'A Very English Scandal' Is Getting a Season 2—Here's What We Know So Far

·3 min read
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

A Very English Scandal is getting the anthology treatment. In the wake of much critical acclaim—including a Golden Globe for actor Ben Whishaw, who played Norman Scott—the show is getting a second season, though it won't continue the story of the first.

Season two will be slightly rebranded, now going by the title A Very British Scandal, and it'll feature an entirely new cast and a new true story. Here's everything we know so far about the follow up.

The plot will center around Margaret Campbell, the Duchess of Argyll.

Photo credit: Keystone - Getty Images
Photo credit: Keystone - Getty Images

Margaret Campbell was a British socialite who was embroiled in a sex scandal during the 1960s and became known as the "dirty duchess."

The official synopsis offers some hints of what we can expect: “Famed for her charisma, beauty and style, Margaret (Foy), Duchess of Argyll, dominated the front pages as a divorcee 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.”

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins shared some insights into the show's angle with Digital Spy. "We’re going to focus on [Margaret's] very public divorce from her second husband. He went through her private desk and found a list of all the men she’d slept with, as well as three polaroid photos of her wearing only her pearls and giving a blow job to a man whose head was out of the picture," he said.

"The Duchess of Argyll was the first woman to be publicly slut-shamed," he continued, noting that the "headless man" as he is sometimes called was quite the mystery of the time.

"People thought that it could have been a member of the royal family or the government or a Hollywood actor. No one still knows who it was," he said.

That said, the Duchess's stepdaughter, Lady Colin Campbell, claims the man was American airline executive Bill Lyons.

"The mystery of The Headless Man distorted Margaret’s life while she was alive, and it threatens to distort her memory in death," she wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

"It is to restore some small measure of justice that I have decided to end the mystery and reveal who it was in the picture with her, and why. I know the answer for a fact because, in the course of our long friendship, it was Margaret who told me."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Claire Foy stars as the Duchess of Argyll.

Fans of The Crown who've been missing Foy since season two ended will want to tune in. The Emmy-winning actress will star as Margaret, in a performance that's bound to put her back in the awards conversation next year. Paul Bettany, meanwhile, will play her husband the Duke of Argyll.

The full ensemble cast, per TVLine, includes Amanda Drew (Trust), Richard McCabe (Harlots), Phoebe Nicholls (The Elephant Man), Camilla Rutherford (Phantom Thread), Timothy Renouf (Afterlife of the Party), Sophia Myles (A Discovery of Witches), Sophie Ward (Land Girls), Tim Steed (Cruella) and Katherine Manners (Press).

The second season has a new writer.

BBC veteran Sarah Phelps (Dublin Murders) wrote A Very British Scandal, which will feature three 6o-minute episodes just like the first run. It will explore the systemic misogyny that allowed Margaret to be vilified by the press and the legal system alike.

Treadwell-Collins told Digital Spy that he wanted a female writer to follow in the footsteps of Russell T. Davis, who wrote the first season. "For a feminist scandal, I need a female writer," he said.

The new series will premiere on Amazon in the US next year.

Per Variety, A Very British Scandal will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the U.K. later this year, followed by Amazon Prime in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in 2022.

In the meantime, season one is streaming now on Amazon Prime. Watch it at the link below:


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