1 9 9 1 – 1 9 9 4 (UK)
34 x 60 minute episodes
Beautiful sisters Beatrice (Stella Gonet) and Evangeline (Louise Lombard) fall on hard times after the death of their GP father leaves them penniless, before rising to the catwalk of success with their own fashion house in 1920s London.
Throughout the three seasons, the sisters struggled to be taken seriously, but Bea’s relationship with photographer Jack (Aden Gillett) provided the funds to set up their own haute couture business.
For 34 episodes the sisters loved and lost and saw acclaim in the fashion world turn to failure before their success with the House of Eliott became more stable.
This slowly addictive period drama was colourfully dressed up in the highest production values and stitched together with 90s sensibilities – notably the Eliott gals’ feministic professional and personal lives.
The House of Eliott was devised by Upstairs, Downstairs creators Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh. It was the last major drama to be shot in the multi-camera studio setting of BBC Television Centre in London, with location filming in Bristol and Gloucestershire.
Season three ended with an uncertain future for Bea, Evie and the business they had built up. Producers were not expecting cancellation, hence the open-ended finale.
French and Saunders lampooned the series in a hilarious sketch called “The House of Idiot” for their 1993 series. Louise Lombard, Stella Gonet and Cathy Murphy all proved they were good sports by appearing at the end of the sketch claiming to be the real Bea, Evie and Tilly.
Evangeline ‘Evie’ Eliott
Lady Lydia Eliott