In June 1953, two years after he was re-elected as Prime Minister Winston Churchill collapses following a dinner party at Downing Street. Diagnosed by his doctor Lord Moran as having a stroke there are fears that he may not survive and he is taken to his country home Chartwell. Publicly he is said to be suffering from exhaustion and the newspaper owners consent to printing the deception. As his children arrive to watch over him they feud over son Randolph's drinking and daughter Sarah's less than illustrious film career whilst Winston's wife Clemmie reflects on the loss of another daughter who died in infancy. The Cabinet is informed of events as Moran brings in plain-spoken Yorkshire nurse Millie Appleyard to look after the great man. With her help and his wife's devotion Churchill survives to address the Conservative party conference later in the year, before retiring as premier two years later, the country as a whole being unaware all along of Churchill's secret.
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Did You Know?
Nurse Appleyard has a sailing ticket for the "Rangitoto", a liner of the New Zealand Shipping Company which sailed from London to New Zealand via Panama. The company's ships did not serve Australia and so would hardly be a choice for somebody who was emigrating there. See more
[Clemmie wants Winston to retire from being PM, and to spend his time at Chartwell. He is determined to continue, despite his stroke. His immediate aim is to attend the Conservative Party conference in Margate. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden has just visited, expecting Winston to announce his resignation
I thought Anthony was looking well... if a bit thin.
Clemmie, if I'm wrong and I can't get through Margate, then I'm all yours. That's my promise. If I fall, there's nowhere I want to fall ...
Featured in Too Much TV: Episode #1.1
I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
Written by James Kendis
, James Brockman
and Nat Vincent
Performed by Michael Gambon See more