ITV’s Victoria has returned to Screen Yorkshire’s Church Fenton Yorkshire Studios as filming commences on a second series. Jenna Coleman (Victoria) and Tom Hughes (Albert) drew critical acclaim for their performances in the first series, which debuted last autumn before becoming ITV’s highest rated drama of 2016. The lavish production, which showcases some of Yorkshire’s most iconic period locations, has since captivated audiences around the world, including the US, where it has proved to be hugely popular.
Series two of Victoria– once again written by creator and executive producer Daisy Goodwin – sees Queen Victoria face the new challenge of motherhood. Picking up six weeks after the first series ended, the second installment 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.
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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 in the Isle of Wight.
The BAFTA winning iconic actress Dame Diana Rigg joins a stellar British cast as the Duchess of Buccleuch, Queen Victoria’s ‘outspoken’ advisor and Mistress of the Robes. Much of the cast from series one will return, 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 (Tatort) as the Duchess of Kent. Below stairs Nell Hudson (Outlander) returns as Skerrett, Ferdinand Kingsley (Borgia) as chef Francatelli and Adrian Schiller (The Secret Agent) as Penge.
Executive producer Damien Timmer said, “Series one of Victoria was a big success both at home and abroad, and it is a privilege to continue to tell the story of this fascinating woman at a particularly interesting point in her reign.
“Audiences will be intrigued by the meticulously researched stories Daisy has planned, brimming with scandal, romance and tragedy. At the centre of it is a beautifully nuanced study of a young marriage, and it’s a joy to watch Jenna and Tom find new layers to this iconic couple.”
The first series of Victoria was ITV’s highest rating drama of 2016, receiving critical acclaim and a consolidated average of 7.7m viewers with a 29% share. It is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and has been sold in 350 territories worldwide. It has also proved hugely popular in the US, with the first series reaching an average audience of 6.3m viewers and the first episode drawing in a 28% share – more viewers than the first series of Downton Abbey.
The eight-part series and 2 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.
Screen Yorkshire launched Church Fenton Yorkshire Studios in Selby District in 2015, shortly before securing Victoria as its first tenant. It is the first time that Yorkshire has been able to host a major drama that required such large scale studio space, marking a shift in the industry landscape for Yorkshire. Producers Mammoth Screen recreated the central Buckingham Palace set at the studios and filmed additional scenes at some of Yorkshire’s most iconic period locations, including; Harewood House, Newby Hall, Castle Howard, Temple Newsam, Allerton Castle, Beverley Minster, Bramham Park, Carlton Towers, Wentworth Woodhouse, Whitby Pier, York City Centre.
Pictured above: The Buckingham Palace set at Church Fenton Yorkshire Studios
Jon Williams, Director of Production, Mammoth Screen, said:
“One of the easier decisions we had to make on Victoria was where to base the production. The hangar studios at Church Fenton, with all the surrounding offices, store rooms and car parking, were the perfect place to build the interior of Buckingham Palace. There are very few places where one can build a ballroom, a throne room and vast corridors all under one roof. Best of all, Church Fenton is right in the heart of the most beautiful part of Yorkshire, with good access to excellent crews and some of the most striking locations in England.”
IN THE NEWS……
Radio Times: Dame Diana Rigg joins Victoria series 2
Hello Magazine: Victoria series 2 begins filming: see first pictures
OK Magazine: Victoria: Diana Rigg joins ITV drama
Hull Daily Mail: Tom Hughes and Jenna Coleman Spotted Filming at Beverley Minster
Find out more about Church Fenton Studios at www.churchfentonstudios.co.uk