Just over a year after first announcing development of the sequel to the Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw-led hit, Amazon and BBC have found their leads for A Very British Scandal in Emmy and Golden Globe winner Claire Foy (The Crown) and BAFTA Film nominee Paul Bettany (WandaVision).
“I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement and controversy surrounds a woman’s sexuality,” Foy said in a statement.
Penned by Sarah Phelps (Dublin Murders), the series focuses on the divorce of the Duke (Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Foy), one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century. Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as a divorce featuring accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture – all played out in the white-hot glare of the 1960s media.
“I’m delighted to be working with the remarkable Claire Foy to tell the fascinating and scandalous story of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their very complicated lives,” Bettany said in a statement. “I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios.”
The three one-hour-episode series will turn the scandal inside out in order to explore the social and political climate of post-war Britain, looking at attitudes towards women, and asking whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time. As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret kept her head held high with bravery and resilience, refusing to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that revelled in her fall from grace.