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A BBC six-part drama following the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood - the men who blew the art world apart

Genres: Drama
Station: BBC Two (UK)
Rating: 6.67/10 from 3 users
Status: Ended
Start: 2009-07-21

Desperate Romantics Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - Episode 1 Air Date: 21 July 2009 20:00 -

Some artists want lasting fame. Some want money. Others want sex. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood want all of it. These ambitious young men - the darkly handsome Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the brilliant and conflicted William Holman Hunt, and the preternaturally talented John Millais - are out to rock the art world with a style of painting that is, according to them, more true, real and heartfelt than anything seen for 300 years.


S01E02 - Episode 2 Air Date: 28 July 2009 20:00 -

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood continue their quest for credibility, celebrity and success.

With the help of their new friend, journalist Fred Walters, they have caught the attention of the pre-eminent art critic of the day, John Ruskin, and they now have to persuade Ruskin to buy their work. The prodigious and impossibly talented John Millais sets about rustling up a masterpiece to show Ruskin. The work is Ophelia, and he chooses Lizzie Siddal to sit for it. Rossetti, who is convinced that he is nothing without Lizzie as his muse, is furious with Millais for taking her from under his nose.


S01E03 - Episode 3 Air Date: 04 August 2009 20:00 -

The youngest and most talented member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, John Millais, delights in having landed the influential John Ruskin as his new patron. His friends and fellow artists, Hunt and Rossetti, watch on in bitter envy as Millais begins his rise to fame and fortune.


S01E04 - Episode 4 Air Date: 11 August 2009 20:00 -

While Hunt is far away in the Holy Land, Fred sets out to fulfil his promise to look after Annie and prevent her from getting up to mischief. But Annie proves too hot to handle: before Fred knows what's what, she has seduced him. Hunt returns from the Holy Land none the wiser and is in fact so taken with Annie's improved deportment and education under Fred's care that he asks her to marry him.


S01E05 - Episode 5 Air Date: 18 August 2009 20:00 -

Rossetti and Lizzie revel in their new-found status and wealth, acquired courtesy of Ruskin's generous patronage. Swept up in a whirlwind of late-night partying and debauchery, they forget about their art, including the commissions they've promised to complete.


S01E06 - Episode 6 Air Date: 25 August 2009 20:00 -

Rossetti and Lizzie return from their honeymoon ready to settle into conventional married life.

Desperate Romantics Actors

Aidan Turner(Gabriel Rossetti)

Zoe Tapper(Effie Ruskin)

Maimie McCoy(Maimie McCoy Role: Margaret)

Rafe Spall(William 'Maniac' Holman Hunt)

Amy Manson(Lizzie Siddal)

Jennie Jacques(Annie Miller)

Tom Hollander(John Ruskin)

Samuel Barnett(John Millais)

Josie Farmiloe(Charlotte Siddal)

Sam Crane (II)(Fred Walters)



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