Sunday 19 November 2017

BBC bodice ripper Versailles will feature 'most graphic sex scenes in British TV history'

Versailles will be broadcast on BBC2.
Versailles will be broadcast on BBC2.
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Forget Poldark's bare chest, the BBC will be taking things several steamy steps further with new bodice-ripping drama, Versailles.

Since that rather innocent chest-baring episode starring the lovely Aidan Turner, BBC viewers have been treated to raunchy scenes in series War and Peace and The Night Manager (which showed Tom Hiddleston's bum in case you're wondering).

Now French series Versailles is set to cause a stir with explicit sex scenes and violence.

Although it has just been acquired by the BBC and has yet to get a release date, one Conservative MP is already up in arms about the content.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Andrew Bridgen said, “There are channels where, if you wish to view this sort of material, you would have to pay for it.

“BBC viewers don’t have a choice. They have to pay for it whether they approve or not.

“Is this an example of the BBC dumbing down and seeking more sensationalised programming? That’s an arms race to the bottom – quite literally in this case.”

The series, which has already been broadcast in France, charts the life of King Louis XIV and, according to the Mail, the first episode has "gay sex, a cross-dressing prince, and a queen with a penchant for dwarves".

The series was filmed in English, which was the main bone of contention (as opposed to the sex) for French viewers.

The BBC Head of Programme Acquisitions, Sue Deeks, said it will be a "delicious treat" for viewers.

She said, "The historical setting is magnificent, the costumes are stunning and the series tells a fascinating story with intelligence, wit and stylish Gallic flair".

The furore over the nature of the content is likely to serve only to increase interest in the series. Expect Twitter to explode once the first episode is broadcast on BBC2 (post-watershed of course).

In the meantime, here's the trailer:

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