EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Phelps, the British writer behind Agatha Christie adaptations including The ABC Murders and The Pale Horse, has signed up to write the second season of the BBC and Amazon’s hit drama A Very English Scandal.
The Radio Times reported last year that Phelps had been approached to pen Season 2, and now the writer has confirmed to Deadline she is scripting a three-part series. The BBC is on the brink of formally confirming the recommission, with Amazon expected to be involved again.
A Very English Scandal will move on from the story of Jeremy Thorpe to become an anthology series, focusing on a new crisis that gripped the British establishment.
The second season centers on a 1963 sex scandal involving Margaret Campbell, the Duchess of Argyll. During a messy divorce from her second husband, he seized images of Campbell performing a sex act on an unknown man and she became known as “The Dirty Duchess.”
“I am writing a three-hour show about an extremely famous blowjob, because of course, what else would I do once I’ve finished killing people? I’m just filth, I’m in the gutter,” Phelps joked.
Phelps replaces Russell T Davies in the writers’ chair. Phelps said the Welsh writer is her “hero” and she “loved” the first season, which helped actor Ben Whishaw to a BAFTA, Emmy and Golden Globe for his performance as Norman Scott.
A Very English Scandal is made by Sony’s Blueprint Pictures. Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins left Blueprint last year to set up a production label at ITV Studios, but Phelps confirmed what Deadline reported in December — that he remains involved in the show. “I’ve known him for a very long time, we have worked together really well,” she said.
Phelps has just finished on The Pale Horse, which has already aired on BBC One and will premiere on Amazon on Friday. It is the final installment in a quintet of Christie adaptations the writer was planning. Mammoth Screen produced the show.