Magisterial: BBC1’s A Very English Scandal reviewed

A Very British Scandal (image: Ray Burmiston)

What’s amazing about Jeremy Thorpe is that it genuinely didn’t occur to him that murdering someone might be illegal or immoral.

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little, so you can imagine how sickened I was by the magisterial TV adaptation of John Preston’s A Very English Scandal (BBC1, Sundays).

I’ve known Preston for years. It’s him I have to thank for the compendious collection of CDs rotting in my attic, from the ten years or so I spent working under him (he was the arts editor) as the Sunday Telegraph’s rock critic. But though I’ve hugely enjoyed all his quirky, low-key, sardonically amused novels — loosely on the theme of ‘quiet desperation is the English way’ —I never imagined he’d luck out quite so spectacularly as he has with this truly splendid all-star production.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

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