The Pursuit Of Love

Emily Mortimer's adaptation of the old classic is sure to delight BBC1 viewers when it debuts on the channel in early 2021. Peter Gray reports.

Image Credit: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky
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With a warm and witty script and a star studded cast, the BBC’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love looks like a sure fire hit for the corporation.

Hollywood A Lister Lily James (Mama Mia! Rebecca, Cinderella) is the box office star, however, The Pursuit of Love boasts an extraordinary roll call of famous names, including Dominic West, Emily Mortimer, Andrew Scott, and Freddie Fox.

A romantic comedy about love and friendship, Mitford’s celebrated novel aims to deliver ‘sharp and innovative female-driven drama, full of warmth, wit, and wisdom, which audiences everywhere will take to their hearts’. It’s an ambitious aim but given the quality of the source material and that 2-die-4 cast, we really can’t see this one failing.

So, if you fancy giving the series a watch when it finally debuts on the BBC, here’s everything you could possibly need to know about The Pursuit of Love.

What is The Pursuit of Love about?

The series follows the ‘adventures and misadventures’ of Linda Radlett (James) and her best friend Fanny (Beecham) as they go shopping for suitable men to marry.

Lily James in The Pursuit of Love

Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky

“Their friendship is put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart, to increasingly wild and outrageous places. As social and political divisions split the nation, their diverging choices raise personal questions that remain intensely relevant today – questions about freedom, about love and sex, and the mystery of the human heart”. Says the synopsis for the show on the BBC website.

Emily Mortimer, says: “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. I feel privileged to be directing this show and working with the brilliant teams at Open Book, Moonage Pictures, Amazon and the BBC.”

Lily James says, “It’s great to be working with Emily. Her brilliant scripts bring new life to this story – full of love, full of friendship, very moving and sad in places, but also funny and true to life.”

Who is starring in The Pursuit of Love?

Apart from James, Beecham and West, The Pursuit of Love stars Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Merlin, Beattie Edmondson (Josh) as Louisa Radlett, Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, Matchpoint) as The Bolter and Aki Omoshaybi (The Last Jedi) as Langstone Hughes.

Where was the Pursuit of Love filmed?

Principal photography on the series was carried out around Bristol and Bath during 2020. Filming on the production was complicated by the need for social distancing brought on by the Coronavirus Crisis, however, the production was able to go ahead after a series of stringent measures were introduced.

Bathtub scene in The Pursuit of Love

Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky

Who’s behind the camera on The Pursuit of Love?

The Pursuit Of Love is produced by Rhonda Smith, with executive production by Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady for Open Book and Moonage Pictures.

Matthew Read had this to say about the production: “The Pursuit Of Love reads like a manifesto for how to live fearlessly and whole-heartedly while relishing the absurdities and eccentricities of life. Emily’s voice and vision perfectly capture the spirit of Mitford’s novel and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in helping her bring it to life”.

In addition, Cristina Casali is responsible for production design, Sinéad Kidao for costume design, with casting by Jina Jay.

The show has been brought to the BBC by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama.

When will be able to see the show on the small screen?

The Pursuit Of Love will premiere on BBC One at 9pm on the 9th of May 2021.

Is there a trailer for The Pursuit of Love?

Yep, and it’s rather good:

More information about the series can be found here.

For information on other great forthcoming TV shows, please click here.

-London's Best Events-
What: new drama
When: 9pm 9 May 21
Where: BBC1