Meet the cast of A Very English Scandal

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw lead the A-list cast of Russell T Davies' new BBC drama

Michele Dotrice plays Edna Friendship

Michele Dotrice plays Edna Friendship in A Very English Scandal

Who was Edna Friendship? The landlady of the Market Inn, where Scott was staying at the time would-be assassin Newton turned up for the first time, acting super-shady and calling himself Peter Keene. Scott and Mrs Friendship had a friendly relationship.

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What else has Michele Dotrice been in? The actress is best known for playing Betty Spencer, the long-suffering wife of Frank Spencer, in BBC sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Other recent projects have included Death in Paradise, Inside No 9, and Grandpa’s Great Escape.


Jason Watkins plays Emlyn Hooson

Jason Watkins plays Emlyn Hooson in A Very English Scandal

Who was Emlyn Hooson? A Liberal MP. Along with his colleague David Steel MP, he heard Scott’s incredible story in 1971 and raised concerns, insisting on an internal inquiry.

What else has Jason Watkins been in? Some will know him best as William Herrick from Being Human, or Gavin Strong from Trollied. Others will recognise him as Simon Harwood from W1A or Solomon Coop from Taboo, and recently he has been playing Roger in John Cleese sitcom Hold the Sunset.


Paul Hilton plays David Holmes

Paul Hilton plays David Holmes in A Very English Scandal

Who was David Holmes? Thorpe’s friend from Oxford, described by A Very English Scandal author John Preston as a “tall, slim, bespectacled merchant banker.” He never tried to hide his homosexuality and was, for a time, one of Thorpe’s lovers. He remained intensely loyal to Thorpe and was tried alongside him for conspiracy to murder.

What else has Paul Hilton been in? Credits have included Granchester, Wuthering Heights, and Silk. He is perhaps better known for his stage work, starring in the title role of the National Theatre’s Peter Pan and of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus at the Globe.


Rhys Parry Jones plays John Le Mesurier 

Rhys Parry Jones plays John Le Mesurier in A Very English Scandal

Who was John Le Mesurier? Despite his name, we are not talking about the man who played Sergeant Arthur Wilson in Dad’s Army. Instead, this John Le Mesurier was a cut price carpet salesman from South Wales. He knew David Holmes through the carpet business and allegedly agreed to help find an assassin. He was one of the four men who went on trial for conspiracy to murder.

What else has Rhys Parry Jones been in? Best known in his native Wales for his role as Llew Matthews in Pobol y Cwm, Rhys Parry Jones has also appeared in 35 Diwrnod, Outlander, and Hinterland.


Dyfan Dwyfor plays George Deakin

Dyfan Dwyfor plays George Deakin in A Very English Scandal

Who was George Deakin? One of the four men accused of conspiracy to murder, George Deakin’s involvement allegedly came in 1974 when he was asked by his business acquaintance John Le Mesurier to recruit an assassin to kill Norman Scott. By trade he was a fruit machine salesman known in South Wales as “The King of the One-Armed Bandits”.

What else has Dyfan Dwyfor been in? The Welsheactor recently starred in the TV series Requiem as Ed Fenton. His other credits include Hinterland, Caerdydd and Y Lyfrgell as well as several stage roles.


Flora Mongomery plays Diane Kelly

Flora Mongomery plays Bessell's American girlfriend Diane Kelly in A Very English Scandal

Who was Diane Kelly? In the early 1970s, Peter Bessell began an affair with a young American woman called Diane Kelly who he’d met on a business trip in New York. Bessell eventually divorced his long-suffering wife Pauline and moved with Diane to a beach hut in Oceanside, California, where he lived for the rest of his life. The two ultimately got married.

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What else has Flora Mongomery been in? The Northern Irish actress has appeared in shows including Grantchester, Endeavour, Father & Son, and Midsomer Murders. She is also known for her theatre work.