Long Before There Was Ross & Racheal; There Was Ross & Demelza…..Here we go again, another chunk of my youth snatched away by bloody cancer. Angharad Rees was one of my first crushes. I first really noticed her when she co-starred with Robin Ellis in the 1970s TV serialisation of Winston Graham’s Poldark books. As the street urchin Demelza taken in by Ross Poldark she had an umistakable, if understated, sexuality that many people found irresistable. As a hormone drenched teenager I really feel for her.
The whole programme was incredibly sexy. It was a story of unrequited loves, set on the wild cornish coast in the 18th century. It was rife with sexual imgery; stormy skies, waves crashing on the shore, galloping horses, smugglers, pirates & some damned sexy period clothes too. I’m not alone it having fond memories of this series. Not long ago it was voted as one of the ten best British series ever broadcast. Ross loved Elizabeth, but while he was fighting in the American colonies Elizabeth married Ross’s unpleasant cousin Francis, even though she still loved Ross. Having at first taken her in as a severvant, Ross married Demelza, mainly to spite all the upperclass ‘friends’ who had snubbed him. She adored him from the start & slowly he came to realise that he loved her too. She was so sweet, innocent & unfetted by the petty social conventions of the day that she was a breath of fresh air in his life. How could he not have fallen for her? It was a beautiful & intrigueing love story that captured the hearts of many viewers. A lot of women fell for the brooding ‘heathcliffesque’ Ross & Robin Ellis became quite a sex symbol. Personally I was rather put off him by the fact that in a fit of rage on realising that Elizabeth had betrayed him, he raped her [totally glossed over & rapidly forgotten], but Demelza stole my heart. Angharad Rees was a very beautiful woman, but more than that she was a wonderful actress who managed to portray a character that could easily have been seen as nothing more than a foolish doormat of a woman, with dignity & simple charm. Rest In Peace Angharad Rees 😥