June 26, 2024

BritBox International and UKTV co-commission Outrageous, a new drama about the notorious Mitford sisters

Filming has begun on the series, produced by Firebird Pictures and created and written by Sarah Williams, for BritBox International, U&DRAMA and U

LONDON – Wednesday 26th June: 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 brand new 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 BritBox International (for North America) and UKTV.

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 set 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 Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels, and executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Matthew Mosley and Craig Holleworth. Executive Producers for BritBox are Robert Schildhouse President North America, GM BritBox International, Jess O’Riordan and Stephen Nye. 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. 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.

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.”

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.”

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 BritBox International and UKTV Original commission and will air on BritBox International in North America in 2025. Filming is taking place in and around Buckinghamshire.


Notes for Editors:

About BritBox International

BritBox is a digital subscription video on demand service streaming the best of British TV to audiences internationally. BritBox delivers the UK’s favourite programmes, ranging from brand new commissions to gems, across a variety of genres, including critically-acclaimed drama, crime thrillers, classic comedy and powerful documentaries, alongside reality hits and entertainment.

BritBox is available on multiple platforms, including via the web, mobile, tablet, streaming devices and connected TVs, with the offering in each market showcasing the depth and breadth of British creativity. With the support of the BBC providing a pipeline of exceptional content, made available as soon as it comes out of its broadcast and catch-up windows, BritBox is home to a wealth of titles from its parent company (BBC Studios), in addition to completely new original commissions from British production companies specifically created for BritBox and acquisitions from third parties.  | press:

About Drama
Sky 143, Virgin Media 130, Freeview 20, Freesat 158

+1 Sky 243, Virgin Media 226, Freeview, 60

On demand on Sky, Virgin Media & UKTV Play

Free-to-air channel Drama is passionate about bringing Britain the best quality drama. From period to contemporary, family to comedy, the channel is a treasure trove of well-loved classics and modern drama with stories for viewers to fully immerse themselves in.  With programmes including familiar favourites Call the MidwifeThe BillNew Tricks and Silent Witness, and brand new and exclusive hits Sister Boniface Mysteries, Whitstable Pearl and Signora Volpe this is the channel where viewers can escape and indulge in a handpicked range of the nation’s most celebrated TV dramas.  The channel’s offering has also expanded in recent years with the UKTV Original TV adaptation of Robert Thorogood’s hit novel The Marlow Murder Club. This two-part series stars Samantha Bond as no-nonsense, crossword-setter and wild-swimmer, Judith Potts, alongside Jo Martin, Cara Horgan and Natalie Dew.

About UKTV Play

UKTV Play is an on demand TV service providing instant access to shows from UKTV’s free-to-air channels – Dave, W, Yesterday and Drama. With the easy-to-use UKTV Play app you can browse and stream hundreds of shows for free via your computer, tablet or smart phone. You can also watch on the telly thanks to Freeview Play, Amazon Fire TV, YouView, Samsung TV, Apple TV, Freesat, NOW and Roku. If you’re a Sky or Virgin Media customer, shows from other great UKTV channels – Gold, Alibi, and Eden – are also on the menu. UKTV Play will transition to U on July 16th 2024.


About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands – Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday – span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and scripted drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Sky, Virgin Media, Now Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, Freeview and Freesat; and to Irish viewers through Sky, Virgin Media, Eir, Vodafone and NOW.  Channel & content availability varies by platform.  UKTV’s content is also available to UK viewers via dedicated FAST channels on Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Freevee, Virgin and Pluto TV. UKTV is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers. UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK’s most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world’s leading public service broadcaster, the BBC. UKTV recently announced that U – its new masterbrand – will launch on 16th July, including a quality line-up of content of nearly 8,500 hours on its free streaming service, an uplift of almost 1,500 hours from the start of the year. The masterbrand will unite UKTV’s family of free-to-air channels becoming U&Dave, U&DRAMA, U&YESTERDAY and U&W. Its free streaming service will transition from UKTV Play to U. | | @uktvpress

About Firebird Pictures

Firebird is a scripted production company set up by former BBC Executives Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth in. 2019. With a particular focus on character-led series, Firebird works with the best writing and directing creatives to produce high end, bold and distinctive content for UK and international audiences.

With five major new series in prep and production – WILDERNESS, written by Marnie Dickens and starring Jenna Coleman for Amazon Prime Video; WAHALA, adapted from Nikki May’s best-selling novel by Theresa Ikoko for the BBC; OUTRAGEOUS, the scandalous story of the six Mitford sisters for UKTV; event drama THE JETTY written by Cat Jones and starring Jenna Coleman; and Nicole Lecky’s new six part relationship thriller, VIRGINIA, both for the BBC – Firebird have been fast off the starting block, with more shows set to be greenlit and moving into production next year.

In her previous role as Senior Commissioning Editor for BBC Drama, Liz’s multi-award winning portfolio of work includes Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Bodyguard, Bafta-winning The Cry, Emmy-nominated Luther, J.K . Rowling’s Strike, Doctor Foster, Bafta-nominated The Victim and International Emmy winning McMafia. In this role, Liz was also responsible for Call the Midwife and Poldark. Prior to joining the BBC Drama commissioning team, Liz

Executive Produced Emmy-nominated Luther and BBC Three’s multi award-nominated Thirteen, starring Jodie Comer.

Formerly Head of Business for BBC Drama and BBC Films Commissioning, Holleworth worked on shows such as Doctor Who, Peaky Blinders and His Dark Materials.

About BBC Studios

BBC Studios is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group with sales of £2.1 billion (2021/22: £1,630 million). Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, the business is built on two operating areas: the Global Content Studio, which produces, invests and distributes content globally and Global Media & Streaming, with BBC branded channels, services and joint ventures in the UK and internationally. Around 2,500 hours of award-winning British programmes are made by the business every year, with over 80% of total BBC Studios revenues coming from non-BBC customers including Discovery, Apple and Netflix.  Its content is internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, the Planet series, Bluey and Doctor Who. is BBC Studios’ global digital news platform, offering up-to-the-minute international news, in-depth analysis and features.