Sarah-Kate finally watched Bridgerton – and found an unexpected fixation

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1 January 1970

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the candy-coloured excess of a period drama, Sarah-Kate finds a life to perspire to.

I’ve come late to the Bridgerton situation, the whole Regency drama thing not always being my cup of tea. Sure, I can do a Gwyneth or an Anya in an Emma or two, and who doesn’t love Jane Eyre? But then, that’s partly about the misery – and there isn’t too much of that in the Netflix sensation which adds more than a little bodice-ripping to its Charlotte Brontë. No starving orphans or batty ex-wives locked up in the attic in this view of the moneyed marriage market of 19th century England!

The worst thing that can happen here is you’ll get caught in the bushes doing almost nothing with a member of the opposite sex and, next minute, your whole family’s reputation is in the poop.

The best thing is that your overbearing mother will push you out to a string of lavish society balls and you’ll get snapped up by someone who isn’t completely hideous, then go off and live in a castle spitting out children forever after.

Far from binge-watching, I took in Bridgerton over 20-minute bursts atop my exercycle. This means that I didn’t crave it enough to blob on the sofa with a box of chocolates and a magnum of wine, the way some did, but I did consider it enough of a candy-coloured treat to motivate me to exercise. That’s an Emmy Award category, I’m sure.

Coming to it that way, I confess I sometimes got a bit confused about the Bridgertons and the girls across the road, the Featheringtons, until I figured out that the latter were supposed to be a bit trashy with their brightly coloured dresses, instead of the muted tones of the classy family of comely maidens nearby.

Frankly, I was not usually looking at the dresses, instead being utterly transfixed by the bosoms. My goodness, what the women of the day had to do with them! Most of the Bridgerton breasts look for all the world as if they’re trying to climb out of those acres of ruffles and rhinestone-encrusted fancies and escape to the country.

It comes as no surprise to learn, upon researching, that it took 238 people five months to put together the 5000 costumes that paraded before the camera. Veteran costume designer Ellen Mirojnick banned bonnets and “the limpness” of muslin. Love it! Star of the show Daphne Bridgerton had 104 dresses alone!

Personally, I could never get over the fact that, in real-life, Daphne is the daughter of Sally from Coronation Street. I could barely look at her without hearing Sally in her Mancunian accent assuring: “No, there’s never been a law about lesbians, I’ve googled it”.

But in truth, my eyes were more often on Daphne’s love interest, the Duke of Hastings – or, more specifically, his most outstanding feature: his boots. Show me a man in tight trousers and knee-high leather and I’ll show you someone whose heart rate, according to her exercycle, is increasing at an almost embarrassing rate. If I could get my Ginger to wear a brocade waistcoat and a black velvet coat, I could probably pedal from here to 19th century England and back.

My eyes were more often on Daphne’s love interest, the Duke of Hastings – or, more specifically, his most outstanding feature: his boots

But I’ll tell you something – I won’t be doing it in an empire line dress. Every body part I have rejects that notion.

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