The actor, best known for his roles in iconic feature films such as Four Weddings and A Funeral and Bridget Jones’s Diary, has been lined up to play former Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe in BBC1 three-part drama A Very English Scandal.
Thorpe, who led the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976, was a popular and capable politician. But the latter part of his career became engulfed in a national scandal, when he was accused of plotting to murder his secret homosexual lover Norman Scott. The resulting court case was dubbed “the trial of the century” by the British press, with the prosecution describing it as “a tragedy of truly Greek and Shakespearean proportions.”
The drama is being written by Russell T Davies (Queer as Folk, Cucumber trilogy) and directed by Stephen Frears, who previously worked with Grant on the acclaimed 2016 movie Florence Foster Jenkins. Grant himself has previously played a fictional Prime Minister in the movie Love Actually.
The show’s executive producer, Dominic Treadwell-Collins, said: “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.”
BBC drama chief Piers Wenger 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.”
A Very English Scandal will be the first production from Sony-backed producer Blueprint Television, which launched last June.
Headed by Treadwell-Collins, Blueprint Television is sister company to Graham Broadbent and Pete Czernin’s Blueprint Pictures, which produced The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.