Ben Whishaw has joined the cast of A Very English Scandal, a new drama based on the downfall of disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe which has been written by Russell T Davies.
Whishaw will play Thorpe’s lover, Norman Scott, opposite the previously announced Hugh Grant as Thorpe who, in 1979, was acquitted of conspiring to murder Scott.
The three-part drama marks Grant’s return to British television screens for the first time since the early 1990s and is based on the bestselling book by the author and former Arts Editor of the Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph John Preston.
A Very English Scandal is the shocking true story of the first British politician to stand trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder.
It is the late 1960s, homosexuality has only just been decriminalised, and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, has a secret he’s desperate to hide.
As long as his ex-lover Norman Scott is around, Thorpe’s brilliant career is at risk. Thorpe schemes and deceives – until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good.
The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed society forever, illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment.
The Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.
Russell T Davies said of Whishaw’s casting, “It’s a dream come true, to work with Ben.
“One of Britain’s finest actors playing one of history’s most fascinating men.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, added: “Ben Whishaw is an extraordinary actor and we are thrilled to announce he will star opposite Hugh Grant in this scandalous real-life story for BBC One.
“I cannot wait to see this first-class British duo bring Russell’s powerful scripts to life.”