Claire Foy & Paul Bettany to Lead A Very English Scandal Season 2

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A Very English Scandal is returning for a second season at the BBC and Amazon with two of the biggest stars around.

Written by Sarah Phelps (The Pale Horse; Dublin Murders), A Very British Scandal focuses on the divorce of the Duke (Paul Bettany) and Duchess of Argyll (Claire Foy), one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century.

"Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as a divorce featuring accusations of forgery, theft, violence, drug-taking, secret recording, bribery and an explicit polaroid picture - all played out in the white-hot glare of the 1960s media.," reads the character descirption.

Claire Foy Appears at After Party

A Very British Scandal turns this scandal inside out in order to explore the social and political climate of post-war Britain, looking at attitudes towards women, and asking whether institutional misogyny was widespread at the time.

As her contemporaries, the press, and the judiciary sought to vilify her, Margaret kept her head held high with bravery and resilience, refusing to go quietly as she was betrayed by her friends and publicly shamed by a society that revelled in her fall from grace.

Sarah Phelps says:

Foy, Claire

“Writing the story of Margaret’s life and the events leading up to and including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion project of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and started learning about her."

"I felt very strongly that she’d been punished for being a woman, for being visible, for refusing to back down, be a good girl and go quietly. This drama is my tribute to her.”

Added Foy: “I’m so excited to work with Anne, Sarah and Paul on this extraordinary project, and to explore through this story, how often shame, judgement and controversy surrounds a woman's sexuality.”

“I’m delighted to be working with the remarkable Claire Foy to tell the fascinating and scandalous story of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll and their very complicated lives. I’m also extremely happy to get the chance to once again be working with the wonderful teams at the BBC and Amazon Studios," said Bettany.

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Pete Czernin, co-founder of Blueprint Pictures, says: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring together the uniquely brilliant voices of Sarah Phelps and Anne Sewitsky with the class of Claire Foy and Paul Bettany. Uniting their outstanding talents, A Very British Scandal will shine a new light on the scandalous divorce of Margaret Argyll for a 21st century audience.”

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, says: “Argyll v Argyll was one of the defining scandals of the 1960s. In the face of vilification in the press, Margaret fought valiantly, but often in vain, to control the narrative around her."

"With the help of our incredible writer Sarah Phelps, director Anne Sewitsky, the perfect casting of Claire Foy and Paul Bettany and the team at Blueprint, we are delighted to be able to shine a new light on these events and reframe the life of this infamous character.”

Brad Beale, Vice President, Worldwide Licensing for Prime Video, says: “A Very English Scandal was a tremendous success among Prime Video customers and critics alike, and we’re incredibly excited to work with the BBC and Blueprint again. We can’t wait to see Claire and Paul bring the fascinating Duchess of Argyll Scandal to life.”

Bettany, Paul

The exciting new chapter will be directed by Anne Sewitsky and produced by Chris Ballantyne. Executive Producers are Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Diarmuid McKeown, and Delyth Scudamore for Blueprint Pictures, Lucy Richer for the BBC, Sarah Phelps, Anne Sewitsky, Claire Foy, Kate Triggs, and Dominic Treadwell-Collins.

The new limited series will span three 60-minute episodes.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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