Roadkill writer insists Hugh Laurie’s Conservative politician Peter Laurence is ‘not based on anyone’

The charismatic figure weathers one scandal after another in the upcoming series.

Hugh Laurie and Iain De Caestecker in Roadkill on BBC One

The writer behind BBC One’s new satirical drama Roadkill has said the main character is not based on any real figures from British politics.

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Hugh Laurie stars in the much-anticipated new series from David Hare, portraying fictional politician Peter Laurence as he becomes involved in a series of very public scandals.

Throughout he remains confident and lacking remorse, utilising his natural charisma to outrun his personal problems and political opponents in pursuit of the “ultimate prize”.

While British politics has no shortage of divisive and controversial figures, Hare assures viewers none were the basis of his new story and any attempt to assign identities would be a “waste of time”.

He said: “So much television drama is now based on documentary events that it is hard to remember the primary trigger for fiction is meant to be the imagination.

“My hero, Peter Laurence, is not based on anyone. Nor are the other characters. Mine is a parallel world to the real one, and there is no secret passage between the two.

“You will be wasting your time if you think that the purpose of the series is to work out who everyone is ‘meant to be’. In Roadkill, neither COVID nor Brexit consume every politician’s waking hour.”

The prolific writer, whose past work includes Academy Award-winning films The Hours and The Reader, added that he found it “amazing how little fiction Conservatives have generated” despite their lengthy time in office over the past century.

Roadkill also stars Helen McRory (Peaky Blinders), Iain De Caestecker (Agents of SHIELD), Millie Brady (The Last Kingdom), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Harlots), and Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl).

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Roadkill premieres on BBC One later this year. While you’re waiting, visit our TV Guide to see what’s on tonight, or check out our guide to new TV shows 2020 to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.