One of the most extraordinary legal cases of the 20th century is the subject of new BBC One drama A Very British Scandal. It’s the follow-up to Hugh Grant’s A Very English Scandal and will detail the infamous divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, played by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy, respectively. Written by Sarah Phelps, the three-part drama will attempt to turn the scandal “inside out.” Here’s everything you need to know about the latest version of A Very British Scandal.
A Very British Scandal Plot
According to BBC’s synopsis, “A Very British Scandal turns this scandal inside out in order to explore the social and political climate of post-war Britain, looking at attitudes towards women, and asking whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time.”
The synopsis adds: “As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret kept her head held high with bravery and resilience, refusing to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that revelled in her fall from grace.”
Writer Sarah Phelps says she’s excited to get to work on this “extraordinary project.”
“Writing the story of Margaret’s life and the events leading up to and including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion project of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and started learning about her,” said Phelps.
“I felt very strongly that she’d been punished for being a woman, for being visible, for refusing to back down, be a good girl and go quietly. This drama is my tribute to her.”
A Very British Scandal Release Date
BBC has confirmed that filming will take place across the United Kingdom later this year. The three-part series will air on BBC One in the UK, and on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but the airing date has not been confirmed, though it is said to be available “sometime” in 2022.
A Very British Scandal Cast
Back to her period drama best, The Crown actor Claire Foy will star as the charismatic Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. The duchesses’ high-profile divorce dominated the front pages for many months amid accusations of “forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery, and an explicit polaroid picture.” WandaVision’s Paul Bettany will star opposite Foy as Ian Campbell, the 11th Duke of Argyll, as does Gavin & Stacey’s Julia Davis as Maureen, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava.
On the new role, Foy said: “I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement, and controversy surrounds a woman’s sexuality.”
The series also features The Trial of Christine Keeler’s Amanda Drew, Poldark’s Richard McCabe, Fortitude’s Phoebe Nicholls, Phantom Thread’s Camilla Rutherford, Afterlife of the Party’s Timothy Renouf, A Discovery of Witches’ Sophia Myles, Land Girls’ Sophie Ward, Cruella’s Tim Steed, and War & Peace’s Katherine Manners.
The Crown’s Richard Goulding, Sherlock’s Jonathan Aris, Kind Charles III’s Oliver Chris, Roadkill’s Nicolas Rowe, and The Durrells’ Miles Jupp also star.
A Very British Scandal Trailer
There’s no trailer yet, but BBC One and Amazon Studios have released a bunch of first-look photos, featured here. While only including Foy, Bettany, and Davis, the pictures give an amazing glimpse into the glitz and glamour of the early 1960s.
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