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Viewers praise BBC2's 'hidden gem' Harlots after double-bill

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

TV fans are already hooked on Harlots...

New BBC2 drama Harlots (opens in new tab) aired on Wednesday night, and viewers are already loving it.

It started with a double-bill at 9pm, giving viewers two hours worth of entertainment.

Set in the 18th century and inspired by the lives of real women, the drama follows Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) and her daughters, as she struggles to balance her roles as mother and brothel owner.

Series creators came up with concept for the series after reading 18th century "guide book" Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies.

It's a real-life directory of sex workers in London during the Georgian era, published in the 1700's.

Margaret Wells in BBC2 Harlots

Samantha Morton as Margaret Wells in Harlots.

The first episode introduced viewers to the women making a living as sex workers, including Margaret's daughter Charlotte, played by Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay.

And it seemed to impress viewers immediately, with many taking to Twitter to share their thoughts.

Harlots originally aired in 2017 on ITV Encore, but viewers are happy that its now reaching a larger audience.

One fan noted, "Great that hidden away shows (like #harlots on @BBCTwo now) are getting reshown on bigger channels. The energy that clearly goes into making all these programmes deserve these slots. I bet there’s still loads of hidden gems to uncover from many channels & moons ago! 👍🏻"

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Another added, "Watched two episodes of #harlots this evening. Casting is SUBLIME. Costumes are EVERYTHING. I feel like I can smell the streets. Bravo!"

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A third wrote, "Yep. Love #Harlots. Wednesday night needed a series like this."

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And a fourth added, "Quite simply Samantha Morton is an elite level actor #harlots"

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Will fans be as impressed as the series continues? We'll have to wait and find out!

Harlots continues Wednesdays on BBC2. It's also available on BBC iPlayer.

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2016 with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story and Black Mirror, but recently she's loving everything about Apple TV's Severance