Black Mirror (2011– )
114 user 38 critic

The National Anthem 

Prime Minister Michael Callow faces a shocking dilemma when Princess Susannah, a much-loved member of the Royal Family, is kidnapped.


Otto Bathurst


Charlie Brooker, Charlie Brooker (creator)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rory Kinnear ... Michael Callow
Lindsay Duncan ... Alex Cairns
Donald Sumpter ... Julian Hereford
Tom Goodman-Hill ... Tom Bilce
Anna Wilson-Jones ... Jane Callow
Patrick Kennedy ... Section Chief Walker
Alastair Mackenzie ... Martin
Chetna Pandya ... Malaika
Alex Macqueen ... Special Agent Callett (as Alex MacQueen)
Jay Simpson ... Rod Senseless
Helen Fospero Helen Fospero ... Lucinda Towne
Lydia Wilson ... Princess Susannah
Sophie Kennedy Clark ... Lauren
Andrew Knott ... Brian
Allen Leech ... Pike


In a run-up to Christmas the British Prime Minister Michael Callow is woken up and shown a disturbing video. On it he sees that people's princess Susannah of Beaumont has been abducted and will allegedly be murdered unless he has sex with a pig on live television. An effort to trace the kidnapper on a deserted campus proves to be in vain and Michael dismisses his aides' suggestion that a porn star perform the bestiality with the PM's face digitally superimposed. News coverage and Internet tweeters go into overdrive as Michael ultimately does his duty, in a deserted room with one camera man and a seemingly contented pig. Despite being ordered not to look, millions of people tune in though their amusement soon turns to horror at what they see. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Did You Know?


This episode became the subject of discussion when, in September 2015, then-current Prime Minister David Cameron was alleged to have placed his penis into the mouth of a dead pig as part of a university initiation rite (with even some of the hashtags seen in this episode being used). See more »


When the PM kicks his desk, there are already marks from previous takes on the desk. See more »


Michael Callow: You've sent in a strike team to rescue a manikin!
See more »


Featured in Charlie Brooker's Wipe: 2015 Wipe (2015) See more »


By Max Richter
From "The Blue Notebooks"
See more »

User Reviews

The National Anthem
17 April 2019 | by scottsetchellSee all my reviews

The Prime Minister is woken up in the middle of the night to find out Princess Susannah has been kidnapped. In her ransom video, the kidnappers demand he broadcast a video of himself having sex with a pig on live TV in exchange for her release.

This episode isn't futuristic, but it shows the power of social media and the internet. The ransom video spreads like wildfire despite being removed 9 minutes after it was uploaded. The public opinion is broadcasted on the news as the polls sway. The faces of the public watching are shocked and disgusted yet they can't look away.

Since Black Mirror episodes are individual stories, I recommend skipping S1Ep1 if you're new to the series, come back to it later. It doesn't do the show justice overall and could turn off first time viewers. It's a disturbing thriller with a twist.


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Release Date:

4 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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