Hugh Grant will star in new BBC drama A Very English Scandal as disgraced politician Jeremy Thorpe, marking the Four Weddings and a Funeral star's first TV role since the early 1990s.

Grant will play MP and former Liberal party leader Thorpe, who in 1979 was tried by acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott. The three-part drama is written by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and directed by The Queen director Stephen Frears.

The story will dramatise how Thorpe was desperate to conceal his past liaison with Scott, and whose career was ruined by accusations he had hired someone to kill him after he threatened to reveal their relationship.

Former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, who in 1979 stood trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder

The series is exec produced by Dominic Treadwell-Collins, who said it was "thrilling" to have Grant lead the cast.

“Hugh is one our most iconic British actors - sharp, witty, deeply human and nuanced - and to have him play one of the most controversial figures of British politics is utterly thrilling," he said. "With Russell T Davies writing and Stephen Frears directing, A Very English Scandal unites the highest level of talent to bring this extraordinary true story to life.”

The three-part drama is produced by Blueprint Television for BBC1.