Michelle Morgan

It is now 40 years since the beginning of The Waltons and there are big celebrations and reunions going on in Los Angeles as we speak.

I have a big soft spot for this programme and it always reminds me of Sunday mornings in the early 1990s, when my mum would be baking in the kitchen, and playing her Cliff Richard records.

At 10am everything would stop, as the distinctive sound of The Waltons soundtrack mingled with the smell of my mum’s cakes, then we would both curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and wouldn’t move until the very end when John Boy had bid everyone a good night and the credits began to roll.

I find that there is something very comforting about watching The Waltons and seeing the trials and tribulations of the 1930s family, knowing that it was for the most part actually based on the memories of author Earl Hamner.

Earl is the real-life John Boy and also the man who supplies the voice that comes on at the end of every episode of The Waltons.

About a year or so ago, I had the good fortune of making Earl’s acquaintance through one of my publishers, and since then I have become the proud owner of a signed copy of the book which he wrote about the making of the TV series.

He’s a wonderful man and, as I am a huge Waltons fan, I was beside myself to be introduced.

Now every time he emails me, I get a real thrill that I am actually in touch with the real John Boy Walton.

I’m hoping that all these 40th anniversary reunion events will prompt Earl and the makers of the original programme to make another Waltons special, showing us what happened as the children grew into middle age.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy my own middle age by watching my collection of Waltons DVDs and dreaming of lazy Sunday mornings, with my mum and her home-made cakes.