A Very British Scandal release date: Cast, plot and latest news about the 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

BBC One has confirmed a new drama 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 Claire Foy and Paul Bettany confirmed as principal actors for the project, there’s sure to be much anticipation for the full series to hit our screens.

Here’s all we know about A Very British Scandal so far.

When is A Very British Scandal on BBC One?

There may be a while to wait before indulging in A Very British Scandal – no air date is known as of yet, but filming across the UK has been confirmed for later this year.

A Very British Scandal plot

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.

“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.”

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps (Getty)

A Very British Scandal cast list

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.”

Further casting is yet to be announced.

A Very British Scandal trailer

Sadly, there’s no trailer just yet – but keep an eye on this page, as we’ll have it here as soon as it’s available.


A Very British Scandal will be released soon on BBC One. While you’re waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.