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

Lucy Briggs-Owen plays Sue Scott

Lucy Briggs-Owen plays Norman Scott's wife Sue in A Very English Scandal

Who was Sue Scott? Despite her parents’ disapproval, Sue married Norman Scott in 1969. The two of them quickly had a son, and scraped by in a cottage in Dorset – but the relationship was unhappy and they soon separated.

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What else has Lucy Briggs-Owen been in? Lucy Briggs-Owen has appeared in Midsomer Murders and Doc Martin, and is also a voice actress in video games Dark Souls III, Civilization VI, and Bloodborne.


Alice Orr-Ewing plays Caroline Allpass

Alice Orr-Ewing plays Caroline Allpass in A Very English Scandal

Who was Caroline Allpass? Jeremy Thorpe’s first wife. They married in 1968 and had their son Rupert the following year. It was an unexpectedly happy marriage for Thorpe, but in 1970 Caroline died in a car crash.

What else has Alice Orr-Ewing been in? She made a guest appearance in the very first episode of Victoria as Lady Flora Hastings. Other credits have included The Theory of Everything, The Scapegoat, and Our Zoo.


Eve Myles plays Gwen Parry-Jones

Eve Myles plays Gwen Parry-Jones in A Very English Scandal

Who was Gwen Parry-Jones? Scott met Gwen Parry-Jones, a recent widower and a middle-aged woman of strict moral principles, during the time he was living in Wales. When he ran out of money, she let him live rent-free in her cottage – and they began an affair.

What else has Eve Myles been in? She may look very different out of period dress, but Eve Myles played Mrs Jenkins in Victoria. She previously starred as Claire Ripley in Broadchurch and Lauren Gray in You, Me & Them, and as Gwen Cooper in Torchwood and Doctor Who. Recently you might have caught her as Faith Howells in the TV series Keeping Faith.


Michael Culkin plays Reggie Maulding

Michael Culkin plays Reggie Maulding in A Very English Scandal

Who was Reggie Maulding? The Home Secretary, and a Conservative politician. As Liberal leader and a fellow member of an exclusive dining club, Thorpe was able to enlist his help in suppressing Scott’s allegations.

What else has Michael Culkin been in? He’s no stranger to playing a British politician: Michael Culkin was Secretary of State Rab Butler in The Crown. Poldark fans will recognise him as Horace Treneglos, and he also played Jacopo Pazzi in Da Vinci’s Demons. According to his Wikipedia page, he lives in London with “several dogs and a llama,” which is excellent.


Naomi Battrick plays Diana Stainton

Naomi Battrick plays Diana Stainton in A Very English Scandal

Who was Diana Stainton? Peter Bessell’s secretary – and mistress.

What else has Naomi Battrick been in? Naomi Battrick plays the scheming Jocelyn in Sky drama Jamestown. She is also known for her roles in My Almost Famous Family (as Toyah Swann) and Waterloo Road (as Gabriella Wark).


Marianne Oldham plays Stella Levy

Marianne Oldham plays Stella Levy in A Very English Scandal

Who was Stella Levy? In 1972, Scott – needing a place to stay – went to live for a while with his friends Jack and Stella Levy at their new house in North Devon. Coincidentally, this was Thorpe’s constituency, and it was while riding his horse in the local area that Scott saw Thorpe in person for the first time in eight years. Thorpe later tried to discredit his ex-lover’s friends, telling Harold Wilson that the Levys could be running “some sort of vice ring” (based on the evidence that they had a really large bath).

What else has Marianne Oldham been in? Most recently Marianne Oldham appeared as Nicola in Finding Your Feet alongside Joanna Lumley, Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall. Her other credits include The Living and the Dead and The Crimson Field, where she played Rosalie Berwick.


Morgan Watkins plays Mike Steele

Morgan Watkins plays Mike Steele in A Very English Scandal

Who was Mike Steele? Thorpe’s press officer.

What else has Morgan Watkins been in? You may remember Morgan Watkins from the TV series Harlots, where he played Mr Osborne. He’s also appeared in Silent Witness as Ben Logan, and played George Gissing in Bill Nighy movie The Limehouse Golem. Oh, and music fans may recognise him from Florence + the Machine’s video for The Odyssey.


Anthony O’Donnell plays Leo Abse

Anthony O'Donnell plays Leo Abse in A Very English Scandal

Who was Leo Abse? Welsh Labour MP Leo Abse was in Parliament for nearly 30 years, and was noted for promoting private members’ bills to decriminalise sexual relationships between men and to liberalise the divorce laws. He has been described as a “flamboyant dresser”, though he was not homosexual himself, and he liked to drop references to Freudian psychotherapy into his speeches in the Commons.

What else has Anthony O’Donnell been in? The Welsh actor has recently appeared in the TV series Stella as Dai Davies and played Kaagh in The Sarah Jane Adventures.


David Bamber plays Lord Arran

David Bamber as Lord Arran in A Very English Scandal

Who was Lord Arran? The eighth Earl of Arran (also known as Sir Arthur Strange Kattendyke David Archibald Gore, or “Boofy”) was MP Leo Abse’s unlikely ally in the House of Lords. He did not usually speak in the House, except on matters relating to badgers. He shared his passion for badgers with his wife, who was also a champion powerboat racer, and at their house in Hemel Hempstead badgers were allowed to roam freely – so the Arrans wore gumboots at all times to protect their ankles. He was heterosexual, but took up the cause of homosexual law reform with a passion. Later, it came out that Arran’s elder brother had been gay and had killed himself.

What else has David Bamber been in? The veteran actor’s credits include Pride and Prejudice, Valkyrie, Darkest Hour, Call the Midwife, and Gunpowder.


Michelle Fox plays Lyn

Michelle Fox plays Lyn in A Very English Scandal

Who is Lyn? In the drama, Scott meets a Dublin boutique owner and strikes up a sexual relationship with her. It is Lyn who propels him into male modelling, booking him jobs and launching his short-lived career.

In reality, Scott did meet a woman who owned a boutique in Dublin and embarked on an affair with her. Soon, through a friend of a friend, he met another woman at a dinner party who had just started a modelling agency and wanted him to be her client.

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What else has Michelle Fox been in? The young actress had a breakout role in TV mini-series Overshadowed, playing a teenager struggling with anorexia. She has also starred as Bea Kinsella in Casualty.


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