• ITV COMMISSIONS CHURCHILL’S SECRET FROM DAYBREAK PICTURES STARRING MICHAEL GAMBON AS SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL AND LINDSAY DUNCAN AS CLEMENTINE CHURCHILL

    “Who knew adversity as well as triumph, but always came back fighting.”

    ITV has commissioned feature length film Churchill’s Secret starring Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill and Lindsay Duncan as Clementine Churchill.

    Daybreak Pictures, part of the Tinopolis Group, will produce the drama with Executive Producers Hal Vogel and David Aukin overseeing production.

    Based on Jonathan Smith’s recently published book, The ChurchillSecret: KBO, the drama will be adapted by Stewart Harcourt (Love & Marriage, Treasure Island, Poirot).

    The 120’ film will be directed by Charles Sturridge (Da Vinci’s Demons, TheScapegoat, The Road to Coronation Street) with Timothy Bricknell (From There to Here, The Fear, Eric & Ernie) producing.

    Churchill’s Secret will be co-produced with MASTERPIECE, where Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Following transmission of Churchill’s Secret on ITV, it will air in the US on PBS in 2016.

    Set during the summer months of 1953 Churchill—now Prime Minister for the second time and in his late 70’s—suffers a life-threatening stroke, which is kept secret from the world.

    Told from the viewpoint of his young Nurse, Millie Appleyard, the drama follows his battle to recover as his long suffering wife Clemmie desperately hopes the stroke will force Winston to retire while his political friends and foe scheme to plot who will succeed him.

    Meanwhile his adult children descend on Chartwell, unsure if he will pull through, as tensions within his family begin to surface.

    Filming will begin in June 2015 in London and at Churchill’s principal family home, Chartwell in Kent.

    ITV’s director of Drama Steve November and Controller of Drama Victoria Fea have commissioned the drama.

    “Churchill’s Secret is the extraordinary and compelling story of how one of our country’s most famous political figures battled back from life-threatening illness to hold on to power, ” said Steve. “We’re delighted to commission Churchill’s Secret from Daybreak Pictures and to be working with Michael Gambon as Sir Winston Churchill and Lindsay Duncan as his wife Clemmie,” he added.

    Hal Vogel and David Aukin on behalf of Daybreak Pictures said: “It’s testament to Jonathan Smith’s tender and witty novel and Stewart Harcourt’s extraordinary adaptation that we have been able to assemble the very best of British talent. We are thrilled to be working with Director Charles Sturridge and two of Britain’s finest actors in Michael Gambon and Lindsay Duncan. We are delighted to be working with ITV again, who have been incredibly supportive throughout,” they added.

    MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton said: “Winston Churchill is an epic figure to Americans, much as he is to the British. He epitomizes the Special Relationship, a phrase he coined. Hal Vogel and David Aukin have been excellent partners in the past, and it’s a privilege to be working with them again.” MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston.

    Churchill’s Secret is a Daybreak Pictures/MASTERPIECE Co-production for ITV.

    Passion Distribution who are part of the Tinopolis Group will handle international sales of Churchill’s Secret.

    About Daybreak Pictures

    Multi-award winning Daybreak Pictures was founded by Executive Producers David Aukin and Hal Vogel who have forged a reputation for creating high profile and critically acclaimed feature films and television series including multi-award winning series The Promise and critically acclaimed features Endgame and Hyde Park on Hudson.

    About MASTERPIECE

    The top-rated primetime show on PBS, MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is Executive Producer. Funding for the series is provided by Viking River Cruises and Ralph Lauren Corporation with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future. 

    Press contact: Janice Troup, Tel: 0161 952 6210 Janice.Troup@email.com

  • Mentorn Scotland’s programme, Scotland Decides: The Big, Big Debate, has won the prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) Scotland Award 2014, in the Referendum Programme category it was announced today.

    The one-hour programme, which aired on BBC One and BBC One Scotland in September 2014, saw an audience of 16 and 17-year-old first-time voters quiz key politicians and personalities from both the Yes and No campaigns on the issues that mattered most to them and was presented by James Cook.

    The RTS Scotland Awards event was held in Glasgow on Wednesday 20th May 2015.

    Hayley Valentine, Director of Current Affairs said: “I'm absolutely delighted to have received this award from RTS Scotland. It recognises a huge amount of work from a very talented team both here at Mentorn and at BBC Scotland. The programme was a very ambitious project, which I think demonstrated Scotland's young people at their very best. I'm hugely proud of it, and grateful to the BBC for giving us the opportunity to make it."

    John Willis, Chief Executive and Tinopolis Group Creative Director said: “We are delighted that the achievement of delivering such an ambitious and complex programme has been recognised so deservedly.”

    Mentorn Scotland is part of the Mentorn Media group, and Mentorn Media is also a part of the Tinopolis Group.

  • BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Derby on Thursday, 21st May 2015.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from Derby, where Conservative Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan MP; Labour’s Shadow Business Minister, Stella Creasy MP; Liberal Democrat, Tim Farron MP; Guardian columnist, Owen Jones and businesswoman, Hilary Devey, face questions from the audience.  

    Question Time transmits live on Thursday evening on BBC One at 10.45pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

    For further information please contact Effie Dufu on 020 8995 3945 or effie@plankpr.com

  • David Dimbleby presents a special Friday night Question Time live at 8:30pm on BBC One, where Labour’s former Director of Communications, Alastair Campbell; Conservative Cabinet Minister, Francis Maude; former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Paddy Ashdown; Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, and the broadcaster and columnist, Julia Hartley-Brewer, face questions from the audience.  

    Question Time transmits live on Friday evening on BBC One at 8.30pm and will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

    For further information please contact Effie Dufu on 020 8995 3945 or effie@plankpr.com