Deadline first revealed last December that James will star in the three-part Emily Mortimer-penned series, while we also reported in June that it will be among the first dramas to restart production in the UK. The BBC confirmed today that filming is underway.
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Joining James in the Open Book and Moonage Pictures-produced The Pursuit Of Love is Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Dolly Wells, Beattie Edmondson, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif and Freddie Fox.
The story is based on the first book in a trilogy about an upper-class English family between the First and Second World Wars. The comedy deals with issues of growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric. James plays Radlett family daughter Linda, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.
Beecham stars Linda’s best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, while Dominic West and Dolly Wells feature as her parents. Andrew Scott is Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s wealthy and eccentric neighbor, and Mortimer has written herself a role as Logan’s mother. Mortimer also directs.
“I’ve always loved Nancy Mitford so when I was asked to adapt The Pursuit Of Love it was impossible to say no. It’s an outrageously funny and honest story, whose central character — the wild, love-addicted Linda Radlett — still reads as a radical,” she said.
Production is underway in the Bristol and Bath area of south-west England. The BBC said producers Open Book and Moonage have created comprehensive production protocols and are working with safety consultants to guard against coronavirus. It is the second major show to go into production in the UK in the pandemic era following War Of The Worlds earlier this month.
The Pursuit Of Love will premiere in the UK on BBC One and iPlayer, while Amazon will stream the series in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Distributor BBC Studios brokered the deal with Amazon. Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady are executive producers, while Rhonda Smith is the producer. BBC director of content Charlotte Moore commissioned the series alongside drama controller Piers Wenger.