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Channel 4 announces new political drama Coalition

26th October 2014: Bertie Carvel (Babylon, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), Mark Dexter (The Bletchley Circle, Ripper Street) and Ian Grieve (The Confessions of Gordon Brown) will star as Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown in Channel 4’s original drama Coalition.

Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen) is also announced to play Peter Mandelson.

Written by James Graham, the acclaimed playwright behind political hits Privacy, This House and Tory Boyz, Coalition charts the emotionally wrought, politically-charged and often frenzied moments which led to Nick Clegg’s astonishing rise from rank outsider to the man who would decide the fate of the country.

In 2010 Clegg was the new kid on the Westminster block, living in the shadow of Cameron and Brown, his Lib Dem party relegated to the side-lines in a two-party political system. By May’s General Election he found himself with the power to change the landscape of British politics – and the fate of his party – with one critical decision. Blue, or red? Left, or right?

Informed by extensive research and featuring Graham’s observational wit, Coalition sheds light on the drama, compromises and sacrifices made behind closed doors in those pivotal few days – and the key orchestrators behind them.

BAFTA-winning Alex Holmes (Dunkirk, House of Saddam) will direct the 90 minute single drama, which starts shooting in London this week.

Coalition is produced by Cuba Pictures (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Broken), who previously collaborated with Channel 4 on the award-winning Boy A. Sarah Curtis and Dixie Linder are producers with Nick Marston Executive Producing. As part of their development deal with Cuba Pictures, BBC Worldwide will manage international distribution.

Coalition was commissioned by Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for Channel 4, with Sophie Gardiner the Commissioning Editor for Channel 4. It joins a canon of ambitious political dramas from Channel 4, including the BAFTA-winning singles Mo starring Julie Walters, last year’s Complicit written by Guy Hibbert, and Peter Morgan’s The Deal, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Michael Sheen and David Morrissey.

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