BBC One orders The Ladies Paradise

BBC OneBBC One has ordered The Ladies Paradise, a drama based on the novel by Emilie Zola about the first ever department store. The adaptation will be written by Bill Gallagher who adapted Lark Rise to Candleford for the BBC.

Bill Gallagher returns to BBC One with a brand new series set in the seductive and glamorous world of the first ever department store in a booming Northern city. Based on the novel by Emile Zola, The Ladies’ Paradise is a rags-to-riches story about a young girl in the 1890s who arrives in the city and falls in love with the intoxicating and dangerous charms of the modern world. Made homeless by the death of her father, and with nothing to live on but her wits, Denise comes to work as a shop girl at the glittering store, just at the moment when society is waking up to the joys and temptations of shopping. But behind the dazzling facade of the store, she finds a world of intrigues, affairs and shopfloor power struggles.

“This project has been close to my heart for a long time and I’m thrilled to be making it with the BBC. The Ladies’ Paradise is set at exactly the same time as Lark Rise – but now we’re in the city, at a time of great change and upheaval, so the series is exciting and constantly dramatic. Like Lark Rise we will explore the lives of a colourful cast of characters struggling to survive and flourish in difficult and dangerous times.” – Bill Gallagher, Creator and writer Bill Gallagher

“A romantic, thrilling and sexy post-watershed relationship drama set in a bustling Northern department store where Bill Gallagher’s well-crafted characters will bring an addictive mix of scandal and gossip to BBC One.” – Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning

The series is made by BBC Drama Productions and created and written by Bill Gallagher for transmission on BBC One in 2013. It begins filming on location next summer. The exact number of episodes is to be confirmed. Commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One.