Michael Sheen doesn't have the monopoly on Tony Blair
As if to prove that Michael Sheen doesn't have a monopoly over the role of Tony Blair, Robert Lindsay gives a magnificently comic performance in this very funny satire set three years in the future when Tony finally decides to stand down. Hilary Clinton is in the White House, George Bush is in rehab, ('he was found comatose on his ranch'. 'I'm surprised anyone noticed'), and the far from charismatic Gordon Brown scrapes through the General Election with a majority of two. It is then that Gordon bows to international pressure and allows Tony to be extradited to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes. Turning on the news immediately after watching this and hearing that one of the serving Prime Minister's closest advisors had been arrested in the 'cash for honours' inquiry only shows how prescient Simon Cellan-Jones' satire really is and how hard it may be to separate fact from fiction.
Alastair Beaton's script is a joy. It's clever, pertinent and side-splittingly funny but it is Lindsay's barn-storming, grand-standing performance as the deluded Blair that lifts this into a class of it's own. He is supported by a wonderfully straight-faced Phoebe Nicholls as Cherie, who chooses to distance herself from her liability of a husband and by Peter Mullan's blank and insipid Gordon Brown. Already a contender for best single programme of the year.
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