Lee Miller is joined by Vanessa Redgrave to star in Byron,
a drama about the greatest romantic poet of his age for BBC
"Sensation is our only proof that we exist - that is
why we crave it."
Jonny Lee Miller stars as the charismatic, hedonistic and
wildly rebellious Lord Byron in a major two-part drama for
BBC TWO about the poet's life and loves which is now in production.
Natasha Little plays his half-sister Augusta, with whom he
had an incestuous affair; Camilla Power is Lady Caroline Lamb;
Julie Cox is his wife Annabella.
And following her recent and acclaimed performance as Clemmie
Churchill in BBC TWO's The Gathering Storm, Vanessa Redgrave
is to play Lady Melbourne, Byron's confidante.
"This film offers a bravura role for Jonny Lee Miller,"
says Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning.
"Byron will explore what it meant to be a sex-god aristo
and aims to take a muscular approach to period drama.
"While focussing on Byron's energy and his desire to
turn convention upside down, it will emphasise such contemporary
themes as the cult of celebrity, media manipulation and the
bad boy image of an outsider who wins - but despises - society's
"It is a radical, anti-establishment historical drama."
Stephen Campbell Moore - who stars in Bright Young Things,
Stephen Fry's adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies - is
Byron's friend John Cam Hobhouse; Philip Glenister is his
manservant William Fletcher; and Oliver Milburn plays his
Cambridge friend Scrope Davies.
Byron is a co-venture between the BBC's Drama and Arts departments.
It is written by Nick Dear, after exhaustive research, whose
credits include the award-winning adaptation of Jane Austen's
Persuasion, and is directed by Julian Farino (Flesh and Blood,
Our Mutual Friend, Bob and Rose).
Ruth Baumgarten is the producer and the executive producers
are BBC Head of Drama Serials Laura Mackie, Hilary Salmon
and Andrea Miller, Head of Factual Television, BBC Scotland.
Byron charts the rise and fall of an irresistible and devastatingly
handsome genius who had it all and threw it all away.
Byron's struggle to be accepted as a poet is dramatically
reversed by the publication of Childe Harolde's Pilgrimage,
which turns him into an overnight success and the toast of
Women throw themselves at him, but despite a passionate affair
with society beauty Lady Caroline Lamb (Camilla Power) he
soon tires of her and escapes into the arms of his half-sister
Augusta (Natasha Little), with whom he has an illicit, incestuous
Although unconcerned by society's conventions, Byron worries
that a scandal will harm Augusta and on a whim proposes to
the pious Annabella Millbanke (Julie Cox).
It's a love triangle that is doomed to failure. Annabella
soon learns that marriage to the greatest romantic poet of
his age is one of heartbreak and betrayal.
Augusta, for her part, will not let her physical relationship
with Byron continue once he is married.
Byron goes into self-imposed exile, and continues his life
of hedonistic pleasure in Venice - before settling into a
relationship with Italian aristocrat Contessa Teresa Guicciolli
(played by Branca Katic).
Eventually, as a man who has excelled in excess, he feels
his passion is spent and takes up the Greek struggle for independence
from the Turks.
Jonny Lee Miller is best known for his portrayal of Sick
Boy in Trainspotting and his recent successes include the
roles of Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park and Macleane in
Plunkett and Macleane.
Natasha Little first came to attention as the scheming Rachel
in This Life, and consolidated her talents as Becky Sharp
in Vanity Fair.
Recently highlighted in Vogue as one of the UK's leading
actresses, Natasha is soon to be seen in the hit BBC ONE drama
Camilla Power (Lady Caroline Lamb) played Becky Lawton in
Sally Wainwright's Sparkhouse for BBC ONE.
Julie Cox takes on her first romantic lead as Annabella following
roles in Dune, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The War Bride.
Byron begins shooting in February at locations in Somerset,
Malta and Luxembourg.
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