Sanditon was written just months before Jane Austen’s death in 1817 and tells the story of a joyous and unconventional woman called Charlotte Heywood and her relationship with the funny and disarming Sidney Parker.

When Charlotte moves away from her countryside hometown to Sanditon, a fishing village trying to reinvent itself as a seaside resort, she is exposed to its “intrigues and dalliances” and the locals whose fortunes depend on Sanditon’s commercial success.

It is ultimately a story of love and self-discovery in the 19th century with a twisting and turning plot, which spans from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London.

Asked about new character Young Stringer, and whether Davies stuck to how he imagined Austen’s original story would have panned out, the screenwriter said: “I think she’d obviously been setting up Charlotte and Sidney for some kind of [romantic narrative] yeah.

“And Sir Edward as well, who presents himself as a sexy man but not a very reliable one, and then we thought, ‘well it’s not enough, let’s have a decent chap who’s got lots of things in common with Charlotte, somebody she instantly likes because they never quarrel,” Davies told press following an episode one screening.

“It’s a bit like Love Island, really,” he added. “I mean is she just friend-zoning him? Or is there a fanny flutter? I confess I am a fan of Love Island.”

The screenwriter also opened up about some of the show’s racier moments, referring to a scene in which male characters strip off: “As my wife has been saying, something she constantly says is that she has no objection to female nudity but she’d like to see a great deal more male nudity on the screen so I try to please her.”

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