Vanity Fair 3
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ITV's Vanity Fair
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ITV's Vanity Fair

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Last night ITV aired the first episode of a new period drama, Vanity Fair.

Courtesy of ITV Press Centre, Vanity Fair

The seven part series is based on the book by 19th century British author, William Makepeace Thackeray; famed for his satirical depictions of high society, riddled as he saw it with snobbery and hypocrisy.

The series opens with a nod to Thackeray, who is featured in the plot (played by Micheal Palin) and introduces the narrative with the line: "A very vain, wicked, foolish place. Full of all sorts of humbug, falseness and pretension."

This TV adaptation of a popular classic is the latest from the production company responsible for Poldark and Victoria.

Casting for the drama includes; Olivia Cooke as the protagonist, Becky Sharp, who is a smart, savvy opportunist intent on defying her fate as a penniless orphan with no social security. Her game is to marry wealth and she's not afraid to play dirty; a slogan attached to an advert for the series reads: "Their world. Her rules."

Cooke is joined by a renowned ensemble cast, with household names such as, Martin Clunes and Suranne Jones, along with new screen stars; Claudia Jessie (Line of duty), Johnny Flynn (Genius) and Tom Bateman (Murder On The Orient Express).

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