Mr Selfridge returns to ITV for ten new episodes, starring Emmy award-winning American actor Jeremy Piven.
The period drama is inspired by the life of charismatic American entrepreneur, Harry Gordon Selfridge, whose business in London’s Oxford Street has become a much-loved institution.
Season 4 opens in 1928, nine years after the third season, we find Harry Selfridge at the pinnacle of his power and public celebrity – a retail giant at the heart of the roaring twenties. A man-about-town in London and often gambling glamorously abroad, rumours of Harry’s latest fling light up the social circuit at Victor Colleano’s new nightspot, which is bigger and more decadent than ever.
This is a time of rapid change and progress. A time where nothing and nobody wants to stand still and contemplate. Fashions and musical tastes are evolving. It is a new and modern world with the crackle of radio and exciting new technologies. The mood of London is distinctly ‘modern’.
Friday 8 January 2016, 9pm
At home, Rosalie now has a daughter, Tatiana, the apple of Harry’s eye. Harry’s mother Lois is as stoic and supportive as ever. The lively Violette now lives in Paris.
In store, Harry is set to unveil a new monument at the front of the store, the ‘Queen of Time’, an ornate and specially commissioned clock. New Head of Display Freddy Lyons is arranging the big unveiling, and Harry is optimistic about the positive, lasting legacy it represents.
Mr Grove celebrates his birthday with best friend and colleague Mr Crabb, whilst Miss Mardle’s mysterious absence has clearly left a big hole in Grove’s life. We meet Grove’s eldest daughter, Meryl, who is now nineteen. Vivacious and spirited, Meryl desperately wants to work at Selfridge’s – but Grove isn’t so sure it’s a good idea.
Store favourite Kitty Edwards is keen to show off her and Frank’s luxurious new abode – they’ve gone up in the world, again! She invites sister Connie and George for dinner. We discover that they are now married and divulge some news that gives Kitty some serious food for thought.
Harry’s son and heir to the Selfridge Empire, Gordon, is now happily married to Grace – with two young sons. We sense that a cool distance between father and son who now runs a slew of provincial department stores owned by Selfridge’s outside of London. Gordon is irked when Harry stands him up for a routine meeting, but it’s for a very good reason…because Harry unexpectedly receives a very special visitor – Mae. She’s back!
But Mae has returned to London hurt and humiliated. She reveals that her husband has left her for a younger woman. Her marriage is over. Ever loyal, Harry resolves to help Mae like she helped him when he first came to London. But does she really want to start afresh in London?
Later, at Colleano’s, Harry and Mae are among the privileged crowd that gathers to watch the spectacle: an exhibition-boxing match between an American and a British champion. Harry meets the man Victor arranged it all with, Jimmy Dillon. A sharp and confident entrepreneur, Jimmy takes a fancy to Mae but gets off on the wrong foot with a slightly defensive Harry. Meanwhile, Harry’s head is turned by the presence of stunning stage sirens the Dolly sisters, Jenny and Rosie – who clearly have their sights set on Harry.
On the day of the unveiling of the ‘Queen of Time’, Harry is unnerved to discover that powerful newspaper magnate Lord Wynnstay might be sitting on some uncomfortable stories about his family – which spells trouble ahead. Outside Selfridge’s, a band plays and the traffic stops for the grand unveiling, but a shocking incident occurs.
Friday 15 January 2016, 9pm
After the accident at the Queen of Time unveiling, a frustrated Harry is being forced to recuperate under his mother Lois’ caring, but watchful eye.
It doesn’t take long before Harry’s absence is noted in the press, and when Gordon talks with a journalist, he unwittingly sparks sensationalist tabloid headlines about Harry’s advancing age. This stokes tension between Gordon and Harry, who becomes determined to prove that he is not over the hill yet.
The formidable Mae has started work at the store, and is hiring for her new in-store ‘ready to wear’ collection. Interviewing new machinists, one candidate catches her eye – Tilly Brockless. The young and black Tilly stands out from the crowd, especially when Mae spots her chic custom-made dress. Without references, Mae hires Tilly but Grove isn’t keen.
Keen to quash any retirement rumours, Harry returns to the store with his eyes on the future. He opens a new, cutting-edge Technology Department. The Ground Floor is soon a hive of activity, with vacuum cleaners buzzing, hair-dryers whirring – the public marveling at domestic, technological wonders of the future.
Mae’s delighted to have Harry back, but is very unimpressed when he insists that the infamous Dolly Sisters model her new collection. Mae is proved right to be wary as chaos ensues.
The news that Connie is pregnant is out, which prompts soul-searching for Kitty. Having chosen not to become a mother – a very unconventional, modern choice for 1928 – she turns to husband Frank for support.
Mysterious entrepreneur Jimmy Dillon starts to make his mark. His easy charm, business success and youthful confidence catch Harry’s attention. Harry sees himself in Jimmy, and we sense this is a start of a deepening friendship between them.
Friday 22 January 2016, 9pm
Despite his loss, Harry is pretending that it’s business as usual. His spirited daughter Violette has returned from life in Paris, and together with Rosaline they implore Harry to stop burying his head in the sand – but Harry is happy to be distracted, particularly by new belle Rosie Dolly.
Meanwhile, Jimmy saves an ailing theatre from bankruptcy by creating an innovative business model – a lucrative shareholding Trust – and Harry is enamoured. It isn’t long before they start working on a similar model for Selfridge’s Provincial Stores – The Selfridge Trust. Cautious Gordon is aghast when Harry shakes on the risky deal to make masses of extra cash for the Selfridge Group as a whole.
Grove teases Meryl about being relegated to the stockroom, but he’s soon red-faced himself when he stumbles down the stairs at home. As Grove’s discomfort grows, Crabb intervenes and Grove is forced to rest at home. Spending quality time with his family, GROVE seriously considers retirement – and even buys the family their very first motorcar! But it isn’t long before Grove is forced to re-think his plans for a leisurely retirement.
Cosmetics icon and business giant Elizabeth Arden is opening an historic concession in Selfridge’s, and Kitty is nervous to meet her role model. Kitty is inspired by Elizabeth Arden’s fearless approach to business and her outstanding accomplishments. However, it isn’t long before Kitty gets a thought-provoking glimpse into the dark side of her success. When Elizabeth Arden makes Kitty an unexpected proposition, she is left with a tricky dilemma.
The Selfridge Trust is launched with typical Selfridge fanfare and celebration. But Selfridge Family tensions simmer when Rosie Dolly and Violette have a run-in: Violette is appalled by her father’s choice of ‘female company’ – and also by the way Harry has sidelined Gordon in favour of Jimmy.
Announcing that she will return to Paris, Gordon berates Harry for driving Violette away and effectively pulling the family apart. The financial stakes are high for The Selfridge Trust: if all goes to plan they’ll be as richer than ever, but if it goes wrong – they could lose everything.
Friday 29 January 2016, 9pm
After the huge monetary success of The Selfridge Trust, Harry has whisked a large group of journalists to Biarritz, France to make an important announcement. Harry reveals that The Selfridge Group has expanded: they have purchased a raft of new department stores across London and Great Britain.
Accompanied by Mae, Jimmy, Frank and the Dolly Sisters too, it’s an all-expenses paid trip designed to lavish the press with love. It’s a typical roaring twenties affair where sheer excess, glittering gambling and decadent luxury is the order of the day – and night!
Back in London, Gordon is holding the fort and feeling left out. The store staff are preparing for a special visit from writer AA Milne, who is set to give a reading of his latest Winnie the Pooh in the Palm Court, which has been transformed into the Hundred Acre Wood.
Tilly makes Meryl realise the error of her ways – winning Meryl her place back in Fashion. Despite his recent news, Grove is determined to continue with life as normal. Crabb just can’t seem to get through to him, and feels he has no choice but to do something that that will leave the Grove family reeling.
In Biarritz, the Dolly Sisters have a wonderful time racking up a giant bill for Harry to pay. Mae and Jimmy enjoy reveling as the new twosome on the social scene, whilst Frank is forced to work hard to keep the journalists happy. But mischievous hack Flic soon catches his eye – and as the party wears on – things get headier and slightly out of control…
Harry and his entourage run into the Whiteley Brothers, owners of the Whiteley’s department store in London. Boisterous and arrogant – the brothers pick a fight with Jimmy over his mixed-race heritage, which provokes a nasty scene. The Dolly Sisters vie for Harry’s attention, getting themselves get into an ugly fight. Harry and Mae sneak away from all the goings on for a heart to heart.
The next morning, Frank realises he’s made a big mistake. Upon his return, Frank stuns Kitty with a suggestion that knocks her for six.
Harry’s gaming agent, D’Ancona visits Victor and voices his frustration about Harry – who owes him a lot of money. Victor persuades Harry that D’Ancona isn’t a man to trifle with, and Harry plans to pay off his debts.
But things go awry for Harry when he’s tempted to invest in a new silent movie starring the Dolly Sisters – using the money he intended for D’Ancona. Then when a tabloid scandal breaks, throwing the Selfridge family uncomfortably into the spotlight, Harry is distracted and forgets abut his meeting with D’Ancona, who isn’t happy to be stood up.
Friday 5 February 2016, 9pm
The ground floor of Selfridge’s has been transformed into a backdrop for filming a silent movie, Double Trouble, starring the Dolly Sisters and famous actor Bumby Wallace.
Harry is delighted to be doing what he does best: causing ripples of excitement throughout London as the public gathers to watch. Young Meryl even has a small part in the movie, and Grove is proud as punch. But the movie’s director is tearing his hair out due to the Dolly Sisters’ diva-like behaviour, which Harry has to manage hands-on. The Dolly Sisters keep causing delays in filming – delays that cost Harry money.
Harry has a lot on his plate. An impatient D’ancona surprises Harry in store, unhappy that he was stood up and that Harry can’t pay him because he decided to finance Double Trouble instead. The two men lock horns as D’ancona offers a bullish final request for what he’s owed.
Further, after the tabloid scandal, a hubristic Harry plays hardball with Lord Wynnstay. He sends Frank to lever Wynnstay into printing a retraction, threatening to withdraw all Selfridge’s advertising from Wynnstay’s newspapers if he doesn’t comply. Media magnate Wynnstay agrees to print the retraction, but doesn’t like his hand to be forced – so he soon mobilises troublesome journalist Flic.
After Miss Mardle’s return, she and Grove grapple with weighty issues from their past and emotions run high. Meanwhile, Kitty is struggling to get her head around Frank’s sudden desire to start a family when she gets an ultimate deadline from Elizabeth Arden. Seeking advice from George, she is forced to make a life-changing decision.
As Harry plans a fabulous wrap party to celebrate the end of filming Double Trouble, the glow of Rosie Dolly dramatically fades. Harry finally begins to see the light – that the Dolly Sisters been taking him for a ride – and he seeks solace in Mae’s sensible counsel and warm friendship.
Friday 12 February 2016, 9pm
Everyone is reeling from the assault on the store, especially Harry. D’Ancona continues to pile on the pressure: Harry must pay his debts within days or else suffer more consequences. Harry doesn’t know what to do.
Mr Grove and Miss Mardle are planning their very special forthcoming event, whilst Mr Grove asks an honorable favour of Mr Crabb. Meryl enlists Tilly’s help for a very important task, fuelling Miss Ellis’ ire. Mr Grove tells Harry his secret, which leaves Harry shocked and upset.
Lord Wynnstay’s newspaper, The London Herald, publishes a speculative gossip article that blames the assault for the store on Harry’s debts. Harry is furious – and cancels the store’s advertising contracts in retaliation. It’s a big financial blow to Lord Wynnstay, who decides to fight fire with fire.
A humbled Harry admits to Jimmy that he’s essentially broke. A kind and supportive Jimmy explores Harry’s options, concluding that the best solution is to sell the most valuable Provincial Stores, which are all run by Gordon. Their property value alone will wipe out Harry’s debts. However, Harry declines, knowing it’ll make the gulf between him and Gordon even wider.
Mae’s busy coordinating a photographic shoot for her new fashion brochure. With Rosalie and Tatiana modelling, Mae also ropes Victor into helping. As Victor and Mae reminisce about their lusty affair in days gone by, Mae finds Jimmy increasingly difficult and demanding.
Kitty’s heartbreak continues as she wrestles with how to handle Frank. When George steps in to try and help matters, Connie isn’t too happy. As the damage to Kitty and Frank’s marriage seems irreparable, Frank resigns himself to let Kitty go for good.
The Dolly Sisters are surprised to have their in-store credit cut off and dispute it with Harry. For once, Harry doesn’t bend to their charms. Meanwhile, the fuss surrounding Harry’s financial position spurs an ominous Mr Keen to visit Gordon, where he voices concerns about Harry’s leadership. Gordon is left worried that his father is in very serious trouble…
When D’Ancona’s deadline passes, Harry experiences one last humiliating scrape – and is forced to sell the most valuable Provincial Stores in order to pay D’Ancona. Gordon is left stupefied to find out his father’s true precarious financial position, yet is sympathetic and stands by his father. Harry promises Rosalie and Gordon they are his priority from now on, and is eager for redemption.
Friday 19 February 2016, 9pm
After a tumultuous period, Harry is determined to get his life and the store back on track. Selfridge’s has returned to doing what it does best: a classic store wide ‘Summer Promotion’. Gordon and Harry are really enjoying working together again, and between them they see off threats from Lord Wynnstay and an ominous Mr Keen.
Vibrant and colourful, the store looks fabulous. Mae’s new ready-to-wear Summer Collection is a runaway success. However, underneath it all, Mae is torn apart by grief and shock. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to all, Jimmy is ridden with aching paranoia and searing guilt for his reckless actions. He’s been staying with his mother in hiding, but she encourages him to return to London: to stay close to powerful allies like Harry Selfridge – to hide in plain sight.
Kitty’s time at Selfridge’s comes to a poignant end. As she bids emotional farewells, Frank makes a final heartfelt plea for their love, begging for a new start together – but will Kitty agree?
When Grove returns to work after a break away, Meryl enlists his help after discovering that Tilly is shouldering an unfair workload in the machine room. Grove investigates, but the end result isn’t good for Tilly when we find out that she’s hiding something.
Jimmy comes back to London with a bold and exciting business proposition for Harry. Whiteley’s, the iconic London department store in Bayswater, is for sale. Jimmy wants to go in with Harry and Gordon as an equal business partner.
As Jimmy pitches to Harry, he relentlessly romanticises the purchase – pointing out that Whiteley’s is a London landmark – and that with both stores together Harry would own over a mile of window frontage in London. If anyone can turn Whiteley’s around, Harry can. Harry and Gordon consider it together. It’s a massive project, but the rewards could be huge. It’s the biggest gamble of Harry life; everything is on the line.
Friday 26 February 2016, 9pm
Harry, Gordon and Jimmy are working hard before the purchase of Whiteley’s is announced to the world. They are tense with anticipation; it’s a bold and exciting project that will cement the future of the Selfridge legacy. The stakes are high.
Amidst the hubbub of the preparations, Grove and Crabb look on. They see a new generation taking over as this new business venture begins – and feel a bit left out! Grove admits he’s decided to retire; he just needs to tell the Chief.
At the grand unveiling of the Whiteley’s deal, Harry is once again the talk of the town. Another department store, in a flailing part of London – can Harry work his magic again? Lord Wynnstay’s journalist Joe Tooby asks Jimmy some uncomfortable questions about his relationship with Victor Colleano. A paranoid Jimmy is overly defensive, which arouses Tooby’s suspicions.
Meryl looks for Tilly, and is flabbergasted to find that her father dismissed Tilly! Meryl takes her father to task and Grove sets about righting his wrong where Tilly is concerned.
Crabb offers to help out with the Whiteley’s accounts, and makes a worrying discovery. Nestled away within the paperwork are significant outstanding debts to suppliers – final demands! Crabb confirms that the suppliers need to be paid or else they will embargo Whiteley’s, which would be utterly catastrophic. Frustratingly, Harry, Gordon and Jimmy have no spare capital to pay the debts – they threw all they had into the deal. Harry solves the stock problem by coming up with a genius idea to tide them over, but it must be kept quiet…
When Grove has a health scare, he’s packed off home. The time for retirement has come. Mardle is there to look after him, and Grove finds a new peace.
Meanwhile, Mae and Harry grow closer. And Mae starts to wonder if anything did in fact happen between Jimmy and Victor, and asks Jimmy directly. Jimmy throws her off the scent. He’s saved himself – for now.
Friday 4 March 2016, 9pm
At Selfridge’s, preparations are afoot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the store’s opening. Harry gets special permission from the council for a large-scale public parade along Oxford Street. The celebrations will be unlike anything ever seen before!
HARRY also needs to break the suppliers’ embargo on Whiteley’s. Harry charms Chairman Hardcastle of the British Wholesalers Association to recommend a clean slate for Whiteley’s since it’s under new ownership. Hardcastle makes no promises – but will try to convince his members in good faith.
A stoic Mardle is struggling to cope. She throws all her energies into ensuring that life carries on as normal for the Grove children – but her efforts are somewhat suffocating. Meryl senses that going back to work will do Mardle the world of good, and when the new Head of Fashion fails to turn up for work – there does appear to be a vacancy…
Jimmy’s accountant reveals that there has been a massive miscalculation of supplies at Whiteley’s. They will run out of stock in three days – and they can’t restock because of the suppliers’ embargo – which Harry is working hard to break. If they don’t restock, it’d be disastrous. They would have to close Whiteley’s. However, when Jimmy spots a swathe of excess stock sitting idle at Selfridge’s ahead of the anniversary sales – he comes up with a very risky plan…
Jimmy approaches Crabb and asks if he can ‘borrow’ the excess Selfridge’s stock for Whiteley’s – but Crabb points out that it’s tantamount to stealing! However, Crabb also knows the consequences of Whiteley’s closing would be grave for Harry. Crabb reluctantly agrees, enlisting the help of George Towler to covertly move the excess stock. However, a nosey Mr Keen inadvertently stumbles upon what they’re up to – and everything explodes.
Meryl and Freddy work together to bring the Grove family together for an extra-special treat that they’ll never forget. Mardle finally decides to go back to her roots, and realises how happy she is with her new family.
Joe Tooby of The London Herald has continued to investigate Jimmy, and found a hole in Jimmy’s story. Wynnstay has no choice but print the sensational allegations, warning Harry in advance. Yet Harry doesn’t believe it until he hears it from the horse’s mouth – and when he does – he’s shocked to his very core.
Friday 11 March 2016, 9pm
Jimmy’s final act has left Harry reeling; he blames himself for everything that’s happened. Mae’s love life, Harry’s judgement, Selfridge’s and Whiteley’s are now all under the spotlight of a tabloid frenzy. Serious questions about Harry’s financial stability are rife.
Harry retreats from the glare, isolating himself at home. He refuses to see anyone, even Mae. Gordon is left to run the store and keep an increasingly tetchy Mr Keen Mr Keen at bay. Then, when Chairman Hardcastle finds that stock was secretly moved from Selfridge’s to Whiteley’s – to plug the gap caused by his trade embargo – he explodes with fury. Making a stand, Hardcastle places Selfridge’s under an immediate embargo too – until all debts are paid.
The situation is catastrophic. Selfridge’s itself is in real jeopardy for the first time. Gordon is stunned. He’s busy planning celebrations of the store’s 20th anniversary – which is imminent. Stymied and frustrated, Gordon implores Harry to come back to his own store – where he’s needed.
Harry pulls himself together and returns to face the music. There, Harry encounters an angry Mae who confronts him about his cowardly absence. Mae is at the end of her tether after also being subjected to intense gossip and fevered speculation. She feels totally abandoned by Harry. After all they’ve been through, Mae expected more. Harry’s apologies just aren’t enough; their relationship hangs in the balance.
Meanwhile, Mardle has returned to work at Selfridge’s. It isn’t long before Harry makes her a poignant and visionary offer that she can’t refuse. In the corridors of Selfridge’s, we get the sense of a new generation ‘moving in’, that a breeze of change is in the air…
Next, Harry looks to tackle the crippling embargos. He forges an ambitious plan to seduce Chairman Hardcastle and the other aggrieved suppliers. Harry knows he can’t afford to pay their debts, so he has to offer them something very special. Organising a lavish reception, Harry offers the suppliers unprecedented fixed term contracts to supply both Whiteley’s and Selfridge’s. Harry is in full, charming showman mode. Everything rests on this final gamble…
However, an unstoppable chain of events sees Harry backed into a corner. Gordon is forced act in the best interests of the store. The Earl of Oxford Street is called to account in a shocking, epic and gut-wrenching climax.
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