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'Even though Harry is doing the wrong thing, you enjoy the ride'

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Undated ITV Handout Photo from MR SELFRIDGE. Pictured: JEREMY PIVEN as Harry Selfridge, KARA TOINTON as Rosalie Selfridge and HANNAH TOINTON as Viloette Selfridge. See PA Feature TV Piven. Picture Credit should read: PA Photo/ITV. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TV Piven. WARNING: This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Undated ITV Handout Photo from MR SELFRIDGE. Pictured: JEREMY PIVEN as Harry Selfridge, KARA TOINTON as Rosalie Selfridge and HANNAH TOINTON as Viloette Selfridge. See PA Feature TV Piven. Picture Credit should read: PA Photo/ITV. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TV Piven. WARNING: This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

PA

Undated ITV Handout Photo from MR SELFRIDGE. Pictured: JEREMY PIVEN as Harry Selfridge, KARA TOINTON as Rosalie Selfridge and HANNAH TOINTON as Viloette Selfridge. See PA Feature TV Piven. Picture Credit should read: PA Photo/ITV. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TV Piven. WARNING: This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Retail magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge may have hit rock-bottom in the last series of Mr Selfridge, but Emmy Award-winner Jeremy Piven remains "grateful" to see his troubled character through to the closing stages.

"When I first met with the producers, they said they wanted to do the show in four series; that was our goal and that's what we're doing," says the 50-year-old star.

Reprising his lead role in the hit ITV period drama, Piven joins series regulars Tom Goodman-Hill, Ron Cook, Amanda Abbington, Amy Beth Hayes, Trystan Gravelle, Sacha Parkinson and Samuel West - plus new cast members Sacha Dhawan, Lottie Tolhurst and Mimi Ndiweni - to document the fourth and final chapter in the turbulent life of the American retail entrepreneur.

Having been left "heartbroken" after discovering his fiancee Nancy was a con woman at the end of series three, Harry is dealing with his bad luck in the only way he knows how - by doubling his efforts with "work, and quite a bit of play".

But while it's a pattern we've seen before, this time the backdrop looks somewhat different ...

Skipping forward nine years to 1928, the 10-episode finale finds Harry at the pinnacle of his power and public celebrity - a retail giant at the heart of the roaring Twenties.

Showcasing a period of rapid social change and progress in fashion, music and technology, the mood in London is distinctly "modern", and with his man-about-town status, it's not long before Mr Selfridge's attentions flit between his two main vices: gambling and women (in this case, the infamous Dolly sisters, played by Emma Hamilton and Zoe Richards).

"I feel like Harry was born for the Twenties," declares former Entourage star Piven.

But as rumours of Harry's latest fling light up the social circuit, he can't foresee his demise, and, despite warnings, Harry loses sight of everything he worked so hard to create. "Even though you may feel Harry is doing the wrong thing, you enjoy the ride and can see why he participates. In this particular case, he's having the time of his life, but it does all come crashing down on him.

"He built this incredible palace (Selfridges & Co on Oxford Street) for people to be whoever they wanted to be, and he really loved being the host.

"One of the things I love the most about the show is that while it's based on a true story, you can never really guess where the drama is heading," the New York-born actor adds. "In my opinion, what makes British drama the best is that it doesn't burn its steps; it takes its time telling the story, plays with pace and has fun with it."

The final series of Mr Selfridge starts on ITV on Friday

Belfast Telegraph