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A Very British Scandal release date: Cast, trailer and plot for BBC One drama

Everything we know about A Very British Scandal, the new BBC drama starring Claire Foy and Paul Bettany.

A Very British Scandal starring Claire Foy
BBC / Blueprint Pictures
Published: Friday, 10th December 2021 at 2:00 pm

BBC One will soon be delivering us a gorgeous new period drama, A Very British Scandal, starring Claire Foy.

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The broadcaster previously confirmed a new series focusing on the tumultuous divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and the media frenzy that surrounded it.

Teaming up with Amazon Studios to distribute the mini-series, BBC will produce this three-part programme, written by Sarah Phelps (The Pale Horse, Dublin Murders).

With Foy and Marvel star Paul Bettany confirmed as the Duke and Duchess for the project, there's sure to be much anticipation for the full series to hit our screens.

So, without further ado, RadioTimes.com have assembled all you need to know about the upcoming series, including when it arrives on our screens, who stars in it and what the trailer for the show gives away.

When is A Very British Scandal on BBC One?

A Very British Scandal will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 9pm on Sunday, December 26, 2021 (Boxing Day).

All episodes will be made available on BBC iPlayer after the airing of the first episode in the form of a box set.

The series consists of three episodes and these will air at 9pm on consecutive nights on BBC One.

The final instalment will air on December 28, 2021.

A Very British Scandal trailer

We now finally have a trailer for the scandalously glamorous new drama.

The footage really hits home just how toxic and nasty the central couple's marriage gets as they both engage in a string of dalliances.

The synopsis alongside the trailer notes: "This is the true story of Argyll v Argyll – one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century.⁣"

A dramatic marriage only means one very dramatic divorce!

A Very British Scandal cast list

A Very British Scandal
A Very British Scandal (BBC)

Claire Foy will play Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. Of course, a role steeped in history and high society is no new challenge for her at this point, as she played Queen Elizabeth in the first two seasons of Netflix's The Crown.

Foy, who viewers will also recognise from Wolf Hall and The Girl in the Spider's Web, said that she is excited "to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement and controversy surrounds a woman's sexuality."

Marvel fans also have a cause for celebration, as WandaVision's Paul Bettany will play the Duke of Argyll. Bettany spoke of looking forward to starting work on the programme in a statement: "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."

Also starring are Amanda Drew (The Trial Of Christine Keeler, Trust), Richard McCabe (Poldarks), Phoebe Nicholls (The Elephant Man), Camilla Rutherford (Phantom Thread), Timothy Renouf (Afterlife Of The Party), Sophia Myles (A Discovery Of Witches), Sophie Ward (The Moonstone), Tim Steed (The Death Of Stalin), and Katherine Manners (War & Peace).

Rounding out the A Very British Scandal cast are: Richard Goulding (The Crown, The Murders At White House Farm); Jonathan Aris (Sherlock); Oliver Chris (Trying); Nicholas Rowe (Roadkill); and Miles Jupp (The Durrells).

A Very British Scandal plot

A Very British Scandal
Paul Bettany and Claire Foy in A Very British Scandal

In a similar vein to 2018's A Very English Scandal, a dramatisation of the 1976–1979 Jeremy Thorpe scandal, this drama will focus on the antics surrounding the divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in the 1960s.

Described as one of the 20th Century's most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases, it was a divorce that was highly-publicised and included the discovery of salacious photographs and scandalous testimonies. Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, was a bona-fide celebrity who frequently made the front pages.

Creator and writer Sarah Phelps has spoken of her excitement about dramatising the story, which will explore the social attitudes of post-war Britain towards women and question whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time.

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps (Getty)

"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," Phelps said 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."

A Very British Scandal will premiere at 9pm on Boxing Day on BBC One, with all three episodes available as a boxset on BBC iPlayer from that time. The series also continues across the following two nights on BBC One.

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While you're waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.

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