Julia TV show: who was Julia Child and height, cast with Sarah Lancashire, and when is Sky Atlantic series on?

Coronation Street actress takes on her first US role as Julia Child - the eccentric, pioneering, TV chef from the 1960s - in a Sky Atlantic and NOW series

A new 8-part biographical series, Julia, tells the story of Julia Child, the extraordinary life she led and her popular long-running cooking television series, The French Chef.

Here’s all you need to know about Julia, the person who inspired the TV series, and those in the cast with Sarah Lancashire of the Sky Atlantic programme...

What is the new series Julia about? 

Her cooking show, which premiered in 1963, was the first hosted by a woman, and essentially is what pioneered the popular cooking show genre into what it is today.

Child was known for her infectious personality, her can-do attitude and uncensored sense of humour.

The series explores various subjects like the growth in popular TV, the nature of celebrity, and the desire for women to want more than just the role of a housewife.

Julia helped to revolutionise both television and the kitchen in the early 1960s.

This is not the first time we have seen Juila Child be played on screen.

She was portrayed in the 2009 film, Julia & Julia with Meryl Streep, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Julia Child.

The film focused on the story of Child and a modern day chef, Julie, side-by-side.

Who was Julia Child?

Julia Child was born on August 15 1912, in Pasadena, California, she was the eldest child of John McWilliams Jr, a well-known land manager and paper-company heiress, Julia Carolyn Weston.

Julia was six feet, 2 inches tall which complimented her interests in sports, during her youth, she played tennis, golf and fittingly basketball. She also continued playing sports throughout her time at college, where she graduated with a degree in History.

Child did not learn to cook at a young age, although she grew up in a family with a cook, she did not show any interest in wanting to learn, at the time. It was only once she met her husband Paul, who came from a family with a great passion for food, that she felt inspired to learn.

Julia then went on to attend the famous cooking school, Cordon Bleu, in Paris, this was where her passion for French food started.

She then went on to join a women’s cooking club, called Le Cercle des Gourmettes, through which she met Simone Beck – who was in the process of writing a French Cookbook for Americans. Beck proposed that Julia assist in making the book appeal more to Americans.

Child then decided she would start her own cooking classes, where she would teach American women the art of French cuisine.

Over the next decade, she travelled around Europe researching and testing recipes, and in 1961, ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ was published. It was critically acclaimed and a best-seller.

Julia in the KitchenJulia in the Kitchen
Julia in the Kitchen

After gaining popularity from a television appearance, where she demonstrated how to cook an omelette, Julia presented her very first cooking show, The French Chef.

The show successfully ran for ten years and won a Peabody and Emmy Award, this was the first Emmy for an Educational programme.

Who’s in the cast of Julia?

Sarah Lancashire plays the lead role of Julia Child, and will be swapping her usual gritty crime drama for something more light-hearted.

The Oldham-born actress is best known for her work in Coronation Street (1991–1996, 2000), where she played Raquel Watts the barmaid at the Rovers Return Inn pub.

She then went on to work in many popular British TV shows, including, Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley, The Accident and Kiri, to name just a few.

During her career, she has earned herself a number of awards and nominations, including two British Academy Television Awards. She also received an OBE in the 2017 Birthday honours for her dedicated service to drama.

David Hyde Pierce, plays the other main character in the series, as Julia’s supportive husband, Paul Child.

Pierce is an American actor and comedian, best known for his portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Niles Crane on the sitcom Frasier.

David’s known for his distinctive voice, and as a result has been called upon to provide voicework for many films and animations including Pixar’s ‘A Bug’s Life’.

Sarah Lancashire receiving her OBESarah Lancashire receiving her OBE
Sarah Lancashire receiving her OBE

Other Cast members include:

  • Bebe Neuwirth as Avis 
  • Brittany Bradford as Alice
  • Fran Kranz as Russ Morash
  • Fiona Glascott as Judith Jones
  • Isabella Rossellini as Simone Beck
  • Jefferson Mays as P. Albert Duhamel
  • Robert Joy as Hunter Fox
  • Erin Neufer as Marian Morash
  • James Cromwell as John McWilliams
  • Adriane Lenox as Virginia Naman

When is Julia being shown on TV? 

The series based on the life of television chef, Julia, will be available to watch on Sky Atlantic and Now, from Tuesday 12 April.

The series consists of eight episodes, with each having a runtime of 46-49 minutes.

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