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London Calling Airs Two Distinctive Margaret Thatcher Dramas Revealing the Woman Behind the Legend

(June 15, 2012)

LONDON, ENGLAND -- (Marketwire) -- 06/15/12 -- As one of the most well known political figures in the World, Margaret Thatcher has been the subject of countless programmes delving into her past, her path to fame, and her character. Now, as part of the superlative line-up of programming for its London Calling season, BBC Worldwide Channels is broadcasting(1) two definitive dramas presenting very different looks at the life and times of this formidable woman.

Margaret - Long Walk to Finchley concentrates on the character of the legendary politician. Andrea Riseborough (WE, Brighton Rock) portrays Margaret as a young woman just starting out on what would turn out to be a renowned, and sometimes reviled, political career. The drama takes an imaginative and witty approach as it follows Margaret as she fights to be selected for a 'winnable' Tory seat in the 50s. Imagining what the reality might have been behind the scenes of her decade-long struggle to become a Member of Parliament for Finchley, a position she would hold for 33 years, the programme details every rejection, every high, and every low during her campaign. Viewers will be astonished by Margaret's steely determination in fighting the same battle over and over again, until she won. When the drama premiered in the UK, the London Evening Standard lauded Riseborough's performance, saying: "Riseborough is breathtaking, giving Thatcher humour, drive and real sex appeal..."

At the other end of the spectrum, Margaret explores the final years of Margaret Thatcher's impressive career, creating a finely nuanced and compelling picture of the first and, thus far, only woman to hold the position of British prime minister. Starring Lindsay Duncan (Rome), the drama opens on Thatcher's final year in office, showing the start of her unravelling as support wears thin and the premiership begins to slip through her fingers. Suddenly, the resignation of the powerful politician Sir Geoffrey Howe ignites the long-simmering opposition and leads to the eventual downfall of the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. This modern exposition illuminates the unique combination of resiliency and weakness that fuelled this iconic woman's rise and fall from great heights. The press praised Margaret upon its release in the UK, with the Daily Express stating: "Riveting viewing... Lindsay Duncan plays her as sharp as a ferret, with the eyes of a lynx and the manner of an aged, furious tiger".

To find out more about these two fascinating programmes and other shows in the London Calling season, such as the hilarious comedy series Twenty Twelve and the dashing Sherlock series, please visit or your local BBC website.

Notes to Editors

London Calling will air between May and August(2) on BBC Entertainment (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Asia, India, Latin America and the channel's pan-European service(3)), BBC Knowledge (Africa, Poland, the Nordic Region, Italy, Asia and Australia), BBC HD (Latin America, Poland, The Nordic region and Turkey), UKTV (Australia and New Zealand) and BBC World News (global). The season will also be available to users of and to users of the global BBC iPlayer but will vary territory by territory.

(1) Programming, dates and times vary according to territory (2) Dates vary according to territory (3) BBC Entertainment's pan-European service covers Central and Eastern Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and a number of Western European markets

Punch Communications
Cassie O'Shea

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