A Very British Scandal – BBC 1


Well, this was all gloriously scandalous!   Every cliche about bed-hopping amongst the upper-classes – and I do appreciate that it isn’t true in most people’s cases! – in a real life story, which the tabloids of the time absolutely lapped up, not just in the UK but worldwide.  Although, considering that all these affairs were supposed to be going on, we actually didn’t see much of anyone doing more than drinking in bars together – the BBC resisted the temptation to ape Bridgerton!  It was brilliantly well-acted, but the two main characters were both such nasty pieces of work that it was hard to feel any empathy or compassion for either of them.  OK, no-one should be a victim of revenge porn, and I think that the scriptwriters did sympathise with the Duchess, but she was so unpleasant that *I* really couldn’t feel a lot of sympathy for her.  And the Duke was even worse.  But the fact that Claire Foy and Paul Bettany made the viewer feel like that says a lot both for them and for the scriptwriters.

The big problem was that, because it was all so recent, the BBC couldn’t really name a chosen suspect as the “headless man”.  In a historical drama, you can accuse anyone you like of murdering the Princes in the Tower, or put forward any theory you like about what really went on between Mary Queen of Scots and Bothwell.   But there was no way that the BBC could have named Duncan Sandys, Douglas Fairbanks jnr or anyone else as “that man” in “those photos” – it’s just all too recent.   So that did limit the scope of the story somewhat.  But still, very well-written and very well-acted.  Now, having had A Very English Scandal and A Very British Scandal, are we going to have A Very Scottish Scandal, A Very Welsh Scandal and A Very Northern Irish Scandal to follow?!



2 thoughts on “A Very British Scandal – BBC 1

    • If they were soap opera characters, people would be moaning that they were ridiculously OTT. He claimed that she’d been having it off with 89 different men. She tried to make out that his children weren’t actually his, and was planning to buy a baby and pass it off as their. Even Dallas and Dynasty wouldn’t have come up with something like that – talk about fact being stranger than fiction!


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