About A Woman of Substance

Jenny Seagrove and Deborah Kerr star in the drama from the pen of Barbara Taylor Bradford.

Jenny Seagrove

Jenny Seagrove

A Woman of Substance charts the life of Emma Harte, who started off as a kitchen maid at the beginning of the 20th century and transformed herself into a respected businesswoman who owned her own shop.

By the time World War II starts, Emma has expanded her business and has invested in the thriving textile industry in Leeds.

Although her business life is booming, she struggles to find love. After two failed marriages and an illegitimate daughter, she meets Paul McGill. Could this be the love of her life, finally?

Grit, determination and drive sees Emily rise up to become that rare thing in early 20th century Britain - a successful and independent woman. But when tragedy strikes, can she take on the greatest challenge of her life?

Famous faces

John Mills, a young Liam Neeson, Miranda Richardson, Jenny Seagrove, Deborah Kerr and Barry Bostwick make up the cast.

A Woman of Substance

Producer and actor Diane Baker became interested in the project when she was interviewed by Barbara Taylor Bradford for an article she was writing about interior design. After the novel was published, Baker bought the television rights, remortgaging her house to raise the funds. She also appeared in the $6million pound production as Laura. Baker has also appeared in the films Silence of the Lambs and The Cable Guy.

To Be the Best

As well as a huge ratings success for Channel 4 - a whopping 13.8 million people watched the third and final part - the mini-series garnered two Emmy Award nominations. It was nominated for Outstanding Limited Series and in the Best Supporting Actress category (for Deborah Kerr’s performance).

Hold the Dream

Two sequels were written by Barbara Taylor Bradford – Hold the Dream and To Be the Best. In Hold the Dream, Emma hands over the family firm to her daughter Paula (Jenny Seagrove). In the third adaptation, former Bionic Woman plays the part of Paula.