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The Crown actress Claire Foy and WandaVision star Paul Bettany have signed on to headline A Very British Scandal, season two of the BBC/Amazon Studios limited series A Very English Scandal, which reexamines tabloid “scandals” of the past.
Bettany and Foy will play the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, a high-society couple whose very public divorce was a tabloid sensation of 1960s Britain. Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, found herself vilified by the press, accused of forgery, theft, violence and drug abuse, with media coverage at the time centering on an explicit Polaroid picture.
Sarah Phelps is penning the script for the three-part limited series, which Anne Sewitsky (Happy Happy) will direct. Shooting is set to begin in the U.K. later this year.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Said Foy, “I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgment and controversy surrounds a woman’s sexuality.”
Bettany added that he was “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.”
The three-part series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K. and be available on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Sony Pictures Television is handling international sales for the series and brokered the deal with Amazon Studios. SPT-backed Blueprint Pictures are producing the series.
A Very English Scandal (2018) starred Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw and focused on British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe (Grant), who was forced to stand trial in 1979, accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover (Whishaw).
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