Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story
Created byPatrick Reams
Written byAmanda Coe
Directed byAndy DeEmmony
StarringJulie Walters
Alun Armstrong
Hugh Bonneville
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerLeanne Klein
ProducerRichard Burrell
Running time90 minutes
DistributorWall to Wall
Original networkBBC Two
Original release28 May 2008 (2008-05-28)

Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story is a 2008 British BBC Television drama written by Amanda Coe. Set in the 1960s, it recounts the initial campaigning activities of the British morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse. Julie Walters plays the part of Whitehouse, Alun Armstrong her husband Ernest, and Hugh Bonneville plays Sir Hugh Greene, the Director-General of the BBC, who is taken as embodying the liberalizing forces of the "permissive society" against which Whitehouse campaigned.

It was broadcast on 28 May 2008 on BBC Two,[1] aired in the United States on 16 November 2008 as part of the Masterpiece series on PBS and was aired in Australia on 31 May 2009 on ABC1.[2]

The script drew heavily on the Max Caulfield biography Mary Whitehouse (1976) and featured a degree of dramatic licence. For example, Whitehouse and others supposedly called their nascent group "Clean Up National TV" until her husband pointed out the unfortunate acronym - they then changed it to "Clean Up TV."

Among the many reviews published in the press were two contrasting examples in The Scotsman[3] and The Sunday Times.[4]

Additional cast


  1. ^ Oatts, Joanne (18 April 2007). "BBC confirms 'Mary Whitehouse' drama". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
  2. ^ Knox, David (28 May 2009). "Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story". Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  3. ^ Cowing, Emma. "Maybe Mary Whitehouse was right all along? Emma Cowing, The Scotsman, 28 April 2008". Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  4. ^ A.A. Gill "Mary Whitehouse is the real monster", The Sunday Times, 1 June 2008]