Welcome to JONN.CO.UK, the UK's best website for all things TV, Gaming and Music.

Social Media

Friday 14 June 2024

Channel 4 Announces Compelling New Drama: "Brian and Margaret"

Image: Channel 4 Press

By Jon Donnis

Channel 4 has unveiled its latest ambitious drama project, "Brian and Margaret," a captivating narrative brought to life by Baby Cow Productions, the team behind notable works such as "This Time With Alan Partridge," "Chivalry," and "The Witchfinder." This riveting series will be directed by the acclaimed Stephen Frears, an Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner, recognized for his exceptional work on "A Very English Scandal," "Florence Foster Jenkins," and "Philomena." The script is penned by RTS award-winning writer James Graham, celebrated for his contributions to "Sherwood," "Quiz," and "Brexit: The Uncivil War," and is based on Rob Burley's insightful book, "Why Is This Lying Bastard Lying to Me: Searching for the Truth on Political TV."

The drama stars two-time Academy Award nominee Steve Coogan and the esteemed Harriet Walter. Coogan, known for his roles in "The Reckoning" and "Philomena," will portray the formidable journalist Brian Walden. Walter, acclaimed for her performances in "Succession," "Ted Lasso," and "Silo," will embody the 'Iron Lady' herself, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Brian and Margaret" centers on the final television interview between Walden and Thatcher in 1989, a pivotal moment that has since become one of the most infamous political exchanges in history. This 45-minute interview not only captivated the nation but also set off a series of events leading to Thatcher's eventual resignation. The story delves into the profound relationship between the 'much feared inquisitor' and the Prime Minister, exploring themes of power, politics, and the intricate dance of media and democracy.

Steve Coogan expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, "It's great to be telling a story from the era of the sorely missed forensic interview - two giants of their time locking horns to determine the future of Britain. To act opposite Harriet Walter with a script by James Graham directed by Stephen Frears is a challenge of the very best kind!"

Harriet Walter shared her thoughts on the role, saying, "I have to travel a great distance to reach Maggie Thatcher but with James's brilliant script, Stephen Frears to guide me, and Steve Coogan to accompany me, I have the dream team to help me achieve it."

James Graham, the series writer, highlighted the contemporary relevance of the story, particularly in the context of political interviews: "I'm beyond excited to be working with this incredible world-class team on a story brought to us by Rob Burley from his book. As we enter another election and wrestle with the importance and effectiveness of the 'political interview,' it's a chance to bring to life the intimate and complicated relationship between Brian Walden and Margaret Thatcher – interrogator and Prime Minister. An epic one of love and betrayal, and I think an audience will be surprised by a lot of it. I know I was."

Sarah Monteith, CEO of Baby Cow Productions, underscored the significance of the drama: "Baby Cow are proud to be making this important drama with the very best of British talent, bringing this extraordinary relationship in British politics to a new generation. This story may leave many wishing for a return to the TV interviewing rigour that once underpinned our democracy."

Ollie Madden, Director of Film 4 and Head of Channel 4 Drama, praised the scripts and the production team: "We were gripped by James Graham's timely and hugely entertaining scripts, which offer a fascinating portrait of Brian Walden's unusual but very close relationship with Margaret Thatcher, and the interview which came to be seen as a major turning point in the way politicians interact with the media. Who better to direct than Stephen Frears, with his amazing cast in Harriet Walter and Steve Coogan, and supported by the expert team at Baby Cow. We are delighted to have this unique drama on Channel 4."

"Brian and Margaret" promises to be a compelling exploration of a historic political moment, brought to life by an exceptional cast and crew, and is poised to engage audiences with its timely and thought-provoking narrative.

No comments:

Post a Comment