Shooting for the three-part BBC drama took place in the village on Tuesday

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartHugh Grant and Ben Whishaw on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

The village of Chittlehampton was brought to a standstill on Tuesday for filming of a new BBC drama.

Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw were in the village shooting scenes for A Very English Scandal, a three-part drama about former North Devon MP Jeremy Thorpe.

More than 40 villagers stood by as production crews filmed shots in the village's square.

The role of Thorpe is being played by Grant, who wearing a black suit and a three-quarter length brown coat, chatted to locals in the village in between takes and had his picture taken before retreating to The Bell Inn.

Hugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartHugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Scenes filmed in The Square included Whishaw, playing Norman Scott, riding up through the village on a white horse.

The Bell Inn's Kyran Jones said: "It's been really exciting.

"This morning there were no cars in The Square for the first time in years.

"There's been a buzz around the village. It's not every day you get Hugh Grant coming to visit and it puts the village on the map.

"The crew have all been really good and all the locals have been really helpful and we've not had to worry about traffic. It's all worked really well.

"It's enjoyable having something like this going on in quite a sleepy village."

The drama follows the story of Thorpe, who served as North Devon MP from 1959-79 before his downfall after appearing in court charged with conspiring to commit murder.

The production's location manager said the drama directed by Stephen Frears and written by Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies is 'a work of fiction rooted largely in historical fact'.

Hugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartHugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Filming in Chittlehampton was only expected to last a day, before the production crew moved on to Wales.

The village scenes came the day after crews took to Saunton Sands, for what was understood to be a Californian-style beach hut scene.

The production team worked with Christie Estates, who granted filming rights on the beach, and Saunton Beach Enterprises who have provided logistical support for the shoot.

Paul and Lucie Tamlyn, of beach operators Saunton Beach Enterprises, said: "We're delighted that once again Saunton has been chosen as a location for such a high profile production."

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

A Very English Scandal is based on the bestselling book by the author and former arts editor of the Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph John Preston.

Hugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartHugh Grant on the set of A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart

Ben Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt SmartBen Whishaw filming on horse for A Very English Scandal in Chittlehampton. Picture: Matt Smart