Screenwriter Bill Gallagher’s 8x60 minute Northern Film & Media supported TV drama The Paradise comfortably beat the slot average after enticing 5.47million viewers on Tuesday night.
The drama took a 23% audience share and easily won the slot, according to overnight figures from Attentional.
Based on the novel by Emile Zola, The Paradise is a rags-to-riches story about a young girl in the 1890s who arrives in a booming city and falls in love with the intoxicating and dangerous charms of the modern world starring Sarah Lancashire (Lark Rise To Candleford, Five Daughters), David Hayman (Trial And Retribution), Elaine Cassidy (Harper's Island, Fingersmith), Matthew McNulty (The Syndicate, Misfits), Joanna Vanderham (The Runaway, Dancing on the Edge) and Emun Elliott (Lip Service, Game Of Thrones).
Billed as the “biggest BBC drama to be made in the North East”, The Paradise was shot on-location at Lampton Castle, County Durham after receiving support from Northern Film & Media’s Production Service.
"A romantic relationship drama set in a bustling Northern department store where Bill Gallagher's well-crafted characters will bring an addictive mix of love and gossip to BBC One," said Ben Stephenson, the BBC’s controller of drama commissioning.
“The Paradise is the biggest BBC drama to be made in the North East,” added Pat Connor, BBC North’s director.
“BBC North is proud to support this production which underlines our commitment to making the very best programming here in the North for the entire UK.”
“An eight-part BBC drama is another important string to the North East’s TV drama bow and complements recent successes such as Inspector George Gently and Vera. The Paradise adds another explosive mix of costume drama to the BBC’s roster and we’re pleased to have played a supportive role in bringing it to the region,” concluded John Tulip, Northern Film & Media's managing director.
The first episode of The Paradise is available here on the BBC iPlayer. The show returns to BBC1 on Tuesday 2 October at 9pm.