Nancy Astor was Britain’s first female MP and this period drama series tells the story of her life over the course of nine episodes.
As the series opens Nancy Langhorne is a typical Southern belle (albeit one with an ambitious frame of mind), daughter of a Virginian tobacco auctioneer. Nancy’s life changes when she marries the wealthy Robert Guild Shaw. Following the breakdown of her marriage Nancy travels to Europe with her sister Phyllis and begins a romance with Waldorf Astor who is a British millionaire and owner of the The Observer newspaper and later an MP.
Thanks to the fact of Waldorf entering the House of Lords Nancy is able to take his place in the House of Commons becoming not only in the process the first female MP but the first American female MP to sit in the House of Commons.
Lisa Harrow had a gem of a role as Nancy and a young Pierce Brosnan played her first husband Shaw.
The BBC had planned to produce the series in 1979 with Blythe Danner in the lead as Nancy but an equity dispute meant that attempt was abandoned.
UK / BBC Two / 9×55 minute episodes / Broadcast 10 February – 7 April 1982
Writer: Derek Marlowe / Music: Stanley Myers / Producer: Philip Hinchcliffe / Director: Richard Stroud
Lisa Harrow as Nancy Astor
Pierce Brosnan as Robert Gouldshaw
James Fox as Waldorf Astor
Sylvia Syms as Nanaire Langhorne
Dan O’Herlihy as Chillie Langhorne
Julian Glover as Lord Ravelstock
Lise Hilboldt as Phyllis
Nigel Havers as Bobbie Shaw
David Warner as Philip Kerr
1. THE LANGHORNES OF VIRGINIA (10 Feb 82)
2. THE GENTLEMAN FROM BOSTON (17 Feb 82)
3. MR AND MRS SHAW (24 Feb 82)
4. THE PASSENGER ON THE OCEAN LINER (3 Mar 82)
5. A HOUSE IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (10 Mar 82)
6. THE FIRST LADY (17 Mar 82)
7. SCANDALS (24 Mar 82)
8. GUESTS FOR THE WEEKEND (31 Mar 82)
9. THE LAST OF THE SOUTHERN BELLES (7 Apr 82)