Vanity Fair (1987 TV serial)

Vanity Fair is a 1987 BBC Pebble Mill Production consisting of sixteen 35 minute episodes.[1][2] It is an adaptation of the 1848 novel Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.[3] The serial was shot on location and in studio. Locations included Winchester and Thetford. Virtually all the interiors were shot in Studio A at Pebble Mill.

Vanity Fair
Vanity Fair (1987 TV serial).jpg
BBC ad with Rebecca Saire
Written byWilliam Makepeace Thackeray (novel)
Alexander Baron
Directed byDiarmuid Lawrence
Michael Owen Morris
StarringEve Matheson
Rebecca Saire
Music byNigel Hess
Original languageEnglish
ProducerTerrance Dicks
Running time35 min. (16 episodes)
Original release6 September (1987-09-06) –
20 December 1987 (1987-12-20)

The series stars Eve Matheson as Becky Sharp, Rebecca Saire as Amelia Sedley, Simon Dormandy as William Dobbin, Jack Klaff as Rawdon Crawley, David Swift as Mr. Sedley, James Saxon as Joseph 'Jos' Sedley, Gillian Raine as Mrs. Sedley, Benedict Taylor as George Osborne, Shaughan Seymour as Pitt Crawley, Philippa Urquhart as Miss Briggs and Freddie Jones as Sir Pitt Crawley.[4] Amanda Murray appeared as Ann Dobbin in three episodes.[5]

The story is set in the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Becky Sharp, a poor orphan girl, schemes for money and position. Her most-used stepladder is her old school friend, Amelia Sedley. Both women marry soldiers, and both of them are affected by the Battle of Waterloo.


Episode Title Air Date
1 Miss Sharp and Miss Sedley Open the Campaign 6 September 1987
2 Vauxhall Gardens 13 September 1987
3 Crawley of Queen's Crawley 20 September 1987
4 Arcadian Simplicity 20 September 1987
5 Who Played the Piano? 4 October 1987
6 A Marriage and Part of a Honeymoon 11 October 1987
7 Amelia Invades the Low Countries 18 October 1987
8 The Girl I Left Behind Me 25 October 1987
9 Widow and Brother 1 November 1987
10 How to Live Well on Nothing a Year 8 November 1987
11 Struggles and Trials 15 November 1987
12 The Very Best of Company 22 November 1987
13 A Vulgar Incident 29 November 1987
14 After the Battle 6 December 1987
15 Our Friend the Major 13 December 1987
16 Old Acquaintance 20 December 1987


  1. ^ "Vanity Fair Part 1 Miss Sharp and Miss Sedley Open the Campaign (1987)". BFI.
  2. ^ "Vanity Fair". 20 September 1987. p. 39 – via BBC Genome.
  3. ^ "Vanity Fair (BBC 1987) forthcoming from Simply HE". 8 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Vanity Fair Part 11 Struggles and Trials (1987)". BFI.
  5. ^ "Amanda Murray". BFI.

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