Love, Ambition and High Society Goals: Vanity Fair Comes to ONETV



A sprawling new period drama comes to ONETV! ITV’s adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic Vanity Fair airs on ONETV!

Discover when to watch Vanity Fair on ONETV here.

Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair follows the beautiful and beguiling Becky Sharp as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the heights of English society. Her story of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing” takes her all the way to the court of King George IV, via the Battle of Waterloo, breaking hearts and losing fortunes as she goes.

The series stars Olivia Cooke in the lead role of Becky Sharp, who most recently starred in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon. Some other familiar faces you may recognize include our very own Martin Clunes of Doc Martin, who plays Sir Pitt Crawley, and Scott and Bailey’s Suranne Jones, who plays Miss Pinkerton.

In a world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having, no one is more determined to climb to the top of English Society than Becky Sharp. “When you meet Becky, she’s a young woman who is craving so much more than her life at present,” says leading lady Olivia Cooke. “She is in this position in society, stuck in a strict class system which it appears she can’t penetrate. But Becky is fierce and ferocious in her confidence in herself. And she is determined to break through that glass ceiling.”

In the first episode, Becky is a lowly teaching assistant who approaches her headmistress, Miss Pinkerton (Suranne Jones) with an ultimatum – pay her properly or find her a situation elsewhere. When Miss Pinkerton calls her bluff, Becky is exiled and left homeless. Luckily, she’s resourceful and cunning, so it’s not long before she finds herself in the perfect position to better her life.

The novel was adapted for the new TV series by writer and executive producer Gwyneth Hughes, who eagerly took on the task of adapting this classic story. “I love this book. I love the freewheeling story,” says Hughes. “I love the vivid characters, every single one of them. I love the way Thackeray can make you laugh out loud on one page, and then drop you into piercing sorrow on the next. I love his extremism. And his talent for surprises. And, of course, his Becky.”

“In the character of Becky Sharp, Thackeray gave us the most vibrant and memorable of all the heroines of English fiction,” says Hughes. “Some might balk at describing the ambitious little minx as a heroine. But as the story begins, little Becky is only 19 years old, alone in the world, and will starve if she cannot haul herself out of poverty and into the world of Vanity Fair. Most modern viewers will think “go for it”, and interestingly, it seems that’s what most Victorian readers thought, too.”

Readers of the classic novel and viewers of the series will agree that the story is timeless. Whether its a young woman’s ambition to secure her own future or falling in love with the wrong person, Vanity Fair is full of rich, relatable storylines that remain relevant to this day.

“It’s a story, ultimately, about female friendship and empowering each other,” says Cooke. “ They’re talking about love, society and choosing the right man. But that was really all there was then for a woman to aspire towards. It’s a story about a woman’s strength and will. Strength of character. Trying to make something of herself in a hugely patriarchal society.”

Vanity Fair airs Monday to Friday at 6pm ET and Midnight ET, from January 2 – 10, 2023 and will return for an encore airing from Friday, Jan. 27 through Monday, Feb. 6, 2023.

You can find ONETV on Free Preview throughout the month of January! Watch on Rogers 265, Rogers Ignite 340, Bell TV 606, Bell Fibe 1606, Shaw Direct 420, Cogeco 798, Eastlink 659 or visit our Subscribe page and select your TV provider for more info. Happy viewing!

Marilyn Lightstone Reads Vanity Fair

An ambitious beauty who bends men to her will. A naïve daughter of a wealthy merchant. A man who is loyal to his friends when they don’t deserve his affection.

Introducing just some of the characters in Vanity Fair, the 8th novel in Marilyn Lightstone’s popular podcast Marilyn Lighstone Reads.

Immerse yourself in William Thackeray’s deliciously satirical take on a money-mad society set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. From the self-important heirs, to the indulgent playboys and of course, the seductive social-climber Becky Sharp, only Marilyn captures them all.

The first episode is available from Jan. 2 at

Beautiful stories, beautifully read, for a crazy world.