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Films and Television

James Purefoy in Beau Brummell
James Purefoy in Beau Brummell

James Purefoy plays Beau Brummell

The Taunton-born actor has headed a star cast in BBC FOUR's Beau Brummell: This Charming Man, much of which was shot in Bath. Listen to an interview with its director, Philippa Lowthorpe.

To send an e-card of James Purefoy in Beau Brummell, click on this link:

James, recently seen as Mark Antony in BBC TWO's Rome, took the lead as Brummell in this engaging drama based on the biography written by Ian Kelly, who makes an appearance as Robert Manners, one of the Dandical Body.

James Purefoy in Rome
James starred in BBC TWO's Rome

BBC FOUR controller Janice Hadlow said: "Beau Brummell tells the intriguing story of the UK's first 'celebrity' superstar.

"It and The Century That Made Us season as a whole show just how similar 18th century people were in their aspirations and pleasures to our 21st century selves."

The screenplay, first shown on BBC FOUR in June 2006, was written by award-winning Simon Bent.

It 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.

James Purefoy in Beau Brummell
James Purefoy in Beau Brummell

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: This Charming Man was produced by Flashback Television for the BBC and was shot for a large part in Bath. It was directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, who appeared at 2006's Bath Film Festival.

audio Interview: Philippa Lowthorpe >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

You can listen back to our interview with James by following this link:

last updated: 06/02/07
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