The Line of Beauty (TV series)

The Line of Beauty is a British drama television serial that was first broadcast on BBC Two on 17 May 2006. The three-part series, written by Andrew Davies and directed by Saul Dibb, is an adaptation of the 2004 novel of the same name by Alan Hollinghurst.

The Line of Beauty
Based onThe Line of Beauty
by Alan Hollinghurst
Written byAndrew Davies
Directed bySaul Dibb
ComposerMartin Phipps
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes3 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Laura Mackie
  • Hilary Salmon
ProducerKate Lewis
CinematographyDavid Odd
Running time60 minutes
Original network
Picture format16:9 576i
Audio formatStereo
Original release17 May (2006-05-17) 
31 May 2006 (2006-05-31)


3 episodes

2 episodes

  • Oscar James as Brentford
  • John Warnaby as Badger
  • John Standing as Lord Kessler
  • Siri Svegler as Martine
  • Nikki Amuka-Bird as Rosemary Charles
  • Justin Salinger as Russel
  • Caroline Blakiston as Lady Partridge
  • Julia St. John as Greta Timms
  • David Yelland as John Timms
  • John Quayle as Geoffrey Titchfield
  • Bruno Lastra as Tristao
  • Tom Knight as Norman Kent

Episode list

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1"The Love Chord"Saul DibbAndrew Davies17 May 2006 (2006-05-17)2.16

Nick Guest, a recent Oxford graduate from a middle-class family, is invited to stay in the home of his best friend, Toby Fedden, son of Conservative MP Gerald Fedden, while the family, minus their bipolar daughter Cat, are out on holiday in France. Nick is asked by Cat and Toby's mother, Rachel, to keep an eye on Cat as she had a history of cutting herself, and to contact them if Cat were to have any issues. Not long after the rest of the Feddens are gone, Cat does have a minor episode, but after Nick helps her, she begs him to not contact her parents and he agrees. They quickly form a close friendship, and when the Feddens return, Rachel is so impressed by how well Nick and Cat bonded that she insists Nick stays on as a permanent lodger. This arrangement allows Nick to be brought into the lifestyle of the Feddens, giving him an insider's look at life in upper-class English society. With Cat's assistance, Nick meets Leo, with whom Nick falls madly in love. However, this romance is short-lived when Leo breaks up with Nick to go back to his ex Pete, who was starting to show symptoms of having AIDS before the condition became widely known.

Guest starring: Elize du Toit, Robin Kermode, Richard Lintern, Garrick Hagon and Floella Benjamin
2"To Whom Do You Beautifully Belong"Saul DibbAndrew Davies24 May 2006 (2006-05-24)1.53

Nick has become fully integrated into the Fedden family. Nick had become involved with another friend from Oxford, Wani, the son of a rich Lebanese businessman, but because of Wani's cultural and economic background, the relationship had to be kept secret. Nick and Wani have started a magazine and film production company together, which also becomes a convenient cover for their relationship. Due to Nick's exposure to the lifestyles of the rich, he becomes involved with drugs and more hedonistic behaviour. Nick accompanies Gerald to Nick's home town of Barwick, and while there Nick stumbles upon Gerald having sex with one of his secretaries.

Later, the Feddens are again on holiday in France and this time invite Nick and Wani to join them. While there, things in the Fedden family become tense, with Cat becoming rebellious against her father's involvement with a shady investor and showing signs that she is no longer taking her meds, Nick becoming more open about his homosexuality, and Gerald all but telling Nick to remain silent about the affair. When everyone returns to England, the Feddens have a party for Margaret Thatcher. Prior to the party Nick goes to a bar to get drugs, and while there sees his ex, Leo, who is showing symptoms of AIDS. Fearful, Nick avoids approaching Leo and quickly leaves the bar. At the party, Nick makes a strong impression with Thatcher by inviting her to dance and making the party a smashing success.

Guest starring: Peter Needham, Virgile Bramly, Adam Rayner, Ivana Gavrić, Andy Lucas, Joseph Morgan, Tanya Duff, Jessica Turner, Paul Butterworth, Lee Long, Albert Welling, Barbara Flynn, Kenneth Cranham, Graham Bohea, Ryan Simons and Kika Markham
3"The End of the Street"Saul DibbAndrew Davies31 May 2006 (2006-05-31)1.70

The Tories are at the height of power with elections approaching. Leo's lesbian sister Rosemary arrives to Nick's office to inform him that Leo died from complications of AIDS, to let Nick know that Leo did have a special love for him, and to be sure that Nick hadn't become sick. Nick's boyfriend Wani, however, has contracted the disease. Eventually his condition causes the relationship to end and their mutual business ventures to falter. Not long after the elections in which Gerald wins another term, his affair and his dealings with corrupt investors are exposed by the press, plunging him into a major financial scandal. They discover that the source is a fully manic Cat, who has long been off her medications and ran away from home. The magnitude of the scandal forces Gerald to resign in disgrace. Further scandal erupts when Nick's homosexuality is leaked, destroying his relationship with the Feddens. They question how he became integrated into their lives and project their anger about betrayal onto Nick, forcing him to move out of their house. While Nick was saying farewell to their housekeeper, with whom he thought he had a close bond from the four years of living there, she said that she knew he was no good from the moment she first laid eyes on him. Nick leaves the Feddens a broken man with an uncertain future.

Guest starring: Rosie Fellner, Keeley Forsyth, Michael N. Harbour, John Banks, Trevor White, Jake Broder, Luis Soto, Max Cane, Tracy Wiles, Stephen Hogan, Georgie Glen, Sarah Mowat, Des Hamilton and Tim Elliott


The Independent called the series an "intelligent, properly grown-up drama." Matt Wells of The Guardian said it was a "creative flop" and "it exposed how poorly the BBC serves gay viewers."[2] Sam Wollaston, also writing for The Guardian, praised the series and called it "wonderful".[3] Rupert Smith, also with The Guardian, said it was a "masterclass in storytelling - but surely there was more to the 1980s than a few posh people with glossy hair?"[4]

Home media

The DVD edition was released on 31 July 2006.[5]


  1. "BARB Top 30s".
  2. Wells, Matt (18 May 2006). "Note to BBC: gay people pay the licence fee too". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  3. Wollaston, Sam (18 May 2006). "Last night's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  4. Smith, Rupert (1 June 2006). "Last night's TV". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. "The Line Of Beauty (DVD)". BBC Shop. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
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