Alan Bennett's Talking Heads (BBC1, Tuesday, 9pm & 9.30pm)

As a glance at the TV schedules will have told you, it's not easy to make new dramas during a pandemic. Unless the actors already happen to be part of the same household, scenes of kissing, fighting or any kind of touching are out.

So, you can see why the BBC thought this would be the perfect time to revive Alan Bennett's acclaimed series of monologues, Talking Heads. Having a cast of just one actor per episode certainly makes social distancing easier.

But if this was just about finding a good way to fill up a few hours in the schedule, it's unlikely the announcement that Talking Heads was coming back would have generated quite so much excitement - or attracted such a starry cast. In alphabetical order, the line-up for the 12 episodes is Jodie Comer, Monica Dolan, Martin Freeman, Tamsin Greig, Sarah Lancashire, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati, Maxine Peake, Rochenda Sandall, Kristin Scott Thomas, Imelda Staunton and Harriet Walter, which is impressive by anyone's standards.

While they may be some of the biggest names in British TV, they could still be forgiven for feeling daunted, especially as 10 of the 12 episodes are based on previous Talking Heads, which first aired in 1988 and 1998 and were instantly hailed as classics.

Then, the actors delivering the monologues included such legends as Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and Patricia Routledge, as well as Thora Hird, who won two Best Actress Baftas - one for the episode A Cream Cracker Under the Settee and the second for Waiting for the Telegram.

But Alan Bennett is hopeful that the class of 2020 can match their predecessors. He says: "In such difficult circumstances, that the BBC should choose to remount both series of Talking Heads, and produce two entirely new ones, is a comfort and a huge compliment. I hope a new generation of actors will get and give as much pleasure as we did 20 and 30 years ago."

Bennett's long-term collaborator and the series' lead director Nicholas Hytner has also enjoyed working with the new cast, despite the challenges involved: "It has been a profound and fascinating experience to work out a way of making them again, this time with a company of phenomenal actors who are the equal of those who first made them."

He adds: "The shoot will never bring any of us within touching distance of each other, but I hope that in every other way it will reach out and touch millions of viewers. We are all of us beyond grateful to the BBC for setting us this challenge."

First up is A Lady of Letters, which finds Staunton taking over from Routledge as a woman who spies on her neighbours and become concerned when she spots bruises on a girl across the road.

It's followed by Sarah Lancashire in the new An Ordinary Woman, which features a mother who finds herself shocked by her feeling towards her son.

The series continues on Thursday with Soldiering On, starring Harriet Walter in a role originated by Stephanie Cole. But if you can't wait until then, all 12 episodes will also be available to watch on iPlayer.