New series of Mr Selfridge goes into production

Polly Walker, Aidan McArdle, Cal Macaninch are cast alongside lead actors Jeremy Piven, Katherine Kelly, Aisling Loftus and Frances O’Connor as ITV Studios begin filming the second series of Mr Selfridge in London

Ten new episodes of the ITV Studios drama Mr Selfridge have started filming in London this week, following the ratings success of the first series for broadcaster ITV. The first episode of Mr Selfridge achieved a peak audience of 9.4 million viewers.

Based upon 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 and 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), by his side. But in the last four years, they have become increasingly estranged. Rose has been spending long periods in America with the couple’s youngest children.

In the first episode of the new series, Rose returns to support her husband  and Harry embarks on a campaign to win her back. But Rose is caught up with an exciting new friendship with Bohemian novelist and business woman, Delphine Day, played by Polly Walker (Clash of the Titans).

Lady Mae Loxley, played by Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street) is also thrown off stride by the unexpected return to London of her husband, Lord Loxley, played by Aidan McArdle (Garrow’s Law). 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.

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. He considers himself a cut above the other staff, especially Agnes Towler, played by Aisling Loftus (The Borrowers), who he views as competition from the outset.

Other key characters are also set to 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) 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.

Filming will take place on location in Greater London and Kent with transmission on ITV in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of the First World War.