James Graham turns to Westminster insiders for help with Brexit TV drama

Written by David Singleton on 12 April 2018 in Culture

It will be very much about 'the campaign behind the scenes’.

More than a year after he lifted the lid on plans for a TV drama about the EU referendum campaign, James Graham has confirmed that the script has been finalised and shooting should start in the summer.

He has also revealed that the show will have a “behind the scenes” focus and that Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman and former Number 10 communications director Craig Oliver are acting as "consultants".

The TV drama is the next big project for the prolific playwright behind modern political favourites such as This House, Ink and Labour of Love. Talking to the BBC, Graham suggested that it should hit screens before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

"There is a script, we have a director, we have a channel, we'll start shooting, we think, over the summer," he said.

"And we've now focused it down. We now know that it's very much about the campaign behind the scenes, so we go behind the scenes of the Leave and the Remain offices.”

He also made it clear that he had been getting stuck into books including Shipman’s All Out War and Oliver’s Unleashing Demons in order to get the inside track.

Shipman’s tome was called “the best overall account” of Brexit by Conservative MP and Total Politics books editor Tim Shipman. Meanwhile Oliver’s book is said to be packed with “critical and damning comments about the motivation and duplicitous behaviour of senior Conservatives with IDS, Gove and Johnson front and centre”.  Other reviewers were less kind to Oliver.

Graham said: "We're very lucky to have source material from people like Tim Shipman of The Sunday Times, who wrote two books, and Craig Oliver, who was David Cameron's communications director.”

"It's not necessarily an adaptation, but they're sources for us, they're consultants on the show, so hopefully it feels like an authentic behind-the-scenes."


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