The Paradise to return for second series

The Tuesday night period drama based on Emile Zola's classic novel gets a further eight-episode run

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Fans of BBC1’s romance and shopping-filled Tuesday night escapism The Paradise will be pleased to hear that a second eight-part series of the period drama, based on Emile Zola’s classic novel The Ladies’ Paradise, has been commissioned.

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Viewers of series one have witnessed 19th century businessman John Moray (Emun Elliott) – owner of Britain’s first department store, The Paradise – agonising over the two women in pursuit of his affections: spoilt Katherine Glendinning (Elaine Cassidy), daughter of a wealthy local landowner, and lowly but beautiful shopgirl, Denise Lovett (Joanna Vanderham). As the current run of episodes draws to a close (13 November, 9pm), it remains to be seen which route Moray will choose. 

Writer and creator Bill Gallagher said of the series – which has drawn a consolidated average of 5.9 million viewers per episode – “I’m grateful that there’s such a strong audience for The Paradise, and for the terrific support the BBC has given to the show to make that possible. 

“It’s such a great ensemble of actors and such a rich group of characters that it’s an exciting prospect to have eight more episodes to make.”

Danny Cohen, controller of BBC1, added: “The Paradise has been the biggest new drama series on British television so far this autumn, and it has been really interesting to experiment with period drama on BBC1 beyond the traditional Sunday night slot.

“I’m delighted that the show will be returning for a second series, and can assure its loyal following that there are still some dramatic twists to come in the three episodes still to air this autumn.”

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The Paradise also stars Sarah Lancashire, Matthew McNulty and David Hayman, and featured a guest appearance by former Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill.