Belfast Telegraph

Hugh Grant returns to the small screen in political drama series

The series follows the headline-grabbing life of Thorpe, who was tried for conspiring to murder his former lover Norman Scott in 1979 but eventually acquitted.

Hugh Grant is to return to the small screen for the first time since 1996 in a new drama about disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe.

A Very English Scandal follows the headline-grabbing life of politician Thorpe, who was tried for conspiring to murder his former lover Norman Scott in 1979 but eventually acquitted.

Thorpe became leader of the British Liberal Party in 1967 was one of the most charismatic politicians of his generation. But in the early 1960s, when homosexuality remained illegal, he enjoyed a secret relationship with the young former model. When the secret came to light it destroyed his career.

While the 56-year-old actor has voiced cartoon characters in television projects and starred in skits for charity, he hasn't starred in a television series since The Nanny in 1996. He also hasn't been seen in a British television series since the early 1990's.

Airing in three hour-long episodes, the programme is based on the book of the same name by John Preston and will be written for the small screen by Doctor Who's Russell T. Davies. Oscar nominee and BAFTA winners Stephen Frears, with whom Hugh worked on the smash hit film Florence Foster Jenkins, will be directing the series, while Dominic Treadwell-Collins is executive producing.

"Hugh is one our most iconic British actors - sharp, witty, deeply human and nuanced - and to have him play one of the most controversial figures of British politics is utterly thrilling," Treadwell-Collins said in a press release.

"With Russell T Davies writing and Stephen Frears directing, A Very English Scandal unites the highest level of talent to bring this extraordinary true story to life.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, who commissioned the series alongside Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, added: "Hugh Grant is an extraordinary actor and a worldwide star. I'm delighted that he is joining the BBC One family and I can't wait to see how he applies his unique talent bringing to life this mercurial role."

Hugh will next be seen in highly-anticipated sequel Paddington 2, due for release in November (17).

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