The BBC and Amazon have announced Claire Foy (The Crown) and Paul Bettany (WandaVision) shall lead A Very British Scandal, the second season of 2018’s A Very English Scandal which starred Hugh Grant and Ben Whinshaw. The series is now to become an anthology focusing on another infamous political scandal in the UK.
A Very British Scandal follows the 1963 scandal involving the messy divorce of Margaret Campbell and her husband Ian Douglas Campbell, the Duchess and Duke of Argyll. The logline reads:
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 toward 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.
Foy will play Margaret Campbell while Bettany will play her ex-husband Ian Douglas Campbell.
The series will run for three hour-long episodes with Sarah Phelps (The ABC Murders) writing and showrunning. Anne Sewitsky (Castle Rock) will direct the series with herself, Phelps, Foy, Kate Triggs and Dominic Treadwell-Collins executive producing. Also serving as executive producers are Blueprint Picture’s Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Diarmuid McKeown and Delyth Scudamore.
“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,” said Phelps. “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.”
“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. “I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring together the uniquely brilliant voices of Sarah Phelps and Anne Sewitsky with the class of Claire Foy and Paul Bettany,” said Bluepint co-founder Pete Czernin. “Uniting their outstanding talents, A Very British Scandal will shine a new light on the scandalous divorce of Margaret Argyll for a 21st century audience.”
Production will take place in the UK later this year.
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