Ben Whishaw has been cast in A Very English Scandal, a new three-part drama from BBC One. Whishaw will star as Norman Scott, the ex-lover of disgraced British politician Jeremy Thorpe, played by Hugh Grant. The series comes from former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies, who announced the news at the Edinburgh International Television Festival (via Variety).
For those of us who aren’t as familiar with British history as, well, the British, here’s some background on Norman Scott and Jeremy Thorpe. Thorpe was the leader of the Liberal party back in 1979, the youngest leader of any British political party in a century. When he was accused of conspiring to murder ex-lover Scott, he also became the first British politician in a very long time to stand trial for murder.
A Very British Scandal will be based on a book by journalist John Preston, with Davies adapting for the screen. The series will be directed by Stephen Frears, known for the upcoming Victoria & Abdul, as well as The Queen and Philomena. He is, forgive the theme, a very British director.
For Grant, the role will mark his return to TV after a 25-year absence — perhaps the ultimate proof that the medium has finally made it? Whishaw is no stranger to the small screen. In recent years, the James Bond and Paddington star has starred in London Spy (which has a lot of the same themes as A Very British Scandal) and The Hour.
More news as we hear it.
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