious in a way, but one doesn’t always see clearly what is staring you in the face. 

There was nothing in the proposed book that I didn’t eat on a daily basis and I had been diagnosed 10 years earlier with type 2 diabetes. Meredith ate the same meals as me and didn’t feel deprived. This could be a book of everyday eating for diabetics that the entire family could enjoy too.

The title came later.

Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

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