Dukes of hazard! René-Jean Page proves his royal mettle in Netflix's Bridgerton
Say what you will about Downton Abbey, it was enormously popular all around the world and made movie stars out of some if its cast, we didn’t really watch it for the hot guys. Let’s be honest here, we watched mainly for Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, living for her eye rolls, side eye and razor-tongued quips sharp enough to slice an ornately carved ottoman in twain.
However you feel about a period drama, there usually isn’t a great deal of hench chaps getting their kit off for us eager beavers. Besides Aiden Turner’s turn as hotter-than-a-Cornish-pasty West Country stud Poldark, we can’t think of anyone who’s gotten our loincloths all hot and bothered.
Aiden Turner and his might pole in er... Poldark
Well now, thanks to Netflix, that’s all changed. Speeding to number 1 on their chart faster than a six-horse stagecoach, their adaptation of the novel series Bridgerton is making more waves than milady’s fancy new wig.
History never looked so good
Set in a fantasy past based on the early 1800s England, the Bridgerton series of books are regency romances written by American Julia Quinn. It has been transformed into a mega-series on Netflix by none other than uber-producer Shonda Rhimes who brought us the mega-hits of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. One of the unique a selling points of Bridgerton is the colour-blind casting which sees actors from all backgrounds take on roles that historically would have all been white.
Oh brother! Luke Thompson, Jonathan Bailey and Luke Newton play the eldest Bridgerton brothers
We certainly do doff our hats to the team responsible for the casting as they’ve done a sterling job with a heady combination of bright young things, powerhouse middle-aged ladies and to top it all off, they’ve only gone and got Julie Andrews to narrate the damn thing. Before you dive into the luxuriously shot series, take a little peek at the man candy on show and tell us they don’t give you a bulge in your jodpers!
Put up your dukes
René-Jean Page, 31, plays the unflappable and mysterious Simon Basset who also happens to be the Duke of Hastings. He has British/Zimbabwean background and has the women literally swooning for his affections. It’s his first big starring role but he’s also been in Waterloo Rd!
Jonathan Bailey, 32, plays Anthony Bridgerton the eldest of the titular clan whose family the show revolves around. He gets some steamy scenes early on and you might recognise him from Broadchurch. Bailey actually came out as gay in real life back in 2018.
We wouldn't kick Jonathan Bailey out of our bed chamber!
Luke Thompson play the second eldest brother Benedict Bridgerton. He has that clean-cut boy next door look and is definitely one to watch in the series, closely followed by Luke Newton.
At 23, Newton plays Colin Bridgerton, the third eldest brother and the last in our round up. So, whether you’re into 19th century soap operas or not (the first book came out in 2000 so they’re not exactly Penguin Classics), the show is worth a once over just for the men in tight pants and hey, you might even get sucked in!