Published: Thu 17 Jan 2013
Award-winning actor Jeremy Piven (Entourage) leads the cast as Harry Gordon Selfridge in new drama series Mr Selfridge, about the life of the flamboyant and visionary American entrepreneur.
Created by multi-award winning writer Andrew Davies, Mr Selfridge tells the story of ‘Mile a Minute Harry’, a man with a mission to make shopping as thrilling as sex. Pioneering and reckless, with an almost manic energy, he created a theatre of retail where any topic or trend that was new, exciting, entertaining – or sometimes just eccentric – was showcased.
Selfridge’s Head of Fashion MISS BUNTING is caught red-handed stealing the finest silks and lace from the shop floor, and HARRY dismisses her on the spot. He can’t bear theft, and takes it very personally.
At home, AGNES and GEORGE are being hounded by a drunken REG who keeps rapping on the locked door. Locked out and angry – it looks like he won’t be got rid of that easily…
HARRY takes ROSE and ROSALIE to LADY MAE’S to see a private performance of the much-celebrated Russian ballerina, ANNA PAVLOVA. ROSE is truly enchanted by her exquisite performance. HARRY, spotting an opportunity, mingles and meets PAVLOVA – graciously offering her a private tour of the store. She agrees, which is great coup for him.
Elsewhere, ELLEN is working herself up wondering why HARRY hasn’t been responding to her letters. She tells FRANK how he’s been ignoring her, but when she starts saying how convinced she is that HARRY’S ‘putting down roots’ with her, the scale of her delusion hits FRANK hard.
In the wake of MISS BUNTING’S departure, HARRY appoints a new Head of Fashion: MISS IRENE RAVILLIOUS. Forward-thinking HARRY wants Ladies’ Fashion to be at the heart of the business. Freshly‐poached from Harrods, MISS RAVILLIOUS cuts a formidable figure and it isn’t long before she courts rivalry with MISS MARDLE…
HARRY announces to his family that PAVLOVA will visit the store, and given that PAVLOVA is quite the celebrity they are absolutely thrilled! ROSE even more so: HARRY has organised a special afternoon tea with PAVLOVA for her to attend. This excitement is mirrored in the store, where HARRY wants every department to maximise the impact of PAVLOVA’S visit. Much to MISS MARDLE’S fury, MISS RAVILLIOUS orders a battalion of seamstresses to add delicate white piping to the store’s black capes – a direct emulation of PAVLOVA’S chic style – and a bit of a tread on MARDLE’S toes as the Head of Accessories! When a frantic ELLEN finds out about the visit, she can barely contain her jealousy, insisting that she should be there…she is the Spirit of Selfridge’s after all.
PAVLOVA is greeted by customers and staff in total awe. Meanwhile, an observant VICTOR notices that GEORGE is unloading an unmarked livery van. VICTOR worries that the innocent and naïve GEORGE might be inadvertently involved in something dodgy.
ROSE is late for her tea with PAVLOVA…because she is with RODDY. He’s been painting her portrait, followed by an impromptu sojourn to the Chelsea Arts Club. Here, with a slightly more bohemian crowd, ROSE is having a great time. But when they all start to make their way to Selfridge’s of all places, to see the wonderful ANNA PAVLOVA in the flesh, ROSE is forced reveal her true identity to RODDY. RODDY feels angry and betrayed, and their impassioned exchange is overheard by a nosey TONY – LADY MAE’S young lover…
During PAVLOVA’s walkabout at the store, ELLEN arrives and causes havoc as she vies for the attention of the press and, of course, HARRY – who has to improvise his way through the awkwardness. ROSE still hasn’t turned up, and just when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse, a drunken REG wanders into the store. REG’s actions leave AGNES utterly humiliated to the point where she feels she has no choice but to surrender her dream job in the store.
When HARRY proclaims that PAVLOVA will have her own dedicated window, it tips ELLEN over the edge, and HARRY is forced to remove her from the store and terminates her contract with Selfridge’s with immediate effect.