Filming has begun on Outrageous (6×60’), a six-part series about the Mitford sisters, with a cast including Bessie Carter, Joanna Vanderham, Anna Chancellor and James Purefoy, which will air in 2025.

The drama, created and written by Sarah Williams (Small Island, Flesh and Blood, The Long Song), and based on Mary Lovell’s definitive biography The Mitford Girls, is made by Firebird Pictures and has been co-commissioned by UKTV and BritBox International (for North America).

Outrageous is the story of six aristocratic sisters who refused to play by the rules, their often-scandalous lives making headlines around the world. Set against the gathering storm clouds of the 1930s, masked by the decadence, frivolity and lavishness of British high society, Outrageous will bring the full, uncensored story of the Mitford sisters to the screen for the first time – a story of family bonds and betrayals, public scandal, political extremism, love, heartache and even imprisonment. The show explores how and why these women, unwilling to conform, were so ahead of their time – and what drove them to take their very different, complex and often dangerous paths. A family saga like no other, this is the Mitfords as they really were: unapologetic, outrageous and utterly human.

Bessie Carter (Bridgerton, I Hate Suzie) is to star as Nancy Mitford, alongside Joanna Vanderham (Crime, The Control Room) as Diana Mitford, Shannon Watson (The Jetty, Say Nothing) as Unity Mitford, Zoe Brough (Casualty) as Jessica Mitford, Orla Hill (Stonehouse, A Confession) as Deborah Mitford and Isobel Jesper Jones (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, The Serpent Queen) as Pamela Mitford. Their brother Tom will be played by Toby Regbo (Belgravia: The Next Chapter, Platform 7), with Anna Chancellor (My Lady Jane, Trust) and James Purefoy (The Veil, Malpractice) at the top of the family tree as Muv and Farve.

Other cast will include Joshua Sasse (Love is in the Air, Galavant) as Oswald Mosley, Jamie Blackley (Becoming Elizabeth, The Last Kingdom) as Peter Rodd, James Musgrave (Einstein and the Bomb) as Hamish Erskine, Calam Lynch (Bridgerton, Archie) as Bryan Guinness and Will Attenborough (Our Girl, The Hollow Crown) as Joss.

Outrageous is produced by BBC Studios label, Firebird Pictures, and executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Matthew Mosley and Craig Holleworth. The series was originally ordered by Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama, and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning, UKTV. Helen Perry, head of drama, will executive produce for UKTV. Executive Producers for BritBox are Robert Schildhouse President North America, GM BritBox International, Jess O’Riordan and Stephen Nye. Directors for the series will be Joss Agnew (The Man Who Fell to Earth, Vigil) and Ellie Heydon (Trying, Dreamland), with Natasha Romaniuk (The Suspect, Fifteen-Love) as producer. BBC Studios brokered the BritBox deal and will be handling global distribution.

Helen Perry, head of drama for UKTV said: “Mad, bad and dangerous to know, the story of the Mitfords is based on fact stranger than fiction and is awash with contemporary resonance. With Outrageous, Firebird and Sarah Williams have created a uniquely bold period drama, which doesn’t shy away from the horrors of the time, yet offers us a chance to know these scandalous women who defied the world and tore themselves apart in the process.”

Emma Ayech, channel director for Drama added: “Outrageous is an instantly gripping story about six fascinating and uncompromising sisters who were celebrities of their day. Sarah Williams’ witty and highly engaging scripts will bring the glamour, scandal and heartache of the Mitfords’ world to life in a way that Drama’s audiences will relish.”

Robert Schildhouse, President North America, GM BritBox International said: “History has found the Mitford sisters to be endlessly fascinating, and we expect the BritBox community will be just as captivated by their glamour and scandals. Sarah Williams and Firebird have captured the Mitfords’ unique and shocking story in Outrageous, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

Matthew Mosley, Executive Producer for Firebird said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the stunning cast we’ve assembled to breathe life into this epic tale of sibling rivalry and political radicalisation – and we can’t wait for directors Joss Agnew and Ellie Heydon to weave their visual magic in evoking the febrile world of 1930s Britain, where old social orders are crumbling and a group of headstrong, rebellious sisters set out to change the world, with sometimes devastating consequences.”

Outrageous is a UKTV and BritBox International Original commission and will air on U&DRAMA and U in 2025.  Filming is taking place in and around Buckinghamshire.

Jon Creamer

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