A light-hearted retelling of the true story of future prime minister Margaret Thatcher, during the fifties when, working as a research chemist, she begins her attempts to be selected for parliament, and meets her future husband Dennis.
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In a post-war election Margaret Roberts, University educated daughter of shop-keeper Alf from Grantham, is determined to get herself elected as a prospective Parliamentary candidate for the Consevative party but without any success. Although her friend Patricia wins a seat,the notion of a woman candidate is frowned upon by Old Guard members like Sir John Sowdon and she gets no support from fellow hopeful - who does get elected - Ted Heath. But she is tenacious and committed and, loyally backed by her business-man husband Dennis finally wins that coveted seat in parliament a decade on. She has successfully completed that long walk to Finchley. Written by
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'The Long Road to Finchley' presents Margaret Thatcher (nee Roberts) as a flirty and calculating young lady, hell bent on getting into the House of Commons and then on to the top (gamely played by Andrea Riseborough). It deals with her engagement to Denis (Rory Kinnear) and her - at first - friendship with Ted Heath (Samuel West playing the future PM as crippled with shyness and embarrassment around Mrs T), while dealing with her attempts to find a Tory seat to represent.
I loved the flighty character in her hats and pearls striding into the establishment (presented best by Geoffrey Palmer, and no one could display the indignation of England better), alongside her anonymous husband who was only useful to get his wife votes, and their twins who presented a withering annoyance. Despite its refusal to deal seriously with political issues, rather presenting Mrs Thatcher as the feminist dream to empower all women, this drama is interesting, and a good companion piece to the programme about her later years 'Margaret', made a year later.
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