Everything you need to know about ITV’s big new period drama Vanity Fair plus new trailer


Vanity Fair boasts an amazing cast including Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones - NEW TRAILER

Vanity Fair is tipped to be Autumn’s hottest new period drama.

The seven-part adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s 1848 literary classic is currently filming in Budapest and London and has attracted cracking household names including Suranne Jones and Martin Clunes.

Here’s everything you need to know about ITV period drama Vanity Fair…

The plot…


Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair follows heroine Becky Sharp (played by Oldham-born actress Olivia Cooke, who recently starred in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One) as she tries to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English society. As you’d expect in a rollicking good period drama, there’s villainy, cheating, fighting, lovemaking and dancing – all through the court of King George IV and the Battle of Waterloo.

Who’s in it?

Suranne Jones dressed in black at red carpet event

Suranne Jones is among the cast of Vanity Fair

Who isn’t in it may be quicker! Rising Hollywood star Tom Bateman (just seen in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express) takes the role of Becky’s beau, Captain Rawdon Crawley, with theatre legend Simon Russell Beale and Outnumbered’s Claire Skinner playing her parents.

Line of Duty’s Claudia Jessie plays Becky’s confidante Amelia Sedley, while Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes plays Sir Pitt Crawley, with Frances de la Tour as Miss Matilda Crawley. Doctor Foster star Suranne Jones plays Miss Pinkerton and, in a fun twist, Michael Palin plays Thackeray himself – surely a casting the author would approve of!

Anything else?

This adaptation, penned by Gwyneth Hughes, is made by the production company who gave us Poldark and Victoria – so expectations will be high when it hits our screens later this year, showing on ITV before premiering in America as an Amazon Prime Exclusive.

"I’m having the best time ever playing Becky Sharpe," reveals Olivia. "I’m a bit nervous because it’s such a famous character and I want to do it justice, but I think it’s turning out really well. It looks beautiful and the scripts are amazing."

Not a big fan of period dramas? Still tune in, says Olivia. "It’s a fresh, new adaptation and I think it’s going to be quite cinematic and contemporary take on the 19th century."

We can’t wait!

Vanity Fair will be on ITV this autumn.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!