Her father, Charles, a film-maker and scriptwriter, was immensely proud of his family's French connections and, like Tess Durbeyfield's dad in Tess of the D'Urbevilles, liked to accentuate the Gallic strain.
"They're awful to her; they'll say, 'You can't have any food' or 'It's about time you left' – but they always welcome her.Where fans of both writers might anticipate super-explicit or super-brittle dialogue, Vicious is rather sweetly old-fashioned in its gay bitchery and non-PC idiom.Mc Kellen and Jacobi swish about with a camp extravagance that Kenneth Williams might have found a bit extreme, and relish the exchanges. "Let's cross that bridge when we come to it," he murmurs."I was absolutely delighted to be asked to do Vicious," says De la Tour, "and the people of my generation who were in the studio audience were ever so chuffed to see me." She put her hand modestly on her breast. " Was Gary Janetti a natural to write a sitcom about elderly British gays?When Violet is told that there's a strange man (namely Ash) in the gay pair's lavatory, she cries: "You let a complete stranger use your loo? "I don't know how he did it," she says, "because it's very English and he is sooo American.But he knows about comedy and the timing of a line, even though he's not an actor."British critics were divided about the merits of Vicious.
In the last episode, when the boy Ash commiserates with Violet and assures her that there's definitely a Big Love out there for her in the world somewhere, Violet slams him against a wall and thanks him with a full-on snog.