ITV has commissioned feature length film Churchill’s Secret starring Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill.
“Who knew adversity as well as triumph, but always came back fighting.”
ITV has commissioned feature length film Churchill’s Secret starring Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill and Lindsay Duncan as Clementine Churchill.
Daybreak Pictures, part of the Tinopolis Group, will produce the drama with Executive Producers Hal Vogel and David Aukin overseeing production.
Based on Jonathan Smith’s recently published book, The ChurchillSecret: KBO, the drama will be adapted by Stewart Harcourt (Love & Marriage, Treasure Island, Poirot).
The 120’ film will be directed by Charles Sturridge (Da Vinci’s Demons, TheScapegoat, The Road to Coronation Street) with Timothy Bricknell (From There to Here, The Fear, Eric & Ernie) producing.
Churchill’s Secret will be co-produced with MASTERPIECE, where Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Following transmission of Churchill’s Secret on ITV, it will air in the US on PBS in 2016.
Set during the summer months of 1953 Churchill—now Prime Minister for the second time and in his late 70’s—suffers a life-threatening stroke, which is kept secret from the world.
Told from the viewpoint of his young Nurse, Millie Appleyard, the drama follows his battle to recover as his long suffering wife Clemmie desperately hopes the stroke will force Winston to retire while his political friends and foe scheme to plot who will succeed him.
Meanwhile his adult children descend on Chartwell, unsure if he will pull through, as tensions within his family begin to surface.
Filming will begin in June 2015 in London and at Churchill’s principal family home, Chartwell in Kent.
ITV’s director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the drama.
“Churchill’s Secret is the extraordinary and compelling story of how one of our country’s most famous political figures battled back from life-threatening illness to hold on to power,” said Steve. “We’re delighted to commission Churchill’s Secret from Daybreak Pictures and to be working with Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill and Lindsay Duncan as his wife Clemmie,” he added.
Hal Vogel and David Aukin on behalf of Daybreak Pictures said: “It’s testament to Jonathan Smith’s tender and witty novel and Stewart Harcourt’s extraordinary adaptation that we have been able to assemble the very best of British talent. We are thrilled to be working with Director Charles Sturridge and two of Britain’s finest actors in Michael Gambon and Lindsay Duncan. We are delighted to be working with ITV again, who have been incredibly supportive throughout,” they added.
MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said: “Winston Churchill is an epic figure to Americans, much as he is to the British. He epitomizes the Special Relationship, a phrase he coined. Hal Vogel and David Aukin have been excellent partners in the past, and it’s a privilege to be working with them again.” MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.
Churchill’s Secret is a Daybreak Pictures/MASTERPIECE Co-production for ITV.
Passion Distribution who are part of the Tinopolis Group will handle international sales of Churchill’s Secret.