[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/piper_call_girl_7616.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Charming, perky, and NotSafeForWork.]]

->''"The first thing you should know about me is that I'm a whore."''

A very sexy TV series starring Creator/BilliePiper. The show is based on the tell-all blog and later memoirs of the real Belle de Jour (aka Brooke Magnanti, [=PhD=].), [[HotScientist a cancer scientist]] who became a call girl to [[IWasYoungAndNeededTheMoney pay off her university debts]]. ([[StiffUpperLip In typical British fashion]], [[TheReveal when the author's identity was revealed]], the university that she worked for barely blinked an eye.)

Hannah is every bit the usual young single professional: educated, sophisticated, and a bit reserved. But unbeknownst to her family, she's not ''actually'' a legal secretary. She works as [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench Belle de Jour]], a glamorous call girl with a massive price tag who adores her job. Along with her male best friend Ben (who has resigned himself to Belle's profession) and her rather over-eager sex-worker-in-training protegee Bambi, we get to see Hannah/Belle navigate her work, taking care of finances, dealing with customer retention and satisfaction issues, and attending interviews for "promotion". So basically, a WorkCom meets ''Series/SexAndTheCity''. And yes, this is a post-watershed show, so be prepared for [[FanService tits, ass, cocks, and fetishes a plenty]].

Belle loves her job, and has no moral qualms with sleeping with men who are in monogamous relationships -- after all, she always cheated on her boyfriends as well. But her own wants and needs still make it difficult for her at times to stay professional. Throughout the series, she struggles with catering to fetishes she's not into, she finds it hard to make normal friends, she occasionally skips out on clients, and keeping everything a secret from her family isn't always easy.

[[InternetBackdraft Drew the ire of some critics and feminists]] [[LighterAndSofter for glamourizing the sex industry and showing it as safe and prestigious, while glossing over the drugs, violence, and exploitation that plague the trade]]. Other feminists praised the show for its powerful female character who is completely unashamed of her sexuality and uses it totally to suit her ends, though not always in an entirely ethical way.

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!!This show provides examples of:
* ActorAllusion: In series 4, episode 5, Belle posts a notice on her website saying "Call now for a classic English Rose.". This is an allusion to her role as Rose Tyler in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* BettyAndVeronica: The series finale has elements of this, with Belle faced with choosing between Ben (Betty) and Harry (Veronica). [[spoiler: In the end, she chooses neither.]]
* BilingualBonus: "Belle De Jour": "beauty of the day".
* BigApplesauce: In episode 5 of season 4, Belle travels to New York to consider an offer to make a movie based on her book. She enjoys shopping and the city, too.
* [[BlatantLies Blatant Lie]]: The title, since it claims to be a "Secret Diary", but it's based on a ''blog'', which is about as non-secret as you can get.
* CharacterDevelopment: From series two we see a drastic change in Belle/Hannah's outlook on life as a call girl, and the less glamorous side is further investigated.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Bambi and Byron disappear from the show without any explanation after the conclusion of season 3.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Ben is a Type 2 for Hannah, though he begins taking on Type 1 aspects during Season 3. [[spoiler: This works out for him at the beginning of season 4, but does not last.]]
* {{Dominatrix}}: Charlotte (GemmaChan).
* [[spoiler:DownerEnding: Belle ultimately decides that she can't reconcile her job as an escort with a stable relationship. The final scene has her breaking up with Ben, believing he deserves better, and tearfully walking off into the night.]]
* EnglishRose: The trope is referenced in season 4, episode 5 when Belle puts an ad on her website "Call now for a classic English Rose" when she's staying in New York. As a pretty Englishwoman, she sure can fulfill this dream of meeting a classy, petite, fair-skinned and fair-haired English girl to her customers. And even though as Hannah, she is an all around nice girl and intelligent, her job as a call girl and her glamorous, sexy appearance are quite far from the ideal of wholesome beauty.
* EthicalSlut: Mistress Sirona. Belle is a bit shocked, and a bit uncomfortable, when she learns just how easy open relationships can be. She herself always cheated on her boyfriends and has no qualms about sleeping with people without their wives and girlfriends knowing, so a completely ethical open relationship is a very alien idea for her.
* FanService: It's Showtime and ITV, what do you expect?
* HideYourPregnancy: Billie Piper was pregnant during filming of the second series. It wouldn't make much sense to have a pregnancy written in, so they instead put her in unflattering and baggy dresses, and used body doubles for the more intimate scenes. It is actually quite noticeable if you know to look for it.
* HighClassCallGirl: Belle.
* IdiotBall: In series 4, episode 4, Belle swaps clients with Charlotte, a dominatrix who has been showing great discontent with [[spoiler: Belle being her temporary boss]]. Then she's clearly surprised and outraged that said client is an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphilic_infantilism autonepiophilist]].
* ImagineSpot: A recurring element of the series.
* LipstickAndLoadMontage: The opening credits.
* LittleRedFightingHood: During a fairy-tale-themed orgy Bambi, dressed up as Red Riding Hood, saves Belle from getting raped by another guest using her own partner's handgun (a literal ChekhovsGun, in fact).
* LogicalFallacies:
** Belle falls out with her partner Duncan, when she finds out he has been sleeping with other escorts. Her reasoning is that though she herself sleeps with many men, her job requires her to (whilst he did it for the pleasure). It comes across as somewhat hypocritical due to her taking great pleasure in her "work", her deliberate choice not to pursue other non-sexual careers, and [[DoubleStandard her expectation for him to not seek other partners within their relationship whilst requiring him to live with her doing just that.]]
** Belle [[spoiler: discovers Poppy in Ben's bed]] and lampshaded near the end of the final episode with a short montage.
* MostWritersAreWriters: Belle becomes a writer and writes a hit book about her work.
* NoFourthWall: What is this "fourth wall" of which you speak?
* OutWithABang: Sort of. One of Belle's clients dies during a vampire role play... while lying in a coffin.
* PieInTheFace: Belle gets one of these in series 3, thanks to a client who's into "sploshing."
* PrettyInMink: One episode has her wearing a short, white rabbit cape.
* RacistGrandma: Belle's great-aunt. ''"I don't buy from catalogues anymore. They're all owned by Jews."''
* SecretIdentity:
** The main character goes by her real name "Hannah" in everyday life and "Belle" for her work as a call girl.
** "Bambi" is also an alias. In season 3, her real name is revealed to be Gloria.
* SexMontage: Naturally.
* ShoutOut: ''Belle de Jour'' was a French movie from the '60s about a bored housewife who decides to become a prostitute during the day while her husband is at work. The reference, both in RealLife and in the show, is most likely intentional.
* UpperClassTwit: Byron, though he is shown to genuinely love and care for Bambi.
* UndisclosedFunds: For the first half of series 1, until she reveals that she earns 105,000/year.
* UnproblematicProstitution
* WorkCom: For the sex-trade, or at least the higher echelons thereof.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: Belle writes about her working life and her book gets published.
* WritersBlock: Belle sometimes lacks inspiration for her second book.
* YouNeedToGetLaid: From Bambi to Belle, no less.
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