The BBC are interested in making a drama based on the lockdown scandal surrounding Dominic Cummings.
The Prime Minister’s chief advisor broke quarantine rules by travelling 260 miles to Durham with his family – including his wife, who had Covid-19 symptoms.
He also made a second 60-mile round trip to Barnard Castle on Easter Sunday to check he was fit to drive after suffering coronavirus-related eyesight problems.
And amid the furore, Piers Wenger, controller of BBC drama commissioning, has admitted the controversy could make for some seriously juicy dramatisation.
He admitted writers are desperate to pitch The Road to Barnard Castle: the Dominic Cummings Story, especially as Benedict Cumberbatch has already played Cummings in Channel 4’s Brexit: the Uncivil War.
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When asked by the Radio Times if the BBC would buy it, Piers said: ‘In the right hands, yes.’
However Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV, thinks it’s all a bit too fresh in our minds.
She argued: ‘I think it’s a bit soon. The best stories about this period will be told when we have a bit of distance.’
Wenger also said it will be tricky to ‘make satisfying peak-time drama’ while actors have to keep their distance from each other.
But he also shunned the prospect of featuring the paraphernalia of the pandemic on-screen, saying it could look strange when the dramas air.
He explained: ‘We don’t know how long wearing masks and social distancing are going to be part of our contemporary reality.
‘So if we rush into making them part of contemporary drama, it may look dated or odd when it airs in a year’s time.
‘But I think the question is also important because of why people watch drama.
‘They don’t necessarily want the cold hard reality of the world reflected back to them. That’s for news, documentary, and current affairs. On the whole, we’re watching drama for bigger moral and emotional stories.’
Cummings has faced a barrage of criticism for breaking lockdown rules, with Piers Morgan declaring he has ‘single-handedly destroyed lockdown’.
Morgan said: ‘He’s destroyed trust in the government. He needs to go. God knows what Cummings had on Boris Johnson.’
‘Every part of this story stinks. There he is, the guy who made the rules as if nothing happened. Britain has basically gone “forget the rule”.
‘It’s one rule for them and one rule for us.’
At the time of writing, the UK death toll has surpassed 38,000 – however the daily death rate is falling.
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