This England: how to watch the Boris Johnson drama series

·2-min read
Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson in This England. Its director says the series is not intended to be an attack on the ex-PM (Phil Fisk/Sky/PA) (PA Media)
Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson in This England. Its director says the series is not intended to be an attack on the ex-PM (Phil Fisk/Sky/PA) (PA Media)

A worldwide pandemic, apologies to the Queen and corruption exposed over WhatsApp messages – Boris Johnson’s time in office was not without moments of high drama.

Now his story will take to the screen in the Sky TV series This England.

The show, originally titled The Sceptred Isle, stars Sir Kenneth Branagh as the ex-prime minister in his first few months in office, along with some other familiar faces.

The five-part series covers Johnson’s relationship with his wife, Carrie (Ophelia Lovibond), his appointment to the role of PM, the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Johnson falling ill himself and the birth of their son, Wilfred.

Director Michael Winterbottom relied on No 10 insiders for information about Johnson and said he didn’t think he would be flattered by the portrayal.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Winterbottom said: “I hope that he was flattered when he heard that Kenneth Branagh was going to be playing him because of all the people who could play Boris, he’s a great actor and I hope Boris will be pleased that he’s portrayed him.

“In terms of how we portray him? I don’t think he will be flattered but I hope he will watch it and see it’s certainly not an attack on him. It’s not intended as an attack.”

He added: “If you have a hostile opinion of Boris, you’ll probably think the series is too gentle on him. And if you love Boris, you’ll probably think the series is too hard on [him].

“And I think that’s true of all the things – depending on your perspective you probably see it in a different way.”

Winterbottom also spoke to the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, hospitals and care homes to create the show.

Matt Hancock (Andrew Buchan), Dominic Cummings (Simon Paisley Day) and Priti Patel (Bitu Thomas) are also characters in the drama.

How can I watch This England?

This England will air on Sky and on demand on September 28, with all episodes available at once.

Viewers with a Now TV entertainment package or Sky subscribers can also watch it.

It is not confirmed if it will be available outside the UK.