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Sir Kenneth Branagh shows the PM’s growing concern for Covid in new drama teaser

Picture shows: Prime Minister Boris Johnson played by Sir Kenneth Branagh (Sky UK/PA))
Picture shows: Prime Minister Boris Johnson played by Sir Kenneth Branagh (Sky UK/PA))

Sir Kenneth Branagh can be heard urging the British public to stay at home as he portrays Boris Johnson in Sky’s upcoming drama series about the Prime Minister’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Titled This England, the series follows the Prime Minister as he grapples with Covid-19, Brexit and controversy within his personal and political life.

The new ominous teaser opens with a jubilant voiceover by Sir Kenneth as the Prime Minister saying: “A new dawn is breaking, 2020 will be a year of prosperity.”

The tone of the clip shifts as Mr Johnson’s concern for the pandemic appears to grow as he says: “This Covid virus we need to keep an eye on.”

A montage of clips showing the inside of Number 10 follows as the Covid-19 pandemic escalates as a voice says “500,000 deaths, that is a worst-case scenario”.

An eerie soundtrack plays as the familiar rhetoric to “wash your hands” and “stay at home” plays out alongside images of the Prime Minister hosting press conferences at Downing Street.

The pressure of the premiership appears to mount as Sir Kenneth’s Mr Johnson says: “Isn’t it someone’s actual job to give me a heads up?”

Ophelia Lovibond will portray the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Symonds (Sky/PA)

It closes with an image of the Number 10 door shutting as a radio announcer states: “The United Kingdom has overtaken Italy to report the highest official death toll.”

The series will trace the impact on Britain from the pandemic, and the response of scientists, nurses and doctors.

It is based on the first-hand evidence of people inside Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and from hospitals and care homes across the country.

Newly released images also show Ophelia Lovibond, who is also known for her roles in BBC sitcom W1A and Guardians Of The Galaxy, portraying the Prime Minister’s wife Carrie Symonds.

Broadchurch star Andrew Buchan will portray former health secretary Matt Hancock (Sky UK/PA)

Broadchurch star Andrew Buchan can be seen portraying former health secretary Matt Hancock.

The series will be directed by Michael Winterbottom, who will also co-write, while Tim Shipman, the political editor of The Sunday Times, will act as a consultant.

The Sky Original drama This England, originally titled This Sceptred Isle, will premiere in 2022.

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