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  1. ITV Report

New period drama 'The Halcyon' to premiere on ITV

  • Watch Emma Wilkinson's report

A new period drama series, being hailed as the replacement to Downton Abbey, will premiere on ITV tomorrow night.

The cast of new series, The Halcyon

'The Halcyon' tells the story of a bustling and stylish five star hotel at the centre of London society and a world at war. Secrets and scandal abound as spies and aristocrats rub shoulders with poor staff in lavish surroundings.

It stars some of of the UK’s most acclaimed actors, including Steven Mackintosh (Luther, The Sweeney, Inside Men) and Olivia Williams (Anna Karenina, Hyde Park On Hudson, The Sixth Sense).

Steven Mackintosh plays hotel manager Richard Garland

The drama is set in The Halcyon Hotel - a glamorous haven from the bombs being dropped on the capital.

There is a legend that Winston Churchill deemed that hotels should not be subject to rationing - largely so that he could have a large steak frites and glass of Burgundy, untroubled by rationing.

So I think if you imagine black-out London in the middle of the Blitz, the fact that there was a shining place full of alcohol, good food and rich people who could afford to go there, it must have been a very glamorous relief.

– Olivia Williams

The eight-part series, set in 1940, shows London life through the prism of war and the impact it has on families, politics, relationships and work across every social strata with a soundtrack of music from the era.

Actress Kara Tointon plays feisty jazz singer Betsey Day

Kara Tointon, who viewers will know from her role as Rosalie in Mr Selfridge and Maria Von Trapp in ITV’s The Sound of Music Live! will appear as a bolshie hotel singer called Betsey.

Multi award-winning singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum has specially written two songs and singer Beverley Knight will make a special guest appearance.

  • 'The Halcyon' will premiere on ITV1 on January 2 at 9pm