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Byron (BBC-2 2003, Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Little)

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Costume drama about the poet Lord Byron. Handsome and unpredictable, women fall madly for him, but his love is for his half-sister, Augusta. His marriage to Annabella Milbanke is little more than a sham and he becomes ostracised from society when the truth of his illicit sibling relationship is realised and he ends his days at the young age of 34 in Greece of a raging fever.

While focussing on Byron’s energy and his desire to turn convention upside down, the drama also emphasises such contemporary themes as the cult of celebrity, media manipulation and the bad boy image of an outsider who wins – but despises – society’s praise.

production details
UK | BBC Two | 2×75 minutes | Broadcast 27-28 September 2003

Writer: Nick Dear
Producer: Ruth Baumgarten
Director: Julian Farino

cast
Jonny Lee Miller as Lord Byron
Natasha Little as Augusta Leigh
Vanessa Redgrave as Lady Melbourne
Camilla Power as Lady Caroline Lamb
Julie Cox as Annabella Millbanke
Stephen Campbell Moore as John Cam Hobhouse
Sally Hawkins as Mary Shelley
Branka Katić as Teresa Guiccioli
Philip Glenister as William Fletcher
Julian Firth as Thomas Moore
David Ryall as Sir Ralph Milbanke
Penny Downie as Lady Judith Milbanke
Philip Anthony as Piccadilly Butler
Jean-François Wolff as Tita
Mark Bazeley as Trelawney
Tim Potter as Millingen
Michael Elwyn as John Murray
Stanley Townsend as Turkish Governor
Oliver Dimsdale as Percy Bysshe Shelley
Miles Richardson as Reverend Noel
Pauline Moran as Mrs. Curtain