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First look at Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson in Sky Atlantic's pandemic drama This Sceptred Isle

The series is scheduled to air next year.

Kenneth Branagh plays Boris Johnson in This Sceptred Isle
Published: Thursday, 25th February 2021 at 12:08 pm

Sky has unveiled our first look at Kenneth Branagh in character as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an upcoming drama series about the coronavirus pandemic.


This Sceptred Isle will air on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV next year, chronicling the impact of the first wave of the global pandemic, from the government's response to the crucial work in hospitals and care homes.

Written by Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, Greed) and Kieron Quirke (Defending the Guilty), the series will consist of five episodes in total and is based on first-hand testimony from a diverse group of people.

Individuals from Number 10 Downing Street, the Department of Health, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), and from various hospitals and care homes have contributed their experiences.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman is acting as a consultant on the series, to help ensure an accurate depiction of the events leading up to the health crisis.

"The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered forever," Winterbottom said. "A time when the country came together to battle an invisible enemy. A time when people were more aware than ever of the importance of community.

"Our series weaves together countless true stories - from Boris Johnson in Number 10 to front line workers around the country - chronicling the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policy makers to protect us from the virus."

Winterbottom's previous work includes a number of other fact-based dramas, including Welcome to Sarajevo, A Mighty Heart, 24 Hour Party People and The Road to Guantanamo.

There's no word yet on who will star alongside Branagh in the series, but filming is currently underway.


This Sceptred Isle will premiere on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in Autumn 2022. While you're waiting, take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out what's on tonight with our TV guide.


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