Emma Thompson to play a Prime Minister that is ‘a bit Boris, a bit Farage’ in new BBC drama

Dame Emma Thompson will play celebrity turned politician Vivienne Rook, who uses social media to win popularity

Dame Emma Thompson will play celebrity turned politician Vivienne Rook, who uses social media to win popularity

Dame Emma Thompson will play celebrity turned politician Vivienne Rook, who uses social media to win popularity

Dame Emma Thompson will play a prime minister based partly on Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in a BBC drama.

The actress, 59, will portray celebrity turned politician Vivienne Rook who uses social media to win popularity in Years And Years by former Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies.

Speaking at the Radio Times BFI Festival, the screenwriter admitted that he had taken inspiration from real-life politicians to create a character who ‘uses public opinion and social media’ to gain popularity.

‘She’s using all those tricks that modern politicians do,’ he said.

‘The inspiration was all around me. I think it’s time to take these people seriously, really. There’s a whole new breed of politician who uses the media and uses public opinion and social media to become popular and to get votes.’

‘There’s a bit of (Boris) Johnson in there, there’s a bit of (Nigel) Farage in there, but her being a woman gives it completely a new energy.

‘She knows how to talk nonsense, when to tell the truth, she knows how to get a vote, she’s looming over the whole thing. Our lives are full of those people now and they’re terrifying and fascinating at the same time.’

He added: ‘Emma Thompson, you don’t just see her on television, and to cast her was a dream come true.’

Dame Emma will star opposite Anne Reid, Russell Tovey and Rory Kinnear in the family saga, which is set five years in the future, against the backdrop of a Britain rocked by unstable political, economic and technological advances.

According to Davies, the uncertainty of Brexit made writing a show set in the future all the more difficult.

‘We are working so fast to get this transmitted. Thank you to BBC for showing it so fast. Episode 1 is the only one finished so far so we’re racing to get it. Because of the world. Because of the state of the world. I’ve been very nimble with it. Because it’s set five years in the future, I kind of refer to anything Brexity in the past,’ he said.

Davies revealed that the show will be full of diverse characters and storylines including a transsexual character and a number of LGBT relationships. 

The first episode will air next month.

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