Category: Factual & Arts TV; TV Drama; BBC FOUR
James Purefoy will head a star cast in BBC FOUR's Beau Brummell, a new drama at the centre of the channel's The Century That Made Us season focussing on the 18th century to be screened later this year.
Purefoy, recently seen as Mark Anthony in BBC TWO's Rome, takes the lead as Brummell in this engaging drama based on the new biography written by Ian Kelly.
Key talent includes: The Iris and Notting Hill film actor Hugh Bonneville as Prince Regent; Phil Davis from BBC ONE's Bleak House as Master Servant Robinson; and Matthew Rhys, acclaimed for his role in the West End production of The Graduate, as poet Lord Byron.
Biographer Kelly also makes an appearance as Robert Manners, one of the Dandical Body.
BBC FOUR Controller Janice Hadlow says: "Beau Brummell is yet another original BBC FOUR drama to attract a stellar cast.
"It tells the intriguing story of the UK's first 'celebrity' superstar and it, and the season as a whole, show just how similar 18th century people were in their aspirations and pleasures to our 21st century selves."
The screenplay is written by award winning Simon Bent, and tells the story of the 18th century's most charismatic figure - famous for his friendship with the Prince Regent.
Like his modern-day celebrity counterparts, Beau's meteoric rise to fame was tempered by a spectacular fall.
An argument with the Prince Regent led to his disfavour in society and he fled England in 1816 after amassing thousand of pounds of debt.
He died penniless in France in 1840.
During his popularity Brummell was the ultimate man about town, mixing with the best London had to offer, and consorting with the finest ladies.
His individual style of dress led to the trend for beautifully cut clothing adorned with neckwear which became known as 'dandyism'.
This revolution in men's fashion is credited as being the forerunner to the modern-day suit and tie.
Beau Brummell is produced by Flashback Television. The producer is David Edgar and the film is directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.