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North And South (BBC Drama, Richard Armitage)

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North and South BBC Drama Richard Armitage Daniela Denby Ashe

Drama serial North and South was set in Victorian England. Margaret Hale’s (Daniela Denby-Ashe) family is forced to move from their comfortable life in the South to the less prosperous working class North in the cotton mill town of Milton. There she meets mill owner John Thornton (Richard Armitage) whom she perceives as being harsh and unjust with his workers during strike action. His fortunes wane and eventually circumstances transpire that she inherits the mill and becomes the new owner which brings them together romantically for a happy ending.

There was a previous adaptation of North and South on BBC2 in December 1975 starring Rosalie Shanks as Margaret Hale and Patrick Stewart as John Thornton as well as an even earlier version in 1966 with Richard Leech and Wendy Williams.

Cast: DANIELA DENBY-ASHE as Margaret Hale; RICHARD ARMITAGE as John Thornton; SINEAD CUSACK as Hannah Thornton; LESLEY MANVILLE as Maria Hale; PAULINE QUIRKE as Dixon; BRENDAN COYLE as Nicholas Higgins; JOHN LIGHT as Henry Lennox; EMMA FERGUSON as Edith Lennox; JANE BOOKER as Mrs Shaw; ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN as Bessy Higgins; JO JOYNER as Fanny Thornton

Writer: Sandy Welch / Novel: Elizabeth Gaskell / Script Editor: Antonia Gordon / Music: Martin Phipps / Producer: Kate Bartlett / Executive Producers: Phillippa Giles, Laura Mackie / Director: Brian Percival

UK / BBC One / 4×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 14 November – 5 December 2004