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Your first look at Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw as real-life secret gay lovers in new TV drama

Mayer Nissim October 3, 2017
Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant

Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant (Getty Images)

Homosexuality was only partially decriminalised in England and Wales in 1967, and the lives of gay men were often seen as scandalous before and shortly after this time.

As MP and Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe edged closer to government, his former lover Norman Scott threatened to go public with the details of their relationship in the 1960s.

Such a revelation threatened Thorpe’s political future, as their relationship would have been illegal at that time, and furthermore there were very few openly gay men in the public eye.

Related: Former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe dies

Thorpe failed in his attempts to buy Scott’s silence, and eventually Thorpe was tried over claims that he had hired an assassin to kill Scott.

Thorpe was eventually acquitted, but the affair ended his political career.

The story caught the public’s imagination and has remained one of this country’s most well-known political scandals.

One of the more recent retellings was John Preston’s 2016 novel A Very English Scandal.

The book is being adapted into a TV series by the BBC and Amazon, and there’s some serious star power behind the project.

The three-parter is being written by former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, and all three episodes will be directed by Stephen Frears.

Hugh Grant is returning for a rare acting role as Thorpe, while Ben Whishaw plays Scott.

A new image from the production as been released this week.

Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott
Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe and Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott (Blueprint Television Ltd – Photographer/Kieron McCarron

Also starring in the three-parter are Alex Jennings, Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan, Adrian Scarborough, Jason Watkins, Eve Myles, Michele Dotrice and Blake Harrison.

The series will be distributed by Sony Pictures Television.

More: A Very English Scandal, Amazon, BBC, ben whishaw, Hugh Grant, Jeremy Thorpe, John Preston, liberal party, Norman Scott

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