Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe

The new BBC drama starring Hugh Grant…..

The BBC appear to have done it again, their latest drama, A Very English Scandal, is a three-part series starring Hugh Grant as the late Jeremy Thorpe, the MP and Liberal Party leader whose career ended in total disgrace.

Following Thorpe’s death in 2014 I wrote about the politician’s demise and his involvement in the Norman Scott affair, but I concentrated on Thorpe’s relationship with the then Prime Minister, Harold Wilson and the way in which Thorpe played on Wilson’s increasingly fragile mental state.

These particular events help to paint a clear picture of the scheming Thorpe and what drove him to go to such extraordinary lengths. In the TV series, Grant gets this across quite brilliantly in an inspired choice of acting. Thorpe was a predator who schemed and corrupted for his own sexual ends and it will be fascinating to watch how this series will develop as the plot quite literally, thickens.

The casting thus far has proved excellent, there are moments of dark humour but it is Grant who manages to convey the sense of ruthless ambition which drove Thorpe to such extreme measures. It was a scandal which rocked Britain in an era when homosexuality was a whispered word and the class system held all of the power.

Further reading:

Jeremy Thorpe and the South African Secret Service

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