Based upon the life of American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, Series 2 of the period drama picks up the story in 1914 as the famous Oxford Street store celebrates its 5th anniversary of trading.
The official synopsis reads: “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 daughters whilst their son Gordon remains at school in the UK. Consequently Harry runs the business and lives the life of a single man back in London.
“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. 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) 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) is also thrown off stride by the unexpected return to London of her husband, Lord Loxley, played by Aidan McArdle (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.
“Arrival of a flamboyant new Head of Fashion, Mr Thackeray, played by Cal Macaninch (Downton Abbey), 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), 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 (Skins), decides to cause some mischief. And Henri Leclair, played by Gregory Fitoussi (Spiral), returns from America a changed man.
“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.”
Series 2 will air on ITV in 2014.
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Watch the Series 1 trailer…