Lily James and Dominic West to star in Mitford adaptation The Pursuit of Love

Lily James and Dominic West to star in Mitford adaptation The Pursuit of Love

Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s classic novel The Pursuit of Love for BBC One and Amazon Studios will star Lily James, Dominic West, Emily Beecham and Andrew Scott, among others.

The all-star cast, which also counts Mortimer herself, also includes Dolly Wells, Assaad Bouab, Shazad Latif, Freddie Fox and Beattie Edmondson.

Filming has begun on the adaptation, which is written and directed by Mortimer, and comes from executive producers Charles Collier, Matthew Read and Frith Tiplady for Open Book and Moonage Pictures. The show was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, BBC director of Content and Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama. Amazon Studios is co-producing within the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the series will be produced by Rhonda Smith.

The Pursuit of Love is set in Europe between the two World Wars. Its story follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett, played by James and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan, played by Beecham .

The synopsis reads: "Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are 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, to increasingly wild and outrageous places. As social and political divisions split the nation, their diverging choices raise personal questions that remain intensely relevant today—questions about freedom, about love and sex, and the mystery of the human heart."

Further cast includes West and Wells as Linda’s parents; Scott as Lord Merlin; Mortimer as Fanny’s mother; and Edmondson as Louisa Radlett.

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."

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."

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."

"The Pursuit of Love" will be filmed primarily around the Bristol and Bath area, drawing on the expertise of independent health and safety consultants as well as industry partners, and "in accordance with all current government guidelines" to do so safely during the pandemic.

Three one-hour episodes are planned to premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. BBC Studios are the international distributors and brokered the deal with Amazon Studios.