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BBC2 drama-doc to lay bare the “politicking and positioning, betrayals and blunders" of the 2016 Tory leadership race

From David Cameron's resignation as prime minister to Theresa May's election as leader, 20 days – Battle for Supremacy will go behind the headlines of the battle for Number 10

Published: Wednesday, 26th April 2017 at 9:00 am

A new BBC drama documentary is to tell the story of the Conservative Party’s 2016 leadership campaign, from the day David Cameron resigned to the moment Theresa May became Prime Minister.


Based on what the Corporation is calling “exhaustive research and first person testimonies”, 20 days – Battle for Supremacy promises to "go beyond the headlines" to lay bare the “politicking and positioning, betrayals and blunders of this extraordinary political time”.

The programme will feature key interviews with those who were intimately involved in the campaigns of the main contenders.

The actors who will play the cast of characters – expected to include May, Cameron, Michael give, Boris Johnson and other leadership hopefuls like Andrea Leadsom – have not yet been confirmed but according to sources are not expected to be well known stars.

The commission was announced on Wednesday by BBC2 controller Patrick Holland at the launch of the channel’s summer season.

He told that Gove and Johnson would definitely feature but declined to give casting details.

He added: "We will show what happened with Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.... This approach is researched thoroughly and gives the audience a way of getting really to the heart of that story. There are revelations that will be compelling and intriguing for the audience.

"It’s a fusion of drama and documentary and there is also great insight into the heart of it.”

Other programmes for the coming months include a new Brexit documemtary by double Bafta winner Patrick Forbes.

Following up his Brexit: A Very British Coup?, Brexit Means Brexit will trace the turbulent months since the 23rd June 2016 referendum via interviews with the leading protagonists in Westminster, around the UK and beyond.

The BBC will also mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on 1st June 1967 with an array of programmes across TV and radio.

In early June, BBC2 will air Sgt Pepper’s Musical Revolution, a new documentary that will include broadcast premieres of material that has never been made accessible outside of the Abbey Road studios where the album was recorded.

This includes studio chat between the band, out-takes, isolated instrumental and vocal tracks as well as passages from alternative takes on their world-famous songs.


The programme will be written and presented by composer Howard Goodall and promises to get to grips with the album’s "musical nuts and bolts" through what the BBC is calling “visually-striking set dressing, projections and props [to] conjure up the multi-coloured, phantasmagorical world of Sgt Pepper.”


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