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A Very English Scandal 

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British Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe is accused of conspiracy to murder his gay ex-lover and forced to stand trial in 1979.
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Ben Whishaw Compares Hugh Grant to Marlon Brando

Golden Globe-winner Ben Whishaw praises Hugh Grant's performance in "A Very English Scandal," plus he reveals his motivation to portray his character, Norman Scott, as a hero.

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1  
2018  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Hugh Grant ...  Jeremy Thorpe 3 episodes, 2018
Ben Whishaw ...  Norman Scott 3 episodes, 2018
Alex Jennings ...  Peter Bessell 3 episodes, 2018
Patricia Hodge ...  Ursula Thorpe 3 episodes, 2018
Paul Hilton Paul Hilton ...  David Holmes 2 episodes, 2018
Naomi Battrick ...  Diana Stainton 2 episodes, 2018
Andrew French Andrew French ...  Sergeant at Arms 2 episodes, 2018
Morgan Watkins ...  Mike Steele 2 episodes, 2018
Monica Dolan ...  Marion Thorpe 2 episodes, 2018
Jason Watkins ...  Emlyn Hooson 2 episodes, 2018
Blake Harrison ...  Andrew 'Gino' Newton 2 episodes, 2018
Alice Orr-Ewing ...  Caroline Allpass 2 episodes, 2018
Flora Montgomery ...  Diane Kelly 2 episodes, 2018
Michele Dotrice ...  Edna Friendship 2 episodes, 2018
Nick Malinowski ...  Returning Officer 2 episodes, 2018
Rhys Parry Jones ...  John Le Mesurier 2 episodes, 2018
Dyfan Dwyfor Dyfan Dwyfor ...  George Deakin 2 episodes, 2018
Caleb Roberts Caleb Roberts ...  Daniel Badwah 2 episodes, 2018
Marianne Oldham Marianne Oldham ...  Stella Levy 2 episodes, 2018
Arabella Neale ...  Jeremy's Secretary 2 episodes, 2018
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Storyline

What is known as the Thorpe affair, centered on the at the time clandestine homosexual affair between Liberal MP and later Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe and stable boy Norman Scott, that affair when sodomy was still illegal in Britain, is the main feature of the story presented. The story culminates in 1979 with Jeremy put on trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder, the attempt on Norman's life all in an effort to rid him from Jeremy's life in his aspiration to become British Prime Minister at whatever cost, part of that cost being to remain in the closet despite having men on the side throughout his adult life. The imbalance between Jeremy and Norman both during their relationship and in their adversarial battle after the end of that relationship is also shown, older, ambitious Jeremy, from a proper English background, part of the establishment, and younger Norman, from the disadvantaged class, he who also suffered from clinical psychological issues, having nothing to lose... Written by Huggo

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Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Very English Scandal See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The development team for this miniseries had to verify any potentially contentious details they hoped to include in the series scripts by finding several original sources of information to support those details. The key details portrayed in the series - especially those relating directly to the chain of events that caused the titular scandal - are rooted in fact. See more »

Connections

Featured in 76th Golden Globe Awards (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hugh Grant Is Superb
4 July 2018 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Hugh Grant stars in this 3-part miniseries that looks at the political scandal that brought down Jeremy Thorpe in the mid 1970s.

Thorpe lives a freewheeling life as a member of Parliament in 1960s London. He eagerly pursues young men on the QT for one-nighters while maintaining his work in Parliament. He's part of a small circle of old Oxford students who share like sexual tastes and who can keep secrets.

When Thorpe meets young Norman (who works as a stable boy) he falls into a long-term, on-and-off-again relationship. The trouble is that Norman is a tad unstable and a big drama queen. Thorpe stupidly writes letters (it's the early 1960s), which Norman keeps. When Thorpe grows tired of Norman and tries to throw him over, the young man begins to make threats.

Norman grows more and more unstable and wanders around the country, falling in and out of relationships. Every now and then he sends a threatening letter (blackmail really) to Thorpe. As Thorpe becomes politically more successful, it becomes more and more important to shut Norman up.

Thorpe marries and has a son. He seems the very soul of a solid family man. Only a few know his secret past. Eventually Norman goes to the police and blurts out his accusations more than a decade after the fact. He starts babbling to anyone who will listen about how Thorpe used him. Desperate, Thorpe instigates a plan to kill Norman, but it gets botched and eventually the loose ends catch up with Thorpe when Norman files suit against him for attempted murder.

Grant is absolutely superb as the devious Thorpe. Over the 3-parts of the series he runs the gamut from randy man about town to serious husband and father, and finally to grim middle-aged man facing a serious threat. Ben Whishaw is also excellent as the loony Norman whose life is almost hysterically out of control.

Others in the cast that stand out are Alex Jennings as Peter, Patricia Hodge as Mrs. Thorpe, Adrian Scarborough as Carman, Michele Dotrice as Edna, Eve Myles as Gwen, and Monica Dolan as Thorpe's wife.

Beautifully done with a sharp sense of British wit and charm. Directed by Stephen Frears.


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