Mr Selfridge: Kate Lewis, Executive Producer at ITV Studios talks series two!

by Lynn Connolly
frances o'connor mr selfridge

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The fabulous period drama Mr Selfridge is headed back to ITV with a new series in the New Year, and ahead of it, we’re celebrating the show’s return with a series of specials dedicated to everything you need to know…

From cast interviews to spoilers, we have lots to tell you, so check back often!

Here’s what Kate Lewis, the Executive Producer at ITV Studios has to say about the second run of Mr Selfridge…

“The response to Mr Selfridge has been wonderful and the second series promises to be a real treat for our audience…

“Harry Selfridge is back for a vibrant new chapter in both his own story and that of the store, along with the characters we love and some colorful new additions to the cast.”

Millions of viewers in both here in the UK and around the world were enthralled by the first series of Mr Selfridge…

Lewis said, “We had a strong and loyal audience who stayed with us over 10 episodes, which is fantastic. I think we’re giving them even more to enjoy and sink their teeth into in this second series – and a few surprises along the way!

“To have the opportunity to build on what has already been achieved is an exciting opportunity. You always want to make the next series bigger and better. Cherry Gould, our new producer, and everyone else working on the show have really risen to this challenge.

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“We wanted our stories in series 2 to be more dramatic and moving, funnier – and all more grounded in a sense of the time.

“We also wanted to enrich the visual experience with more of what the audience love – the store, the costumes, the products, the hairstyles, the fashion of the time.

“Our store set has been developed and we have also built a brand new set, Delphine’s Club, which has a very distinctive Bohemian feel to it. This new set really helps plant us firmly in a world on the cusp of great change.”

New to the Mr Selfridge team for the second series is production designer, Sonja Klaus. Of her, Kate remarked, “Sonja was Ridley Scott’s set dresser for many years and her attention to detail and design is phenomenal.

“In collaboration with our lead director, Anthony Byrne, Sonja has made the store an even more lush and exciting place to be, as it would have been in 1914 because Harry Selfridge himself was developing his business.

“We also have new exterior locations and will see the back of the building for the first time, giving a broader sense of its scale. It’s as if the shop floor is the stage and then you see behind the scenes and how the show comes together.”

Mr Selfridge

Jeremy Piven returns to the title role along with Frances O’Connor as his wife Rose, who is both estranged from her husband and dutifully by his side when appearances matter.

“Jeremy is passionate about the show and totally obsessed by the character of Harry. It’s very infectious. It’s a joy to develop the scripts when he is so immersed in it.

“He is also a producer and has a sharp, objective eye on the scripts and in the edit. He is very insightful about Harry.

“Jeremy has really enjoyed digging deeper with the character of Harry Selfridge and building on what we did in the first series. Harry has grown up a bit in this second series and his priorities have changed. We put his character through the mill and there are some dramatic storylines for him.

“We really get under the skin of the Selfridge marriage in this series. Watching as Harry tentatively tries to repair their marriage is very moving.”

Harry, Rose and their family were, of course, real people with their own histories.

“That’s quite a responsibility. But being constrained by the truth forces you to be creative too…

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“There was a real Mr Selfridge and family and you have to find a respectful and intelligent way to interpret that.

“But most of our other characters are fictionalised and with them you have free rein to really have some fun.

“One of my favourite stories in this second series is the love triangle that has developed from series one involving Agnes (Aisling Loftus), Victor (Trystan Gravelle) and Henri (Gregory Fitoussi). You can tell love stories in period drama that have an intensity that is difficult to achieve within contemporary drama.

“The audience will hopefully enjoy this journey – and be as divided about who Agnes should end up with as we were in the writers’ room.

“Agnes and Victor are initially reunited after a few years apart but then Henri returns to London under very mysterious circumstances to stir things up.”

Kate concluded: “It was great to see the positive reaction to the first series and the way viewers engaged with our drama.

“There’s more drama, colour and humour to enjoy in series 2. It’s a roller coaster new journey for Harry and for the show. I hope the audience enjoys the ride!”

Here’s a look at the show’s series two trailer…

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Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.