Lead cast members for the second season of A Very English Scandal have been confirmed.
The first season told the incredible true story of politician Jeremy Thorpe’s attempts to silence ex-lover Norman Scott following the pair’s secret affair in the 1960s.
The BBC has announced this week that the follow-up will star Claire Foy (The Crown) and Paul Bettany (The Da Vinci Code).
This time titled A Very British Scandal, the three-part mini-series will focus on the divorce of the Duke (Paul Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Claire Foy).
The press release describes the story as “one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century.”
The official synopsis reads: “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.
“A Very British Scandal turns this 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.”
Writer Sarah Phelps, best known for her Agatha Christie adaptations, commented: “Writing the story of Margaret’s life and the events leading up to and including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion project of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and started learning about her.”
She explained: “I felt very strongly that she’d been punished for being a woman, for being visible, for refusing to back down, be a good girl and go quietly. This drama is my tribute to her.”
Claire Foy said: “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.”
Paul Bettany added: “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.”
A Very British Scandal is set to begin filming this summer.
It’s expected to premiere later this year (or in early 2022) on BBC One in the UK, and on Amazon Prime Video worldwide.
Claire Foy can be seen next in new period drama movie The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, alongside Benedict Cumberbatch.
A Very English Scandal is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.