6.1/10
35
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Confessions of a Diary Secretary (2007)

A comedy about a secretary for the deputy prime minister that not only writes his diary, but also engages in some drama to record.

Director:

Andy Wilson

Writer:

Tony Basgallop
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxine Peake ... Tracey Temple
Michael Crick Michael Crick ... News Reporter
Eiji Kusuhara ... Japanese News Reporter
Joanna Monro Joanna Monro ... Mo Mowlam
John Henshaw John Henshaw ... John Prescott
Rebekah Staton ... Claire
Daniel Ryan ... Barrie Williams
Jonathan Aris ... Bernard
Richard Durden ... Office Manager
Pippa Haywood ... Julie Jones
Peter Hugo Peter Hugo ... Prince Charles
Graeme Miller Graeme Miller ... Aide
Tim Hewitt ... Waterloo Station Manager
Damian Lewis ... Tony Blair
Tony Slattery ... Gordon Brown
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Storyline

A comedy about a secretary for the deputy prime minister that not only writes his diary, but also engages in some drama to record.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 2007 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[after the Christmas party at which the affair between Tracey Temple and John Prescott began]
Tracey Temple: [voiceover] As far as Christmas parties go, the way I see it like this: if you don't regret *any* of it, then you clearly haven't had a good time!
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User Reviews

An obvious comedy drama for tabloid readers
26 March 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

After the election reshuffle, Tracey Temple finds herself working as diary secretary for Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Not known for his finesse and with a reputation as a randy old goat, Prescott doesn't disappoint with his blunt nature and working man flirting. It is a matter of time before Tracey flirts her way into the DPM's bed and the two begin an affair that sees her staying with him in his London flat. Of course, with politics and sex, nothing can stay a secret for ever.

Has there been a British Government that has ever had to take so much mockery while still in power? I'm not talking about Spitting Image and your Rory Bremners but more about the amount of films and such that have dramatised and mocked the various scandals etc that Blair's party have suffered. Whether it is this, A Very Social Secretary, The Trial of Tony Blair and others, the approach is the same – to have a real laugh at their expense. Sadly with this film it forgets to provide laughs and just hopes that by recreating this sex scandal the target audience will have enough to cackle at.

It does this by having scenes of Prescott's arse going up and down, hanging around in his vest, drinking larger and so on and so forth. None of it is ever really funny and to be honest most of it is just tabloid nonsense that is aimed at Sun and Mirror readers who think this is political drama at its smartest. But of course it isn't and by failing to be an out and out funny kicking, this film leaves itself with substance problems. While not laughing I found myself looking at the characters and story and I found it to be almost entirely superficial. There was nothing to explain the motivations of the character or to go beyond the easy caricatures (look at Tony and Gordon to see what I mean) and as a drama I found it.

In the lead role Peake does what she can. Her character isn't totally clear but she is good despite this, just a shame the material isn't there for her. Henshaw is a good bit of casting but he just plays it with a straight bat – hitting the easy Prezza cliché with every chance he gets. Ryan is OK in a mostly thankless role while Lewis and a few others just fill in the space in the background. Overall then a fairly obvious comedy drama that doesn't do anything that well. It aims at every easy target it can get and never tries for anything smarter. Will serve the tabloid reading target audience's needs but left me feeling like I'd just wasted 80 minutes.


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