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'Mr Selfridge' drama confirmed by ITV1

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Selfridges sign

© Rex Features / Kevin Foy

A new drama about the founder of Selfridges has been commissioned by ITV1.

Mr Selfridge, based on the book Shopping, Seduction And Mr Selfridge, is being penned by Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies.

The ten-part series, which was first rumoured last year, is set in London in 1909 and focuses on the life of American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge.

Mr Selfridge is expected to focus on both the businessman's decision to open his famous department store and on his personal life, including his interest in gambling and women.

ITV's director of television Peter Fincham said: "The story of Harry Selfridge and how he transformed the world of retail is fantastically rich territory.

"Andrew Davies and the team have created a compelling and entertaining series that is part family saga and part workplace drama."

Meanwhile, executive producer Kate Lewis claimed that Selfridge's life and legacy are "dripping with drama" and said: "It's impossible to read about the real Harry Selfridge and not be enthralled. Here's a man that had it all and lost it all in the most spectacular fashion."

As well as working on Pride and Prejudice, Davies's other credits include A Very Peculiar Practice, Vanity Fair, Tipping The Velvet, Bleak House, Sense & Sensibility, Little Dorrit and South Riding.

Production on Mr Selfridge is due to begin in April and the show will air on ITV1 next year.

> Andrew Davies: 'BBC's Great Expectations was humourless'

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