Taking a cue from Five-Centres’s speculation on the likelihood of a docudrama about the Marchioness, it’s time for another bout of fantasy casting – specifically, the identity of those gracing this year’s slew of anniversary programming.
Where There Is Discord…
A 90-minute drama marking the 30th anniversary of the election of Britain’s first female prime minister.
When Jim Callaghan’s Labour government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, the country goes to the polls. The choice: Uncle Jim’s battle-worn administration, recently buffeted by headlines accusing them of leaving the entire nation’s dead unburied on street corners; or a woman from Grantham willing to be photographed holding a baby cow.
Starring Alun Armstrong (Jim Callaghan), Richard Briers (Michael Foot), Penelope Wilton (Margaret Thatcher), Peter Egan (Denis Healey), Caroline Quentin (Shirley Williams), David Mitchell (Roy Hattersley), Richard Wilson (Willie Whitelaw) and David Tennant (David Steel). With guest appearances by Ralf Little (striking binman), Ruth Jones (steel worker’s wife) and Les Dennis (man who designs Labour Isn’t Working poster); and Tony Blackburn, Rik Mayall and David Dimbleby as themselves.
Marchioness! The Day Thatcher’s Children Died
30-minute dramatisation of the sinking of the pleasure boat Marchioness by the dredger Bowbelle in August 1989.
A star-encrusted cast recreate a night of tragedy. Starring Jessie Wallace, Christopher Ellison, Kate Copstick, Tony Slattery, Melinda Messenger, Leslie Grantham and Colin Baker. Featuring a guest appearance by Norman St John Stevas.
It’s Good To Squawk: Busby, BT and The Great British Sell-Off
Raucous 60-minute comedy drama revisiting the background to the privatisation of British Telecom 25 years ago: an emblematic moment in Thatcher’s Britain and the first of many denationalisations of publicly-owned utilities.
It’s 1980: British Telecom is born, and two hassled advertising executives (Mark Gatiss and Paul Shane) struggle to come up with a gimmick to promote the new brand. Little do they know that four years later their client will be forced to sell itself back to the country and our heroes will be landed with a wave of come-and-get-it national campaigns. Also starring Stephen Merchant as Norman Tebbit, Rob Brydon as Neil Kinnock, Catherine Tate as Margaret Thatcher and Simon Bates as himself.
*Actually, according to Wikipedia a dramatisation has already been made and was scheduled for transmission in 2007, but ITV pulled it.