When A Very English Scandal debuted in 2018, the three-part drama was billed as a limited series in its U.S. run on Amazon. It competed as such in the Emmys that year, taking home Outstanding Supporting Actor for Ben Whishaw, one of three awards he took home for the role. But there didn't seem to be much in the way of a follow-up at the time, as the story, the 1970s era Jeremy Thorpe scandal, had been fully covered by Russell T Davies' script.
But leave it to BBC One to find a way to bring the show back. Now under the title A Very British Scandal, the series has become an anthology detailing different sex scandals from the U.K.'s post-war era. Season 2 is written by Sarah Phelps, the writer behind the offbeat Agatha Christie films of the past few years. It will focus on the 1963 Argyll v Argyll case, the scandalous divorce of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll the hallmark of which was a constant tabloid presence complete with salacious photographs and scandalous stories.
When the BBC announced the new season, it came with the topline stars already attached: Claire Foy (The Crown) would take on the role of the Duchess, while Paul Bettany (WandaVision) would play her soon-to-be ex-husband, Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll. The Duke was married four times; Margaret was his third wife, while he was her second husband. He leaked her nudes to the press to win his divorce case against her.
Check out the first photos of the two of them in their early-1960s unhappily married state.
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.
The photos also revealed Julia Davis (Gavin & Stacey) would be featured as Maureen, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, a member of the Guinness family, and someone who lived her scandalous life in the proper fashion, unlike Margaret.
The cast will also include 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).
Like the first season, A Very British Scandal will run three episodes, debuting in the U.K. on BBC One ahead of crossing the pond to arrive as a binge on Amazon. No premiere date has been set yet, but the series is expected to debut here in early 2022. Meanwhile, all episodes of A Very English Scandal are streaming on Amazon.