Harlots BBC release date, cast, trailer, plot: When does Harlots start?

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Harlots originally aired on ITV Encore back in 2017 and on Hulu in the US. After the first season two aired in the UK, season three was nowhere to be seen on this side of the Atlantic on TV and is only available to watch via Starzplay. Thankfully, the BBC announced they had acquired Harlots from ITV Studios and all three seasons will be shown on BBC Two. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about Harlots including release date, cast, trailer, plot and more.

When does Harlots start?

Fans of Harlots will be pleased to know Harlots is coming to screens a lot sooner than you think.

Harlots will premiere on BBC Two at 9pm on Wednesday, August 5.

There is even more good news for Harlots fans, the premiere will be a double bill.

Episodes of Harlots will then air every Wednesday on BBC Two, with seasons one and two airing back to back.

After both seasons have concluded airing on the channel, season three will arrive on BBC Two.

READ MORE Harlots BBC release date, cast, trailer, plot: When is Harlots out?

Fans can expect season three to arrive in late 2021.

There are eight episodes in each season of Harlots, each 50 minutes long in length.

You can watch Harlots as it airs live on BBC Two or stream the episodes via the BBC iPlayer.

Don’t worry if you happen to miss an episode of Harlots on BBC Two, all episodes will be available to stream and download on iPlayer.

On Friday, July 3, the BBC confirmed the entire series of of the female-led historical drama will air on BBC Two.

Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programme Acquisition, said ahead of the show airing: “Aided by a truly magnificent cast, Harlots brings 18th century London to life with enormous style, wit, intelligence and humour.

“BBC viewers will become immersed in the gripping lives of businesswomen Margaret Wells (played by Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) as they make their way in London’s grimy, decadent world.”

Who stars in Harlots?

Harlots features a star-studded cast and a host of up and coming actors.

Downtown Abbey’s Jessica Brown-Findlay portrays Charlotte Wells and Lord of the Rings star Liv Tyler plays Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam.

Starring opposite Brown-Findlay and Fitzwilliam is Oscar-nominated actress Lesley Manville stars as Lydia Quigley.

Speaking recently to Radio Times com, Manville said Harlots was “ahead of the game” in terms of representation of the on-screen female characters.

She said: “For all three series we had female producers, female directors exclusively, and because of the – it’s an eight-episode series [so] for each series we would have three different directors. Always women directors, [a] predominantly female cast as you know.”

“And the stories definitely reflect[ed] a subject and a period where you could portray women in a far different position – pardon the pun – but I think it’s more about how empowered these women are, and how they are brilliantly taking their own lives into control.”

Derry Girls legend Nicola Coughlan stars as Hannah Dalton alongside Killing Eve’s Danni Sapani as William North.

Also starring in the series is Dorothy Atkinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Kate Fleetwood, Richard McCabe, Hugh Skinner, Rosalind Eleazar, Douggie McMeekin, and Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Game of Thrones star Alfie Allen as the new pimp Isaac Pincher and Hamilton’s Ash Hunter joined the cast for the most recent outing.

There are also guest appearances in the series from Coronation Street’s Stephen Beckett and The Iron Lady’s Michael Simkins.

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What is Harlots about?

Harlots is based on the 2005 book, The Covent Garden Ladies.

The series is set in the 18th Century Georgian London and tells the story of the brothel wars between the women of central London and the story of madam Margaret Wells who wants to secure a better future for her daughters.

The official synopsis for the series reads: “Set against the backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, Harlots is a powerful family drama offering a brand new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex.

“Inspired by the stories of real women, the series follows Margaret Wells (played by Samantha Morton) and her daughters, as she struggles to reconcile her roles as mother and brothel owner.

“When her business comes under attack from Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville), a rival madam with a ruthless streak, Margaret must fight back, even if it means putting her family at risk.

“Jessica Brown Findlay stars as Charlotte, Margaret’s eldest daughter and the city’s most coveted courtesan, who begins to grapple with her position in both society and her immediate family.”

Is there a trailer for Harlots?

Yes, there are multiple trailers for Harlots crossing all three seasons.

The official BBC trailer is an amalgamation of all three seasons into one 40 second trailer.

A voiceover says: “This city is made of our flesh” as the trailer flashes through brothel scenes, sex, tight corsets, sex and masked dancing.

The words “You need a head for business and a body for sin” then appear as the trailer comes to an end.

Harlots premieres on Wednesday, August 5 on BBC Two at 9pm

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