Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw to Star in ‘A Very English Scandal’

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw in "A Very English Scandal"  (Photo: BBC)

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/10/2017 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: 01/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Hugh Grant (playing Jeremy Thorpe) and Ben Whishaw (playing Norman Scott) on set for BBC One’s A Very English Scandal Jeremy Thorpe (HUGH GRANT), Norman Scott (BEN WHISHAW) - (C) Blueprint Television Ltd - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

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British actor Hugh Grant will return to television in new BBC drama A Very English Scandal, which tells the true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder.

The series marks Grant’s return to television for the first time since the early 1990s. He’ll be playing disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe, who was tried but acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover, Norman Scott. Scott will be played by award-winning actor Ben Whishaw, and other familiar faces in the series’ cast include Monica Dolan, Patricia Hodge, Alex Jennings, Adrian Scarborough and Eve Myles.

Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies wrote this three-part drama, which is based on the bestselling book by John Preston. It will be directed by Academy Award nominee Stephen Frears, who helmed both The Queen and Netflix series The Crown:    

The official BBC press description promises a dramatic tale:    

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.

The BBC also released an official image featuring Grant and Whishaw in costume, along with a fairly adorable furry friend.

First-look at Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw in Russell T. Davies' @BBCOne drama #AVeryEnglishScandal, plus full cast: https://t.co/o0EkZqK0B2 pic.twitter.com/t3dDoAZeok

— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) October 1, 2017

The combination of a salacious and shocking true story and Grant’s return to television after so much time (and personal notoriety),

A Very English Scandal will air on BBC One next year, with an American broadcast to follow on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Dates for both are still to be determined. 

Does this sound like the sort of thing you'd watch? (Or predict as a comeback vehicle for Grant?) Let's discuss! 


Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Twitter at @LacyMB