Stellar cast to join Lindsay Duncan in Margaret
Ian McDiarmid, James Fox, Robert Hardy,
Philip Jackson and Kevin McNally in BBC Two drama
An all-star cast will portray "Margaret Thatcher's Men" – those who loved her and those who betrayed her – in Margaret, the highly anticipated film from Great Meadow Productions for BBC Two, it was announced today.
Eminent actress Lindsay Duncan was cast earlier this year as the former Prime Minister and she is joined on set this week by a host of outstanding veteran actors including Ian McDiarmid (Star Wars) as her loyal husband Denis and James Fox (A Passage to India) as foreign policy advisor Charles Powell.
Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great And Small) plays Willie Whitelaw, Philip Jackson (Poirot) is chief press secretary Bernard Ingham, Kevin McNally (Pirates Of The Caribbean) is Kenneth Clarke and Oliver Cotton (The Commander) is Michael Heseltine.
The film is an intimate portrayal of a woman on the brink of ruin; a very human story about the private Margaret behind the public persona as she loses her grip on the power she has strived so hard to achieve.
Great Meadow Productions' co-founder Robert Cooper explains: "Richard Cottan's dark and powerful drama intimately explores the strengths and tragic flaws of Margaret Thatcher's character that led to her closest political allies turning on her, precipitating her final, humiliating downfall.
"Most of all, it shows us a Margaret Thatcher – the woman who changed our lives more than any other in British history – that has never been seen before."
Margaret is Great Meadow Productions' second film on Margaret Thatcher following the highly acclaimed BBC Four drama, Margaret Thatcher – The Long Walk To Finchley.
Margaret focuses on the last days of a political reign that has had a lasting impact on Britain.
The film will show her desperately clinging to power whilst being politically assassinated by those around her.
It includes flashbacks to her early years in power, revealing her inherent drive to succeed – a quality which ultimately led to her demise.
Fellow MD of Great Meadow Productions, Kate Triggs, says: "Margaret is an authored film which provides a unique insight into a woman that so few really know. Richard's script has shades of Macbeth in its tragedy – in spite of all of her failings the urge to empathise with Margaret at the point of her ultimate downfall is a truly unexpected and emotional experience.
"It is also testament to the quality of Richard's script that we have been able to assemble the best cast we could have hoped for; a cast that fits the piece perfectly."
The stellar cast also includes John Sessions (The Good Shepherd) as Geoffrey Howe, whose resignation sparked Margaret's downfall; Michael Cochrane (Doctors) as Alan Clark; Michael Maloney (Notes on a Scandal) as John Major; Roy Marsden (The Palace) as Norman Tebbit; Nigel Le Vaillant (Casualty) as Ted Heath;
Nicholas Le Prevost (Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story) as Douglas Hurd; and Rosemary Leach (My Family) as HM The Queen.
Julie Gardner, Head of Drama, BBC Wales says: "BBC Wales is delighted to be working with Great Meadow Productions once again to shine a light on another strand of Margaret Thatcher's epic life and journey."
Margaret is the latest in a line of thought-provoking, bold and opinionated single drama for BBC Two, including the BAFTA-nominated Stuart: A Life Backwards.
Great Meadow Productions' recent credits include Margaret Thatcher - The Long Walk to Finchley for BBC Four, award-winning Bradford Riots for Channel 4, and the hugely popular new series of Messiah, starring Marc Warren, for BBC One.
Margaret is written by Richard Cottan (Love Again, Hancock & Joan) and directed by James Kent (The Genius Of Mozart, Elizabeth David: A Life In Recipes).
It is part-funded by BBC Worldwide and the executive producers are Robert Cooper and Kate Triggs for Great Meadow Productions and Julie Gardner and Bethan Jones for the BBC.
Margaret was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.