Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will be shown dancing with a gay Oxford graduate who is high on cocaine in a new drama beginning this week on BBC Two.
The Line Of Beauty is adapted by award-winning writer Andrew Davies from Alan Hollinghurst’s 2004 Man Booker Prize-winning novel. A story about love, class, sex and money that gets deep under the skin of the Thatcherite Eighties.
The three part series that chronicles the experiences of Nick Guest, a gay Oxford graduates who becomes a lodger at the home of a Conservative MP.
During the series he is shown dancing with Mrs Thatcher whilst high on cocaine prior to taking part in a threesome with two other men.
Conservative MP, Ann Widdecombe told the Independent on Sunday that the BBC was being “mischievous” in its depiction of the Conservative party during the 1980s. “The day that the BBC gives the Conservative Party a fair deal will be the day that I fall over in a dead faint… Anyone who tries to attach today’s values to the world of 20 years ago is simply not being historically true. This does not sound to me like a faithful reflection of the Tory party that I knew at that time.”
Former Conservative minister, John Redwood MP said: “If you want to see champagne lifestyles, then you want to go to the Blairite government. The programme-makers forget that Thatcherism was all about giving opportunity to people who hadn’t had any before.”
Oliver Coleman as Toby Fedden and Dan Stevens as Nick Guest
Gay Conservative MP, Alan Duncan, the shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry said: “I think it’s really enlightened of the BBC to do this. I suppose there are many interesting themes in the book. The repressed sexuality, the allure of Margaret Thatcher, the glory of being in office, the whirl of a time of moral reappraisal all comes out in the book. It is so persuasive and realistic. It was asking to be put on television.”
Screenwriter Andrew Davies says that he enjoyed recreating the 1980s on screen: “”It was fun to explore trivial details of the Eighties – the short shorts, the body-hugging Speedos, the square shoulders of power-dressing, the brick-like mobile phones, the great music (Stranglers, Van Morrison, etc) but at a deeper level, this was the decade when corporate greed became acceptable: the confident, sleaze-filled years of the Thatcher administration.
“And Thatcher-worship, too. Strange to remember those days when it seemed like she would be there for ever.
“The sad thing is that in a lot of ways it feels like we are still living in that greedy, dog eat dog decade.”
The Line Of Beauty stars a mix of new, young talent and established names. Dan Stevens, Alex Wyndam and Hayley Atwell appear alongside Blackadder star, Tim McInnerny, Don Gilet, Kenneth Cranham, Alice Krige, Kika Markham and Chris Fairbank.