'I thought that could well be it for Lady Mae': Katherine Kelly reveals fears about Mr Selfridge character

Could romance blossom in the final series? We certainly hope so...

If you, like us, have been gripped by Mr Selfridge then you'll know exactly what we mean when we say... Why can't Lady Mae and Mr Selfridge finally realise that they'd make the ultimate couple, and make us all happy!?

Lady Mae, played by Katherine Kelly, is one of TV's feistiest female characters. We all whooped for joy when she eventually kicked that no-good, snake-like husband of hers, Lord Loxley, to the curb, and now we can think of nothing better than to see her settle in her rightful place as Mr Selfridge's right-hand woman just in time for the series finale.

But what does Katherine think of all this? And what's it really like to play such a strong female character? We caught up with the mum-of-one in our exclusive cover shoot for Essentials magazine!

The fourth (and final - sigh) series of Mr Selfridge hit our screens in January, and it's clear that Katherine is just as much a fan of playing on-screen vamp Lady Mae as we're fans of watching her! And she's come a long way since the first series. 'It's been great to see Lady Mae finally find balance in this series', she says. 'In the first series, you saw her how she wanted you to see her - always in a great outfit, looking strong and together. Then in the second series, you saw her behind closed doors, and discovered she was essentially in an abusive relationship. In this series, she's sort of found somewhere she can be herself and be happy.

'She's not defined by a man anymore.'

But it wasn't always a dead-cert that Katherine would reprise her role. The actress, who missed the third series of the show to give birth to her first daughter - Orla - in March 2014, has spoken about how close Lasy Mae came to being no more.

'When I handed in my notice to go on maternity leave, I thought that could well be it for Lady Mae, but I felt I had to take that gamble because it just felt right for me to have a year with my baby.'

Luckily for us (and for Harry... ) Katherine was keen to return to work on the hit show. 'I always knew they were only going to make four series and this one would be my last chance to return, so I'm thrilled they wanted Harry to have his right-hand woman back.'

And speaking of a certain Mr Selfridge... As the new series starts in 1928, nine years after season three ended, a lot has changed since Lady Mae was last seen. Could this mean it's finally time for romance to blossom between the pair? Fans of the show certainly think so! Several took to Twitter after her return to express how keen they'd be to see the two become an item.

One tweeted: '#MrSelfridge @jeremypiven any chance of more than just friends with Mae? There is definitely something there and great episode as well', while another added 'Just wish that Harry and Lady Mae would get together! #MrSelfridge.'

We don't want to get your (ok, our) hopes up, but even Mr Selfridge himself, Jeremy Piven, has spoken about the possible romance! In an interview with Radio Times, he hinted: 'Lady Mae would be the most challenging [partner], someone who would match Harry.

'She would complement him perfectly. But I can't speak on whether or not they're going to come together.'

Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

To discover more of Katherine's secrets, including who she'd most like to be stuck in a lift with, watch the full behind-the-scenes video - and for an insight into how she juggles her manic schedule with marriage and motherhood, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Essentials, on sale now.

Inside the new issue, you'll find:

  • Exclusive interview with Katherine Kelly

  • Free beauty gift worth £59

  • Red hot sex tips...from your mum!

  • 94 Speedy beauty tricks

  • Going Bust: is your bra damaging your health?

  • Easy Easter: Chocolate nest cake and egg-cellent kids crafts

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