A new BBC drama will portray the famous battle over anti-gay laws which sparked calls to decriminalise homosexuality.

In the 1950s, hereditary peer and the founder of the National Motor Museum Lord Montagu was notoriously convicted and later imprisoned for “consensual homosexual offences” along with two others – journalist Peter Wildeblood and Michael Pitt-Rivers.



The case sparked the movement that a decade later finally succeeded in decriminalising homosexuality for consenting adults in England and Wales, in 1967.

The scandal and subsequent gay rights battles led by Wildeblood will be the centre of a new BBC Two drama, Against The Law.

Line of Duty star Daniel Mays will portray Wildeblood, while Mark Edel-Hunt will play Lord Montagu – with out Sherlock star Mark Gatiss also appearing as a prison psychiatrist.

Daniel Mays says: “I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story. Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult – I can’t wait to bring his tale to life for the BBC Two audience.”

Patrick Holland, Channel Editor, BBC Two, said: “50 years ago, it was a crime to be a gay man in the UK. Against The Law is a stunning piece that melds drama and documentary testimony to tell the story of one man, and his wider generation, as they struggled to make society accept their sexuality as non-criminal.

“It is brilliant to have a film that brings the authorship of Brian Fillis, the vision of director Fergus O’Brien, and the outstanding talent of Daniel Mays and cast to this important subject”.

Written by Brian Fillis, Against the Law is directed by Fergus O’Brien, produced by Scott James Bassett and executive produced by Aysha Rafaele, Creative Director of The Documentary Unit, BBC Studios.

Against the Law will broadcast on BBC Two later in the year.




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