Politicians watch out – legendary film maker Michael Cockerell is taking on the House of Commons

The awards laden journalist whose documentaries have included analyses of Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and the great offices of state, is working on a “warts and all” profile of the House of Commons

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Politicians watch out – legendary film maker Michael Cockerell is taking on the House of Commons
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Ben Dowell

MP’s watch out – legendary political film maker Michael Cockerell is working on a “warts and all” programme about the House of Commons to air in election year.

Cockerell revealed at the Radio Times cover party that the project, provisionally called Inside the House of Commons, and the first of its kind for more than 30 years, will be a four-part series for BBC2.

It will join the 72-year-old's list of revered political programmes including last year's Boris Johnson film The Irresistible Rise and other works on Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron.

Cockerell revealed that he has spend years trying to secure access for the series which will present the most detailed picture of the workings of the modern Parliament ever seen on TV.

The filmmaker added that he agreed with comedian Russell Brand’s despair about politics and his recent call for a new approach.

Cockerell said: “Unfortunately I think his analysis was right. People are disillusioned and turned off politics and much of that is the fault of the politicians themselves. They speak in soundbites and the expenses scandal put them lower and lower in the public estimation.”

Asked why so many politicians are willing to open up to him, he said: “They know my fascination with politics and they know I won’t do a hachet job.”

He added that the fate of Tony Blair, once the Chilcott report into the Iraq War comes out, would be “very interesting” but stopped short of saying whether or not he thought the former Prime Minister would be indicted for war crimes.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that the Corporation was expecting the series to air next year, but said it was too soon to comment further.


 


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