THE Pursuit Of Love fans were left horrified this evening as Dominic West threatened to SPANK Lily James while playing her dad before their shock “affair”.
Dominic, 51, and 32-year-old Lily were pictured cosying up while on holiday in Italy together last year – having grown close while filming the BBC drama, which premiered tonight.
Lily stripped nude in several scenes while playing wild lead character Linda Radlett in the hedonistic costume drama, with Dominic her angry dad Matthew.
At one point towards the end of the episode, Dominic threatened to give the beauty “a good thrashing” before sending her to her room while in character as her father.
He’d been left enraged after learning she and her cousin Fanny had sneaked away so that Linda could spend time with a boy that he didn’t approve of.
In the tense scene, Dominic asserted his authority as the family patriarch – and seeing the pair’s paternal relationship on the small screen left some viewers uncomfortable due to the real life actors’ relationship.
Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: “Oh. He was playing Lily James’ dad. Not awkward, not awkward at all.”
Another added: “Didn’t know Dominic played Lily’s dad. Feels a bit weird”.
A third agreed: “Bit weird the whole Lily James and Dominic West thing when he’s playing her Dad in The Pursuit of Love.”
One more joked: “Dominic West wanting to give Lily James a damn good thrashing there – not sure if that was in the script or just ad-libbed.”
Another grimaced: “Ah I see this is where Lily James and Dominic West’s ‘friendship’ began then.”
Others found the scandal a distraction, writing: “I’m watching The Pursuit of Love and all I can think is lol at the Lily James/Dominic West affair.”
Someone agreed: “Can’t really get past the whole Lily James and Dominic West thing given that they play father and daughter.”
One viewer quipped: “Dominic and Lily play father and daughter in this? Good lord that’s kinky.”
This weekend, The Sun revealed that Dominic had cut all contact with Lily in a bid to save his marriage to Catherine FitzGerald, who was left “heartbroken” when the pictures surfaced last year.
Last week, Lily addressed the scandal for the first time when asked about it in an interview.
She hinted at future revelations while refusing to divulge further, explaining: “I’m not really willing to talk about that.
“There is a lot to say, but not now, I’m afraid.”
A pal previously revealed that Lily was “enamoured by Dominic’s charm and wicked sense of humour” after splitting from actor ex Matt Smith.
They added: “A friend warned her about Dominic’s ways. He is renowned for being a flirt, but she was smitten.”
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The pair went to Rome, where their mutual agent Angharad Wood was staying, in a bid to escape the spotlight – but pictures emerged of them cuddling up.
Dominic then arranged an awkward photo opportunity with wife Catherine outside the family home in Wiltshire, issuing a defiant statement that they are still “very much together”.
The source went on: “Lily was left feeing hurt by his betrayal and disappointed that she was painted as the scarlet woman and hung out to dry.”
Lily has now found love with Queens of the Stone Age rocker Michael Shuman, 35.