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Subtle 'Bridgerton' Moments That Proved Penelope Was Lady Whistledown On 'Bridgerton'

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Subtle 'Bridgerton' Moments That Proved Penelope Was Lady Whistledown On 'Bridgerton'

In the words of Nicola Coughlan, Lady Whistledown is quite the "little sneaky-sneak." On a recent episode of Shondaland's official Bridgerton podcast, "The Power of the Pen: Lady Whistledown and Scandal," the actress behind the ton's most infamous gossip revealed that there are some unsung moments viewers may have missed on their first watch. Namely, where Penelope was subtly leaning into her alter ego, Lady Whistledown, and mentally jotting down notes for her next scandal sheet.

The first instance was at Lady Danbury's ball in the pilot of the series, "Diamond of the First Water." In the podcast episode, showrunner Chris Van Dusen indicated that Penelope was originally only supposed to be in a small portion of the ball's sequences, but Coughlan pulled him aside the morning of the rehearsal and suggested that Penelope "would be up against the wall for the entire time watching and listening and keeping her eyes and ears open for all the hot goss. She'd be there all night. And so that became a thing."

Indeed, that "thing" of keeping Penelope's nose to the grindstone pervaded many a social event during Bridgerton's first season. For example, when Anthony sees his old friend, Simon, after Simon and Daphne bump into each other.

Coughlan said she broached the idea for Penelope to bear witness to that pivotal moment to the episode's director, Julie Anne Robinson. "I said to her, 'I need to be in the vicinity. I need to see this happen.'" And she's quite right, since Simon and Daphne become the centerpiece couple of Lady Whistledown's society rags for the season.

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