Sky shares first-look at Boris Johnson drama as Kenneth Branagh transforms into PM


    Boris Johnson, 56, is the central character to a new five-part series commissioned by Sky, This Sceptred Isle, which will chart how the Prime Minister dealt with the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Filming has commenced on the dramatised version of real-life events and is set to broadcast on Sky Atlantic in the not-so-distant future. In a teaser for viewers of what they can expect, the network has released a picture of award-winning actor Kenneth, 60, as the former London Mayor.


    Kenneth has undergone extensive prosthetic work to become the Prime Minister, whilst also wearing a wig to portray Mr Johnson’s iconic hairdo.

    The BAFTA and Emmy Award winner will take charge of the country as viewers will see how the Government implemented action to try and curb the spread of Covid-19.

    Other elements to the drama will see the role scientists, nurses, and doctors played to try and save as many lives as possible.

    First-hand accounts from all key players have been used to formulate the script of the dramatised version to depict events as real as possible.

    News the limited series was going to air was announced in January, with Michael Winterbottom and Kieron Quirke working together to write the piece.

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    Taking to Twitter, members of the public have commented on Kenneth’s transformation to become the leader of the Conservative Government.

    One wrote: “Wow! incredible likeness,” with another posting: “I mean props to the make up department. I cannot pull Branagh out of those prosthetics.”

    “Brilliant. Need to do a time-lapse video of the transformation of Kenneth Branagh for the role. Would be great to see #makeup,” a third commented.

    Whilst a fourth social media user remarked: “Looks more like @StanleyPJohnson playing the role of @BorisJohnson.”

    As well as co-writing the series, Winterbottom will also be directing the five episodes and he has enjoyed previous success with dramas such as Welcome to Sarajevo, A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People and The Road to Guantanamo.

    Speaking of bringing the reality of pandemic to screens through drama, he said: “The first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic will be remembered forever.

    “A time when the country came together to battle an invisible enemy. A time when people were more aware than ever of the importance of community.

    “Our series weaves together countless true stories – from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country – chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policymakers to protect us from the virus.”

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    Sky UK Managing Director of Content, Zai Bennett, added: “Covid-19 has presented once-in-a-generation challenges to the world, and in the UK the resilience and fortitude of the public over the past year has been nothing short of extraordinary.

    “Portraying NHS staff and key workers on the frontline of the extraordinary fight, to those in Government facing unprecedented challenges; Michael Winterbottom has a clear and compelling vision in telling this remarkable story.

    “The incredible creative talent Fremantle have assembled including the central performance from Kenneth Branagh will make This Sceptred Isle a drama we are proud to be part of telling.”

    It has not been revealed which other famous faces will be starring alongside Kenneth or who will be playing other lead characters in the Government.

    Executive producer, Richard Brown, explained: “Michael is a master of weaving compelling drama from factual stories and he has an undeniable, distinct vision for this project.

    “He and Kieron have written remarkable and meticulously researched scripts which powerfully dramatise these extraordinary events that continue to affect us all.”

    With the series still in production, Sky has announced it is likely viewers will be able to watch all five episodes next Autumn.

    This Sceptred Isle is set to air on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV next year.

    Published at Thu, 25 Feb 2021 12:14:00 +0000

    Sky shares first-look at Boris Johnson drama as Kenneth Branagh transforms into PM