Filming starts on BBC comedy drama The Pursuit Of Love

Tuesday 28th July 2020, 8:43am

Lily James.

Production is underway on The Pursuit Of Love, a comedy drama version of Nancy Mitford's celebrated novel.

The BBC One series has been adapted by Emily Mortimer and features a cast list including Lily James (pictured), Emily Beecham, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox and Beattie Edmondson.

Dolly Wells, who starred alongside Mortimer in Doll & Em, will also appear.

The Pursuit of Love, published in 1945, is the first in a trilogy of books by Nancy Mitford about an upper-class English family in the interwar period.

The BBC explains: "Written and directed by Mortimer, The Pursuit Of Love is a romantic comedy drama about love and friendship. Set in Europe between the two World Wars, the story follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett, played by Lily James, and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, played by Emily Beecham.

"Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are on the hunt for the ideal husband. 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."

Dominic West and Dolly Wells will play Linda's parents, Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie Radlett; with Fleabag star Andrew Scott as Lord Merlin, the Radlett's wealthy and eccentric neighbour. Mortimer will step out from behind the camera to play Fanny's mother, The Bolter; and Beattie Edmondson takes on the role of Louisa Radlett.

Linda and Fanny's suitors will include Assaad Bouab as Fabrice de Sauveterre; Shazad Latif as Alfred Wincham; and Freddie Fox as Tony Kroesig.

The Pursuit Of Love.

The three hour-long episodes are being filmed primarily around the Bristol and Bath area. The BBC says: "Together with independent health and safety consultants, in full consultation with industry partners, and in accordance with all current government guidelines, The Pursuit Of Love production team have developed comprehensive production protocols to ensure that the series is produced in a safe and responsible manner during this time of global pandemic."

Speaking about the project, 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 [production companies] Open Book, Moonage Pictures, Amazon and the BBC."

Lily James comments: "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."

Executive producer Charles Collier says: "From the start, we built this show around the talents of three brilliant women: Emily Mortimer, Lily James and Nancy Mitford. Our plan is to deliver sharp and innovative female-driven drama, full of warmth, wit and wisdom, which audiences everywhere will take to their hearts."

Executive producer Matthew Read adds: "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."

Commissioner Piers Wenger says: "Emily Mortimer's adaptation of Nancy Mitford's masterpiece will introduce The Pursuit Of Love to a new generation of fans. We are indebted to Emily, producers Moonage Pictures and Open Book and to the series' glittering cast, led by Dominic West and Lily James, for their commitment to bringing this treasured novel to life."

The Pursuit Of Love will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Chris Mansolillo from Amazon says: "The Pursuit Of Love is an exciting journey combining family, love, honesty and introspection. We are thrilled to be working with such a talented team and looking forward to bringing this romantic adventure to our Prime members."

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