1 9 8 5 (UK)
3 x 160 minute episodes
Told in flashback and beginning in 1905, this Channel 4 drama (their most successful) was the rags-to-riches story of Emma Harte, a tough Yorkshire lass from the serving classes who made her way from kitchen maid up through society.
Her ambitions took her out of the scullery and into the world of business. From humble beginnings, Emma starts her business with a small shop, but over the next twenty years she expands her stores and invests in the growing textile industry in Leeds – eventually becoming one of the world’s wealthiest women, owning a major chain of department stores.
By the time of World War II, Emma is the head of a major retail and manufacturing empire.
After an illegitimate daughter and two marriages, she finally meets the love of her life, Paul McGill, but their affair is cut short by a tragic accident, leaving Emma with his daughter.
In the 1980’s Emma faces one of her biggest tests – her children’s attempt to remove her as head of her company, but Emma is far from the senile old woman they think she is – she is determined to stop them at all costs.
There was trooble on t’ moors, trooble in t’ big house, trooble in t’ shop and then trooble in t’ boardroom. Alas there was also trooble at t’ script and trooble at t’ cast . . .
Jenny Seagrove played Emma between the ages of 15 and 80 but succeeded in looking like a vacant 23-year-old throughout. Deborah Kerr took over at 80, but looked only 50 and had all the grit of a cuddly pink teddy bear.
Adapted by Lee Langley from Barbara Taylor Bradford’s romantic novel, this mini-series was shown on three consecutive nights in 1985.
A year later, a sequel – made in America and entitled Hold That Dream – once again saw Seagrove and Kerr in the role of Harte.
Jenny Seagrove (1)
Deborah Kerr (2)
Major Paul McGill
Paula McGill Amory
Meg Wynn Owen