Mr Selfridge series two coming soon to ITV! Here’s everything you need to know! SPOILERS!

by Lynn Connolly
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Fans of hit ITV period drama Mr Selfridge are of course eagerly awaiting the start of series two in the New Year, and ahead of it, we’re running a series of specials that includes cast interviews, spoilers about the upcoming storylines and much more!

However, to bring you up to speed, here’s a rundown of what it’s all about…

Based on the life of flamboyant American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, who founded the world-renowned store on London’s Oxford Street in 1909, the second series picks up the story in 1914 as the store celebrates its 5th anniversary of
trading…

Harry, played by Emmy award-winning American actor, Jeremy Piven (Entourage), is proud of the store’s success but there is no time to rest on his laurels. With rumours rife with talk of war in Europe, he prepares staff for challenging times ahead. The store must play its own part in the war effort and help keep morale high on the home front.

Now more than ever Harry needs his wife, Rose, played by Frances O’Connor (AI: Artificial Intelligence, Piccadilly Jim), by his side. But in the last five years, they have become increasingly estranged. Whilst Rose has been spending long periods in America with the couple’s daughters and their son Gordon attends school in Winchester, Harry lives the life of a single man in London.

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In the first episode of the new series, Rose returns to support her husband during the anniversary celebrations. Surprised and thrilled to have her back, Harry embarks on a campaign to win her back and reunite the family…

But Rose is caught up with an exciting new friendship with Bohemian novelist and business woman, Delphine Day, played by Polly Walker (John Carter, Clash of the Titans) whom she met on the boat home from New York. Delphine is self-assured, inspiring and a breath of fresh air for Rose. As the owner of the infamous Delphine’s Club in Soho, she begins to empower Rose and leaves Harry feeling beleaguered and sidelined.

Lady Mae Loxley, played by Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street, She Stoops to Conquer) is also thrown off stride by the unexpected return to London of her husband, Lord Loxley, played by Aidan McArdle (Garrow’s Law, The Reckoning). Loxley is an alpha male who creates tensions and animosity at every turn and his unsettling presence threatens to drive a wedge between Harry and Lady Mae.

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Arrival of a flamboyant new Head of Fashion, Mr Thackeray, played by Cal MacAninch (Downton Abbey, Wild at Heart), also sets a cat amongst the pigeons. Mr Thackeray spent his formative years working in Paris and relishes the opportunity to remind his colleagues of his illustrious training. He considers himself a cut above the other staff, especially Agnes Towler, played by Aisling Loftus (The Borrowers, Dive),
who he views as competition from the outset.

Agnes has been working in Paris and returns to London in episode one to work for Harry as Selfridge’s new Head of Display. With the fashion and style influence of the Parisians, Agnes turns heads with her sophisticated new look. Old flame, Victor Colleano, played Trystan Gravelle (Anonymous), has been promoted to manage Selfridge’s restaurant the Palm Court and has moved on with his life in Agnes’ absence…

That is until Victor’s sparky young cousin and newly appointed waiter in the Palm Court, Franco, played by Sean Teale, decides to cause some mischief. And Henri Leclair, played by Gregory Fitoussi (Spiral), returns from America a changed man.

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Other key characters also return and we pick up with their stories 4 years on. These include Miss Josie Mardle, played by Amanda Abbington, (Married, Single, Other), Tom Goodman-Hill (Spy, The Hollow Crown) as Harry’s Chief of Staff Mr Roger Grove, Ron Cook as Harry’s ever-faithful right hand man, Mr Crabb, Samuel West as journalist Frank Edwards, Amy Beth Hayes as ambitious shop girl Kitty Hawkins and
Calum Callaghan as George Towler.

With World War One imminent and set to be the greatest and most devastating in history, it will inevitably affect the lives of everyone in the store. Throughout these troubled times, Harry will turn to his family and friends and try and heal the rifts of the past.

The second series of Mr Selfridge is written by Kate Brooke (Case Sensitive, Making of a Lady, Ice Cream Girls), Andrew Davies (Bleak House, Pride and Prejudice), Kate O’Riordan (The Bad Mother’s Handbook, The Kindness of Strangers) and Dan Sefton (Holby City, Death in Paradise).

In January 2013, the first episode of Mr Selfridge achieved a peak audience of 9.4 million viewers. This made it the highest launch audience for a new ITV drama series since Scott and Bailey in May 2011.

Lindy Woodhead, author of Shopping Seduction and Mr Selfridge, continues in her role as advisor on retail history alongside British historian, Juliet Gardiner who joins the team at ITV Studios as historical advisor.

Mr Selfridge has been recommissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Commissioning Steve November.

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The series is produced by Cherry Gould (Lightfields, Above Suspicion), and executive produced by Kate Lewis for ITV Studios, Rebecca Eaton for WGBH, Andrew Davies, Kate Brooke and Kate O’Riordan. The director of the first two episodes is Anthony Byrne (Silent Witness, Single Handed) who returns to Mr Selfridge having directed episodes for the first series. Rob Evans and Lawrence Till also direct episodes during
the series.

Kate Lewis, executive producer for ITV Studios said: “ITV Studios is thrilled to be making a second series of Mr Selfridge. The story of Harry Selfridge, his family and colleagues has drawn in a strong drama audience and we are delighted by the response. The second series will allow us to build on this success and it is a fantastic opportunity to focus on 1914 during the centenary of the Great War.”

Here’s a look at the series 2 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.