Sky Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson
Kenneth Branagh's transformation into British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was revealed this week in a new teaser for the forthcoming drama series This England, which will debut on Sky Atlantic later this year.
The drama is "based on Boris Johnson's tumultuous first months as UK Prime Minister starring BAFTA and Academy Award-winner Kenneth Branagh," Sky TV said in a tweet, alongside a clip of the limited series.
Sky Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson
In the clip, 61-year-old Branagh can be seen as Johnson, discussing topics including the COVID-19 pandemic while another voice can be heard saying forebodingly, "I have a hunch Johnson will regret securing the Premiership."
— Sky TV (@skytv) May 18, 2022
The Guardian reports that actress Ophelia Lovibond will portray Carrie Symonds, who married the prime minister in a surprise ceremony at Westminster Cathedral in London in May 2021.
Johnson, 57, announced in March 2020 that he was engaged to Symonds and expecting a child. A spokesperson for Johnson confirmed the news at the time, telling The Telegraph: "The Prime Minister and Ms. Symonds are very pleased to announce their engagement and that they are expecting a baby in the early summer."
The couple welcomed their son, Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, in April 2020 at a London hospital.
Wilfred's name was chosen as a way to pay tribute to several family members as well as the doctors who helped Johnson during his fight against the novel coronavirus in 2020.
The virus was a central focus for both Johnson — and his critics — early on in his tenure as prime minister.
The miniseries will chronicle many of those early moments, including his own hospitalization with the virus and his response to it, as deaths and cases began to rise in Britain.
Earlier this year, Johnson was fined for parties held in his Downing Street offices at the height of the country's lockdowns — news that came after leaked emails from his office revealed that 100 members of the Downing Street staff were invited to a "bring your own booze" party at his offices in May 2020. At the time, the U.K. was under its first COVID-19 lockdown and people in London were only allowed to meet with one person at a time in an outdoor setting.
The revelation of the party led to calls for Johnson to be questioned as part of an ongoing inquiry into allegations that at least eight other parties were held at Downing Street while the rest of the U.K. population was in lockdown to slow new infections amid the pandemic.
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In a statement shared in April, Johnson said he "received a fixed penalty notice from the Metropolitan Police relating to an event in Downing Street on 19th June 2020," adding that he paid the fine "immediately" and issued an apology.
"In a spirit of openness and humility, I want to be completely clear about what happened on that date," he continued, noting the eight meetings he oversaw at Downing Street (a.k.a. Number 10) that day, which included a committee sit-down about a plan for COVID-19. Johnson, 57, added that he left Downing Street for several hours to visit a school in Hemel Hempstead.
"And amongst all these engagements, on a day that happened to be my birthday, there was a brief gathering in the Cabinet Room shortly after 2pm, lasting for less than 10 minutes, during which people I work with kindly passed on their good wishes," he explained.
"And I have to say in all frankness, at the time, it did not occur to me that this might have been a breach of the rules. But of course the police have found otherwise and I fully respect the outcome of their investigation," Johnson added.