Filming on Russell T Davies’ major three-part drama for BBC One A Very English Scandal has begun. Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott will be joined by Alex Jennings (The Queen, Victoria), Patricia Hodge (Miranda, Maxwell), Monica Dolan (Appropriate Adult, Strike), Adrian Scarborough (On Chesil Beach, The King’s Speech) and Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, W1A), with Eve Myles (Torchwood, Victoria), Michele Dotrice (Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Starfish) and Blake Harrison (Trust Me, The Inbetweeners).
As previously announced, A Very English Scandal is the shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder. Hugh Grant is to return to British television screens for the first time since the early 1990s as the disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe, who in 1979 was tried but acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott, played by Ben Whishaw. The drama will be produced by Blueprint Television for BBC One in the UK and Amazon Prime Video in the US.
Further cast include Fisayo Akinade, David Bamber, Patrick Barlow, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Paul Hilton, Jonathan Hyde, Alice Orr-Ewing, Steffan Rhodri, Paul Freeman and Susan Wooldridge.
It is the late 1960s, homosexuality has only just been decriminalised and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. As long as his ex-lover Norman Scott is around, Thorpe’s brilliant career is at risk. Thorpe schemes and deceives – until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed society forever, illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment. The Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.
Written by the BAFTA winning writer Russell T Davies and directed by Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Stephen Frears, the BBC One three-part drama (3 x 60 minutes) is executive produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin for Blueprint Television and Lucy Richer for the BBC and produced by Dan Winch (Broadchurch III, Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams: Human Is). The drama was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and will premiere on BBC One in 2018.