A Very English Scandal is the shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder. 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. With the help of friends, 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.
Based on the book A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies And A Murder Plot At The Heart Of The Establishment, by acclaimed journalist John Preston, the drama is written by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, Queer As Folk, Cucumber) and directed by Stephen Frears (Florence Foster Jenkins, Philomena, Dangerous Liaisons).
Writer Russell T Davies says: “I’ve wanted to write this story for years, ever since I was 16 and saw it unfold on the news. It’s probably the first gay story I ever heard. John Preston’s brilliant book illuminates a vital and fascinating piece of British history.”
A Very English Scandal has been commissioned by Piers Wenger and Charlotte Moore, and will be produced by Blueprint Pictures (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, In Bruges) for BBC One. are Dominic Treadwell-Collins, Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin for Blueprint Pictures and Lucy Richer for the BBC.
From BBC Press Release 22 May 2017… 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.
From BBC Press Release 25 September 2017… Russell T Davies says of the casting of Ben Whishaw, “It’s a dream come true, to work with Ben. One of Britain’s finest actors playing one of history’s most fascinating men.”
Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe
Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott
key behind the scenes crew
Russell T. Davies as Writer
John Preston as Original Author
Stephen Frears as Director
Dominic Treadwell-Collins as Executive Producer
Graham Broadbent as Executive Producer
Pete Czernin as Executive Producer
Lucy Richer as Executive Producer
Period drama based on a true story.
3×60 minute episodes
Currently in production.
network and production companies
BBC One – Blueprint Pictures