Episode 1 of The Paradise airs on BBC One, Tuesday 25 September at 9pm.
In the first episode of Bill Gallagher’s new drama, Denise Lovett, a young and ambitious country girl with only her wits to live on, arrives in a booming Northern city to take up a long-held promise of work in her uncle’s drapery shop.
But she soon discovers that her uncle cannot afford to employ her as most of his customers have been seduced away by the The Paradise, England’s first department store, right across the street.
In order to survive Denise is forced to take a job at The Paradise and soon falls in love with its intoxicating surroundings; as well as its dashing and reckless owner, John Moray. Moray’s head is immediately turned by Denise’s beauty and talent. Moray is already courting the dazzling and wealthy Lady Katherine Glendenning, whose father Moray needs to charm to secure a loan for his store’s expansion. He sets out to impress him with a huge sale to draw people in from far and wide. Katherine is desperate for Moray to propose but, much to her frustration, Moray is committed to his first love – his store.
Denise struggles to settle into Ladieswear as her spiteful colleague, Clara – who is herself smitten with Moray – wilfully makes life difficult for her and even threatens to scupper The Paradise sale. Only Denise’s ingenuity can save the day.
Cast: Emun Elliott plays John Moray, Joanna Vanderham plays Denise Lovett, Elaine Cassidy plays Katherine Glendenning, Patrick Malahide plays Lord Glendenning, Peter Wight plays Edmund Lovett, David Hayman plays Jonas Franks, Sarah Lancashire plays Miss Audrey, Matthew McNulty plays Dudley, Ruby Bentall plays Pauline, Sonya Cassidy plays Clara, Stephen Wight plays Sam and Finn Burridge plays Arthur.
© BBC/Jonathan Ford/Nick Briggs