Claire Foy (The Crown) and Paul Bettany (WandaVision) are to star in BBC One’s upcoming drama A Very British Scandal.
Created by the team behind A Very English Scandal and written by Sarah Phelps (Dublin Murders), the three-part series will focus on one of the most notorious legal case of the 20th century: the Duke of Argyll’s divorce from Duchess Margaret Argyll.
Under the aggressively watchful eye of the 1960s media, Margaret, once famed for her charisma, style and beauty, dominated front pages as her divorce carried allegations of theft, forgery, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture.
A victim of public vilification and betrayal by her closest friends, Margaret fought hard against a society that delighted in her fall from grace, maintaining her bravery and resilience throughout.
Exploring whether institutional misogyny was at play, A Very British Scandal will dissect the scandal to uncover attitudes towards women in the unforgiving social and political climate of post-war Britain.
Sarah Phelps 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. 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. I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios.”
Filming will take place across the UK later this year.