BBC One has commissioned a series adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel The Pursuit of Love, written and directed by Emily Mortimer.
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). Mortimer, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Dolly Wells, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox and Beattie Edmondson also star.
A romantic comedy-drama, The Pursuit of Love is set in Europe between the two World Wars and sees Linda and Fanny consumed by a desire for love and marriage and 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.
The Pursuit of Love will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K., and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Alongside Open Book and Moonage Pictures, the show is produced by Rhonda Smith, with line producer Ian Hogan and first assistant director Steve Robinson. BBC Studios are the international distributors and brokered the deal with Amazon Studios, which is co-producing within the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
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 said: “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.”
Charles Collier for Open Book said: “From the start, we built this show around the talents of three brilliant women: Emily Mortimer, Lily James and Nancy Mitford. Our plan is to deliver sharp and innovative female-driven drama, full of warmth, wit and wisdom, which audiences everywhere will take to their hearts.”
Matthew Read for Moonage Pictures said: “The Pursuit of Love reads like a manifesto for how to live fearlessly and whole-heartedly while relishing the absurdities and eccentricities of life. Emily’s voice and vision perfectly capture the spirit of Mitford’s novel and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved in helping her bring it to life.”
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.”
Chris Mansolillo, head of licensed content in the U.S. for Amazon Prime Video, said: “The Pursuit of Love is an exciting journey combining family, love, honesty and introspection. We are thrilled to be working with such a talented team and looking forward to bringing this romantic adventure to our Prime members.”