The House of Elliot was devised by by Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh, who had previously come up with the brief for Upstairs, Downstairs.
The series had all the hallmarks of classic costume drama - class struggle, posh frocks and a bit of history - but what made The House of Elliot different was that it moved along at a cracking pace and was scripted like a soap opera. Not surprisingly, it was an instant hit and consistently attracted audiences of over 10 million.
Bea and Evie's (Stella Gonet and Louise Lombard) father dies and they discover that not only has he left them without a penny, he has sired an illegitimate son! Evie befriends Penelope, a women's rights campaigner and general do-gooder, who helps Bea land a job as a personal assistant to her brother Jack, a society photographer. He's a bit of a bounder but a generally a good egg.
Soon the sisters' home-made outfits are attracting attention and their dream of founding the House of Elliot becomes a reality. Oh there's trouble on the way, but our plucky gals win through in the end.