Versailles will tell the story of Louis XIV’s lavish, sex-fuelled court.

The BBC has been slammed by MPs and family rights campaigners after securing the rights to lavish new costume drama Versailles.

The ambitious new show – which cost an epic £21m to make – depicts the ‘debauched’ life of France’s Louis XIV and will feature gay sex and fetishism.

The English-language series has already been aired in France, with a second series already in production.

An exact UK air date has yet to be confirmed – but the BBC is already facing backlash for its decision – although they describe the series as a “delicious treat”.

Talking at the time of the deal, Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programming Acquisitions, said: “Versailles will be a delicious treat for BBC Two viewers – the historical setting is magnificent, the costumes are stunning and the series tells a fascinating story with intelligence, wit and stylish Gallic flair.”

However, not everybody agrees, with some critics accusing the broadcaster of airing pornogrophy.

“There are channels where, if you wish to view this sort of material, you would have to pay for it,” Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the Daily Mail.

“BBC viewers don’t have a choice. They have to pay for it whether they approve or not.

“Is this an example of the BBC dumbing down and seeking more sensationalised programming?” he added.

“That’s an arms race to the bottom – quite literally in this case.”

Versailles is also reported to feature graphic violence and Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, argued that it’s hard to see “whose benefit is being served by showing such highly graphic and explicit scenes on TV”.

Mediawatch UK’s Sam Burnett added: “Dressing up pornography and violence in a cravat and tights doesn’t make it cultural.”

Versailles stars British actor George Blagden as the Sun King Louis XIV, alongside Noémie Schmidt, Alexander Vlahos, Tygh Runyan and Anna Brewster.

Watch a trailer for the saucy new show below: