BBC One shares trailer for new period drama The Pursuit of Love starring Lily James

Megan Sutton
·4-min read
Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC
Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC

If Nancy Mitford’s beloved 1945 novel The Pursuit of Love is one of your most dog-eared books, you’ll be pleased to hear that the new TV adaptation is set to air next month.

BBC One has just released the trailer for the visually stunning three-part period drama, which stars Downton Abbey's Lily James and Fleabag's Andrew Scott. And it's fair to say we can't wait to watch it.

Here's everything you need to know about The Pursuit of Love, ahead of its release on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday, 9 May...

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The Pursuit of Love: What’s it about?

Written and directed by Emily 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 (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Rebecca, Cinderella, Baby Driver) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, played by Emily Beecham (Little Joe, Cruella).

Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC
Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC

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.

Emily Mortimer said: “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 added: “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”.

Photo credit: Steve Schofield - BBC
Photo credit: Steve Schofield - BBC

The Pursuit of Love: Who’s in it?

As well as James and Beecham, the cast includes Dominic West (The Wire, The Affair, Les Misérables) and Dolly Wells (Dracula, Doll & Em) as Linda’s parents, Uncle Matthew and Aunt Sadie Radlett, Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock) as Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s wealthy and eccentric neighbour, Emily Mortimer (Mary Poppins Returns, The Sense of an Ending) as Fanny’s mother, The Bolter and Beattie Edmondson (Josh, Patrick) as Louisa Radlett.

Photo credit: Steve Schofield - BBC
Photo credit: Steve Schofield - BBC



Linda and Fanny’s suitors include Assaad Bouab (Messiah, Call My Agent) as Fabrice de Sauveterre, Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful, Star Trek: Discovery) as Alfred Wincham and Freddie Fox (White House Farm, The Crown) as Tony Kroesig.

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: "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: When’s it on TV?

The new period drama begins on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday, 9 May. All three episodes will then be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC
Photo credit: Robert Viglasky - BBC

“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,” the BBC said.

The Pursuit of Love begins on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday, 9 May. All three episodes will then be available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

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