Hugh Grant re­turns to Bri­tish TV after 25 years

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Showbiz - By ROBERT MITCHELL

HUGH Grant is set to play a dis­graced Bri­tish politi­cian in true-story drama A

Very English Scandal, the BBC said re­cently. The project will re­unite Grant with di­rec­tor Stephen Frears fol­low­ing the ac­tor’s ac­claimed per­for­mance in last year’s

Florence Foster Jenk­ins, which earned him Golden Globe and BAFTA nom­i­na­tions for best sup­port­ing ac­tor.

In A Very English Scandal, Grant will play Jeremy Thorpe, the first Bri­tish politi­cian in mod­ern times to stand trial for mur­der. In 1979, Thorpe, then leader of the Lib­eral party and the youngest leader of any Bri­tish po­lit­i­cal party in a hun­dred years, was ac­cused of con­spir­ing to mur­der his ex-lover. The film is based on a book by Bri­tish jour­nal­ist John Pre­ston.

The three-part drama for flag­ship chan­nel BBC One marks Grant’s re­turn to Bri­tish tele­vi­sion for the first time in nearly 25 years, when he starred in The Changeling, an episode of the BBC’s an­thol­ogy drama se­ries Per­for­mance, op­po­site El­iz­a­beth Mc­Gov­ern and Bob Hoskins. The

Changeling aired in De­cem­ber 1993. Grant will next be seen on the big screen in the Padding­ton se­quel set for release later this year.

“Hugh is one of 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,” said ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Do­minic Tread­well-Collins of Blue­print Tele­vi­sion. “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.”

The show marks the first pro­duc­tion from Sony-backed Blue­print Tele­vi­sion, which launched last June. Blue­print Tele­vi­sion is the TV arm of Blue­print Pic­tures, the pro­duc­ers of The Best Ex­otic Marigold Ho­tel.

A Very English Scandal is writ­ten by Davies, who cre­ated the mod­ern it­er­a­tion of Doc­tor Who in 2005 and more re­cently cre­ated dra­mas Cu­cum­ber and Banana, for Chan­nel 4 and E4, re­spec­tively.

The project, and Frears and Davies’ in­volve­ment, was orig­i­nally an­nounced in early May.

Davies said at the time: “I've wanted to write this story for years, ever since I was 16 and saw it un­fold on the news. John Pre­ston’s bril­liant book il­lu­mi­nates a vi­tal and fas­ci­nat­ing piece of Bri­tish his­tory.”

— AFP

In A Very English Scandal, Grant will play the first Bri­tish politi­cian in mod­ern times to stand trial for mur­der.

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