Mr Selfridge Is Coming! Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know About The ITV Drama

02 January 2013 by

It’s been a long time coming but filling the void left by Downton Abbey comes ITV’s brand new drama Mr Selfridge, about the man behind Britain’s second largest department store. Those hoping for a slightly gentler end to the weekend than CIA-terrorist thriller Homeland (which got our hearts racing and kept us awake for hours) might be in for a bit of a surprise. Why? Here's why...

1. Jeremy Piven is Mr Harry Gordon Selfridge

Mr Harry Selfridge is played by none other than Entourage’s Ari Gold aka Jeremy Piven.  ‘Harry had such a colourful life,’ Jeremy told us. ‘He loved women and wanted to empower them and make them feel sexy. He went to great lengths to surround himself with the best people he could possibly find, to kind of scour the earth and find all these incredible trinkets for women to wear. It’s an honour to be able to step into a role like this. I just hope I don’t f**k it up.’

2. Shopping, sex and suffragettes = SCANDAL

It may be 1909 but there are scandals aplenty. Storylines include the rise of women’s power during the suffragette movement, fashion, beauty and Harry’s notorious gambling and womanising ways, despite being happily married to Rose Selfridge (he has an affair with and breaks the heart of a burlesque dancer).

3. Beware the shoplifter...

When the store first opened, it was mainly prostitutes who wore make-up. The idea that lipstick and perfume were on display as you walked in to the store was seen as radical. In fact, displaying anything on show at all was quite unheard of and shoppers for the first time, were able to browse by themselves without having to ask to be shown a specific item or garment. It also meant that there was a dramatic rise in shoplifting…

4. There's a drug-addicted burlesque dancer...

One of the characters becomes addicted to cocaine. Yes, even back then! ‘We used this lactose powder, like a milk powder or flour that was safe to snort. It was very bizarre’ says Zoe Tapper who plays Harry’s lover Ellen.

5. The set is spectacular

The set – a beautiful, opulent and huge reconstruction of a 1909 Selfridges - is astounding. Glass cabinets encase perfume bottles and cosmetic cases. Though the set designer was able to find original items on eBay, they wanted everything to look shiny and brand new so they made most of the props themselves.

Mr Selfridge begins this Sunday, 6 January at 9pm on ITV1.


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