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Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant star in A Very English Scandal.
Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant star in A Very English Scandal.
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A Very English Scandal, BBC One, Sunday, 9pm

It is 1960s England, homosexuality is illegal and the politician Jeremy Thorpe (Hugh Grant) begins a whirlwind affair with a young stable hand, Norman Scott (Ben Whishaw). But when the relationship turns sour and Jeremy’s career goes from strength to strength, Norman becomes a secret that Jeremy is desperate to hide.

In 1967, Jeremy becomes the leader of the Liberal Party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, but as long as his ex-lover Norman is around, his brilliant career is at risk.

Behind the oak-panelled doors of Parliament, Jeremy turns to his friends for decisive action. He can see only one way to silence him for good.

This three- part drama is written by the BAFTA winning writer Russell T Davies, based on the book by John Preston and directed by Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Stephen Frears.

Ben Whishaw told us: “ I got sent Russell T Davies’ scripts and I loved them. I loved the story – I was fascinated by the story. I’d never heard of it.

“I liked the way it didn’t shy away from the absurdity and almost farcical nature of this relationship and what ensued from it.

“I think it’s a dark comedy or a black comedy in a way. But it also flirts with something sadder and even tragic at times.

“I can see things from everybody’s perspective. Both men were grappling with their own troubles, and their own minds and demons.”

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