TV Highlights

Mr Selfridge

ITV - 9pm

Who's in it?

Jeremy Piven is back as the charismatic retail magnate – although we dare say there’ll be less of the big grins and waggling arms as this new series opens.

In a nutshell

Just how closely does this soapy saga cleave to the actual story of the actual Harry Gordon Selfridge? Well, it’s best not to bother thinking about that and taking this show on face value: as an opulently stylised take on the nation’s past – Downton Abbey crossed with Are You Being Served, basically. Plus, now with added Kara and Hannah Tointon!

Yes, the sisters have joined the show as, er, sisters. Harry Selfridge’s sisters, to be exact, and one of them is getting hitched to a nice chap. A nice Russian prince of a chap, actually, so we can expect even more lavish eye candy than before. We’ll also be getting Zoe Wanamaker as the groom’s spiky mum, who has secrets of her own. Not that poor Harry will probably have enough head space to deal with any further traumas, since – when the new episode opens – we’ll see him lamenting the loss of his beloved wife. Something tells us things will get darker still as the series continues…

What's the verdict?

A delicious confection of a show, Mr Selfridge may not be highbrow entertainment but as comfy, emotional costume dramas go, it has few rivals on the box right now. Consider us sold.

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07-07-2011