Mon 06 Mar 2017, 12:00
Highly-anticipated second series of the ITV Choice hit drama series Victoria.
As filming begins on the highly-anticipated second series of the ITV Choice hit drama series Victoria, BAFTA-winning iconic actress Dame Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones) has been confirmed as a new regular cast member.
Picking up six weeks after the first series ended, the second instalment establishes Victoria as a working mother, learning to balance her responsibilities as both parent and Queen. However, with Prince Albert still struggling to find a role for himself there is an inevitable power struggle between husband and wife.
Says ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo: "Co-production company Mammoth and (writer and executive producer) Daisy Goodwin have brought the characters so vividly to life in this series, and we're thrilled with the reception for Victoria. We're pleased to be able to confirm that Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will return to continue the story on ITV."
Says Goodwin: “Even though she reigned in the 19th Century, Victoria is a heroine for our times. In the next series she faces the very modern dilemma of how to juggle children with her husband and her job. As Victoria will discover, it’s hard to be a wife, a mother and ruler of the most powerful nation on earth!”
Dame Diana Rigg will play the Duchess of Bucchleuch, the young Queen’s new Mistress of the Robes, who is renowned for speaking her mind. She joins returning cast members including Nigel Lindsay (Unforgotten) as Sir Robert Peel, Alex Jennings (The Lady in the Van) as King Leopold, Peter Bowles (To the Manor Born) as Duke of Wellington, David Oakes (The White Queen) as Ernest, Daniela Holtz (Circle of Life) as Baroness Lehzen and Catherine Flemming as the Duchess of Kent. Below stairs Nell Hudson (Outlander) returns as Skerrett, Ferdinand Kingsley (The Borgias) as chef Francatelli and Adrian Schiller (The Secret Agent) as Penge.
As well as much drama in Buckingham Palace, the series will include trips to France and Germany, touch on tragedy in Ireland and war in Afghanistan, and see Victoria and Albert discovering sanctuary on the Isle of Wight.
Executive Producer and Managing Director of Mammoth Screen, Damien Timmer adds: “Following the audience response to Victoria we are delighted that the extraordinary Jenna Coleman will be returning to her throne for a second series. The next few years of Victoria's reign are packed full of extraordinary real life events, with constitutional crises, scandals at court and personal challenges aplenty for the Queen and Prince Albert. God Save the Queen!”
The first series of the drama was one of ITV Choice’s highest rating drama of 2016, receiving critical and audience acclaim. The series has been sold to 350 territories worldwide and has proved hugely popular in the US, with the first series reaching an average audience of over 6.3 million viewers and the first episode drawing in a 28 percent share - more viewers than the first series of Downton Abbey.
The eight-part series and two-hour Christmas special has been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill and Senior Drama Commissioner Victoria Fea, and will be executive produced by Damien Timmer (Endeavour), Kate McKerrell (Lost In Austen) and Daisy Goodwin for Mammoth Screen. It will again be produced by Paul Frift.
The second series of Victoria will be shown in South Africa exclusively on ITV Choice (123) in the third quarter of 2017 with the Christmas special transmission date still to be finalised.