Joanna Vanderham is to star as Denise Lovett, a young girl who works in a department store and gets caught up in the charms of the modern world, in a new period drama series Paradise, coming to BBC One, from Bill Gallagher, the writer of Lark Rise to Candleford.
Joanna (represented by Ken McReddie Associates) is originally from Dundee and landed the lead role of Cathy in Martina Cole's The Runaway for Sky1, alongside Jack O'Connell, whilst she was still at drama school in Cardiff. Her first feature film role is in What Maise Knew, alongside Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgard and Steve Coogan, due out this year.
Based on the novel by Emile Zola, The Ladies' Paradise is a rags-to-riches story set in the 1890s when Denise 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.
The eight-part series will also star Emun Elliott as the owner of the store, and Matthew McNulty (Misfits, Spike Island) as Dudley his right-hand man. The cast also includes Sarah Lancashire, David Hayman, and Elaine Cassidy.
The series is set to start filming on location outside Durham in June.