Paradise to rise again

Denise (JOANNA VANDERHAM)) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

Denise (JOANNA VANDERHAM)) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie

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A DEPARTMENT store drama will open its doors again after BBC bosses commissioned a second series.

Millions tuned into The Paradise ,which is set in the North East and filmed on the Lambton Estate near Bournmoor, with its country house castle converted into the shop floor and a street scene from the 1870s created.

Lambton Estate Events Manager Bob Duff outside Lambton Castle which is to be licensed as a wedding venue.

Lambton Estate Events Manager Bob Duff outside Lambton Castle which is to be licensed as a wedding venue.

BBC One has now announced the eight-part run will be followed up with another series of the same length and it will return to the small screen next year.

The story is inspired by the Emile Zola novel, which is set in Paris in the early days of the first department stores.

Adapted by Bill Gallagher, who has previously worked on Lark Rise to Candleford, the Tuesday night period drama has won audiences of 5.9million – more than 22 per cent of viewers – and has been the biggest drama filmed by the BBC in the region.

As part of the preparations ahead of filming, parts of the castle had to be restored and repaired, with planning permission granted to allow the set to be built and changes to be made setting out how the project would help protect the building for future generations.

In addition to the use of the house, the series has also set scenes at Biddick Hall, which is also on the land.

It is the latest project for the estate as it looks to generate cash and invest in its preservation.

Events manager Bob Duff, who appeared in the series as an extra, said: “We are absolutely delighted The Paradise is coming back, not only from our own point of view, but there is a much larger picture which is a lot of the technical crew and the supporting artists are from the North East. The service station nearby saw its business escalate, all the accommodation is here in the region, and they’ve used the local transport firms.

“They have done work to Lambton Castle, which suits them, but it’s also advantageous to us as well. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

John Tulip, managing director of Northern Film and Media, added: “A second series will further the contribution the show makes to the region by providing employment opportunities for local crews and through increased local spend.”

The organisation added shows such as The Paradise, along with Vera and George Gently, which are also filmed in the region, help keep production jobs based in the North East.

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham

l Comment and internet question – Page 32

pagesaid: “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 BBC One 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.”

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham

SIDEBAR

The Paradise follows smart, ambitious and big-hearted Denise Lovett played by Joanna Vanderham, who arrives in the city to find work with her uncle, but down on his luck, he is unable to offer her a position.

Instead, she finds a role in the ladieswear department of The Paradise store opposite, which becomes the catalyst for her rags-to-riches story.

The series showcases performances from a strong cast that includes Sarah Lancashire, Emun Elliott, David Hayman, Elaine Cassidy, Matthew McNulty and Patrick Malahide.

With three more episodes to be shown, the final episode of series first will air on Tuesday, November 13, at 9pm.

Viewers will learn whether shop owner John Moray, played by Game of Thrones actor Elliott, will marry Katherine, who is played by Cassidy, or follow his heart with Denise.