Riders (1993 film)
|Directed by||Gabrielle Beaumont|
|Screenplay by||Charlotte Bingham, Terence Brady|
|Based on||Jilly Cooper's Riders (book)|
|Starring||Marcus Gilbert, Michael Praed, Arabella Holzbog|
|Music by||Roger Webb|
With a length of 199 minutes, broadcasters usually divide the production into a miniseries.
Rupert Campbell-Black (played by Marcus Gilbert) is a rich and upper class Englishman at the top of the world of international show jumping, while his arch-rival Jake Lovell (Michael Praed) is a man of humble gipsy origins now funded by his Sloane Ranger heiress wife Tory (Caroline Harker). Lovell is driven by an intense hatred of Campbell-Black, who had bullied him mercilessly as a small boy at their English prep school, and their fights over riding prizes and women reach a climax at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Anglia bought the film rights to the best-selling book and hired Charlotte Bingham and her husband Terence Brady to produce a script, giving the job of director to Gabrielle Beaumont. Some sequences were filmed at Heydon, Norfolk. This was the screen debut of Sienna Guillory, only sixteen at the time, chosen largely because her part called for a young actress who could ride.
The film had an intense build-up as "a sex sizzler" in the weeks before its first broadcast on the ITV network on 2 May 1993, but some critics found it absurd. Writing in The Independent, Allison Pearson said: "Jilly Cooper's Riders (ITV), allegedly about mounting excitement, came with palpitating publicity. But it was all sound and furry animals, dignifying nothing." She continued by mocking Anthony Calf's portrayal of Billy Lloyd-Foxe: "I was trying to place Calf's acting style (do horses give you lockjaw?) when he turned up in the Gold Blend advert. All that rich, roasted alliteration is enough to drive anyone to suicide, which he wisely attempted in part two, only to have Rupert revive him ('England needs you, Billy').
In 2002, Jilly Cooper revealed that Rupert Campbell-Black was a composite of Andrew Parker Bowles, Rupert Lycett Green, Michael Howard, 21st Earl of Suffolk, and the 11th Duke of Beaufort, commenting on their place in the development of Campbell-Black: "a wildly dashing and exciting group, and their bravery and charisma were the essential elements... his shittiness was entirely my invention".
- Marcus Gilbert as Rupert Campbell-Black
- Michael Praed as Jake Lovell
- Arabella Holzbog (as Arabella Tjye) as Helen Macaulay, later Helen Campbell-Black
- Caroline Harker as Tory Lovell
- Anthony Calf as Billy Lloyd-Foxe
- Belinda Mayne as Lavinia Greenslade
- Brenda Bruce as Granny Maxwell
- Sienna Guillory as Fenella Maxwell
- John Standing as Malise Gordon
- Timothy Morand as Humpty Hamilton
- Gabrielle Beaumont as Lady Roxborough
- Gareth Hunt as Commentator
- Annabel Giles as Grania Pringle
- Kay Callard as Nanny Campbell-Black
- Stephanie Beacham as Molly Carter
- Anthony Valentine as Colonel Carter
- Andrew Hall as Nigel
- Cécile Paoli as Laura Duparru
- Serena Gordon as Janey Henderson, later Janey Lloyd-Foxe
- Irma Bullough as Doctor in Maternity ward
- Ian Hogg as Dudley Drabble
- Marie Morreale, Sienna Guillory dated 6 December 2006 at ScholasticNews.com, archived 3 July 2007
- Allison Pearson, TELEVISION / Sex, beasts and Jilly Cooper dated 8 May 1993 in The Independent online, accessed 18 January 2018
- Rowan Pelling, On its 30th anniversary, why Riders is the best erotic fiction of all time dated 7 March 2015 at telegraph.co.uk, accessed 20 January 2018