1960s true story political drama ‘A Very English Scandal’ coming to the BBC

The BBC has ordered a new drama series from the makers of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the director of Florence Foster Jenkins.

Telling the shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder, A Very English Scandal is based on journalist John Preston’s book, A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies And A Murder Plot At The Heart Of The Establishment.

The official synopsis reads: “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.”

The three 60-minute episodes are written by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, The Grand) and will be directed by Stephen Frears (Florence Foster Jenkins, Philomena).

Davies commented: “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.”

Frears added: “Telly’s where the good stuff is – hooray!”

A Very English Scandal is being produced by Blueprint Pictures (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) for BBC One.