There was an absolutely fabulous appearance from Coles Funfair on ITV this week, as Joanna Lumley visited the Southampton-based fair as part of her new series Home Sweet Home – Travels in my Own Land.
Having filmed the episode during the eased restrictions of last summer, the actress explored the site alongside patriarch Charles Cole, paying visits to the family’s next generation while enjoying candy floss and a sedate ride on the Sizzler.
“The Coles are one of the show families on the South Coast, part of a historic community with a unique way of life,” Lumley told viewers, hailing the fair as “a place of dreams.”
“It’s like being backstage at a theatre.”
Cole was on hand to guide Lumley round the fair’s yard and showground, introducing his daughters Taylor and Lydia, and his wife Lorraine, as well as outlining how important the show community is to its 24,000 members.
“We are a completely different way of life,” said Cole. “We are verified showmen.”
“It gets in your blood… We’re not fly-by-night people, we’re in for the long haul.”
Though the Cole family has operated showgrounds for five generations, Lumley proved no stranger to fairs herself, revealing she held her 21st birthday “at the Battersea Park funfair.”