While Emily Mortimer’s new adaptation of The Pursuit of Love gallops through the entire Nancy Mitford novel in a three-episode mini-series, this may not be the end of the story; the show’s stars Lily James and Emily Beecham have their eyes on bringing Mitford’s sequels to the BBC, too.
After The Pursuit of Love (1945), the novelist wrote Love in a Cold Climate (1949) and Don’t Tell Alfred (1960), as well as a connected book called The Blessing (1951). And while James’s character Linda Radlett doesn’t appear in any of the sequels, Beecham’s character Fanny Logan remains a central character – and our narrator.
Asked whether she would be keen on starring in a sequel, Beecham told RadioTimes.com and other press: “Yes, definitely. Yes.”
She added: “We’re yet to see really, you never know. I mean, maybe Lily knows more than me.”
James is an Executive Producer on the show, and has been involved with the project for years alongside Mortimer. So while Linda Radlett’s story is over by the end of episode three, James herself would likely remain involved in any future sequels.
“We’ve got to keep going,” she tells us. “You can’t leave Fanny there. It would be a crime.
“I think you fall fall so in love with her and you see her and you leave her at this point where you just have to know what happens next, but I suppose it will depend on how this is perceived and how people enjoy it.”
In Mitford’s sequel novel Love in a Cold Climate, our narrator Fanny turns her attention to Lady Leopoldina “Polly” Hampton and her family, and tells the reader about a variety of scandalous marriages and love affairs.
It is only in Don’t Tell Alfred, published much later, that Fanny – by now middle-aged – focuses on telling us about her own life.
Could The Pursuit of Love be the first chapter in a trilogy of BBC One Nancy Mitford adaptations? We’ll have to see – but if the audience is there, both Lily James and Emily Beecham are very willing indeed.
The Pursuit of Love begins on Sunday 9th May 2021 at 9pm on BBC One, and continues on Sunday evenings. The three-part drama will also be available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer. Looking for something else to watch? Take a look at our Drama coverage, or check out our TV Guide.