'A Very British Scandal' Debuts A Very Scandalous First Trailer

Paul Bettany and Claire Foy as the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in A very British Scandal
Paul Bettany and Claire Foy as the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in 'A Very British Scandal' (BBC/Amazon)

A Very British Scandal, the follow-up to the award-winning A Very English Scandal, has finally debuted its first trailer. The highly-anticipated series from Blueprint Pictures is technically a sequel in the budding anthology series centered on mid-century high-level sex scandals from the U.K. The first, written by Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who), starred Hugh Grant (Paddington 2) and Ben Whishaw (No Time to Die) and centered on 1970s Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe. The new season, written by Sarah Phelps (The Pale Horse), stars Claire Foy (The Crown) and Paul Bettany (WandaVision) in a recreation of the 1963 Argyll v Argyll case.

Argyll vs. Argyll was the brutal tabloid divorce of Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll, and his wife, Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll. The Duke was married four times; Margaret was his third wife, while he was her second husband. Their love affair was a stormy one, and when their marriage imploded, it did so in the most acrimonious fashion, with the two openly flaunting their lovers in each other's faces. To win the case against Margaret, Campbell leaked her nudes to the press in one of the earliest public cases of revenge porn. His ploy succeeded, and Margaret's reputation never recovered.

For those curious about the title change and why this is A Very British Scandal instead of A Very English Scandal Season 2, the reasoning is that the divorce case is technically set in Scotland. (Why they're not calling it A Very Scottish Scandal is beyond me unless they already have a different story in mind for that title. One can also hope A Very Irish Scandal and A Very Welsh Scandal are also in the works behind the scenes.) 

The trailer for the series (released by BBC One) gives fans a taste of what they're in for. 

Here's the series' synopsis:

Famed for her charisma, beauty, and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as the divorce exposed accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, bribery, and an explicit Polaroid picture that was to haunt her for the rest of her life. As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret refused to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that reveled in her fall from grace.

Along with Foy and Bettany, the cast will also include Julia Davis (Gavin & Stacey), Amanda Drew (Broadchurch), Richard McCabe (Poldark), Phoebe Nicholls (Downton Abbey), Camilla Rutherford (Fleming), Timothy Renouf (Agatha Raisin), Sophia Myles (A Discovery of Witches), Sophie Ward (Jane Eyre), Tim Steed (The Nevers), and Katherine Manners (Press). Richard Goulding (Belgravia), Jonathan Aris (Sherlock), Oliver Chris (King Charles III), Nicholas Rowe (Roadkill), and Miles Jupp (The Durrells) will also guest star.

Directed by Black Mirror's Anne Sewitsky, the three-part series is planned for a Boxing Day debut on BBC One and is scheduled to air over three consecutive nights over the inter-holiday week. The show will then move to Amazon in early 2022 and is expected to drop as a binge-watch. All three episodes of Season 1, A Very English Scandal, are streaming there now.