What time is Harlots on BBC2 tonight? How many episodes are there?

Jessica Brown Findlay as Charlotte in BBC2's Harlots
(Image credit: BBC/Monumental/Liam Daniel)

Prepare for some period drama fun

Harlots will begin on BBC2 tonight [Wednesday 5th August] at 9pm, with a second episode following at 9.50pm [see our TV guide for full listings].

The racy period drama - see our full guide to the series (opens in new tab) - will then continue with another double bill next Wednesday, 12th August, at 9pm.

The cast of the raunchy drama includes former Downton Abbey star Jessica Brown Findlay, who played Sybil in the famous show.

How many episodes are there in season one of Harlots?

Lesley Manville as Lydia

Lesley Manville as Lydia (Image credit: BBC/Monumental/Robert Viglasky)

There’s eight episodes in the first series. Harlots ran for three series of eight episodes each, so there’s 24 in total to enjoy. The show originally went out on ITV encore.

What is the show about?

It’s set in 18th century Georgian London and follows brothel owner Margaret Wells (Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton) and her family as they battle to rise through society. But they face a fierce enemy in Lydia Quigley (Mum star Lesley Manville), an unscrupulous rival madam out to destroy Margaret. Jessica Brown Findlay plays Charlotte Wells, Margaret’s daughter and the most coveted courtesan in London.

How raunchy is Harlots?

Jessica Brown Findlay as Charlotte Wells in Harlots BBC

(Image credit: BBC/Monumental/Liam Daniel)

In a previous interview (opens in new tab) when the show originally ran, Jessica told us: “It’s definitely going out after the watershed, but it’s not quite Game of Thrones!” Jessica also spoke about Charlotte...

"She is notorious. She’s the most famous and sought after courtesan in London, everyone knows her name.

"She gets paid in jewels and lives what is, for many people, a sought after life but she’s actually very complicated. She parades around with confidence as if she has no cares in the world, but underneath she has a lot of barriers.

"She doesn’t let people in and is untrusting when it comes to love. She’s flawed, frustrating at times but also funny, quick-witted and intelligent – she’s brilliant!"

What time is Harlots on BBC2 tonight?

Harlots begins on BBC2 tonight at 9pm.

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!