Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer to play a scandalous aristocrat in BBC2 drama The Woman in Red

Dormer stars as Lady Seymour Worsley who shocked 18th-century high society when she left her husband for her best friend

Game of Thrones and The Tudors star Natalie Dormer has been cast as the lead in a new BBC2 film about a real-life 18th century aristocratic scandal.

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She will star in The Woman in Red as Lady Seymour Worsley who shocked her peers when she eloped with her best friend Captain George Bisset, played by Cilla star Aneurin Barnard in the drama.

Known as the Woman in Red because of a famous painting of her in a scarlet hunting cloak, Bisset was the subject of a court case brought by Lady Seymour’s cuckolded husband Sir Richard Worsley which scandalised fashionable society at the time.

Sir Richard, who will be played by Endeavour star Shaun Evans, demanded compensation for what he claimed was a stolen possession – his wife – which had been defiled. In the end he received just one shilling.

Dormer said she was “thrilled” to be playing a woman “so ahead of her time”.

BBC2 controller Kim Shillinglaw added: “It is an almost unbelievable tale of a woman – Lady Seymour Worsley – whose audacity and risk-taking stood against the currents of her time, and I’m delighted to have attracted such strong talent both on and off screen to make it.”

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The 90-minute drama is due to air in 2015.