Carry on Brussels: Inside the EU TX: 23 May 2018, Week 21
Stepping inside the curious world of the Brussels bubble, this three-part series follows an eclectic group of MEPs from across the UK’s political spectrum, as they buckle up for the ride of their lives on the Brexit roller coaster. Focusing on the personal challenges over the politics, the series offers unrivalled access to the inner workings of the European Parliament at one of the most historically significant times of its existence.
Filmed over a year, the series charts the battles and the brawls, the tears, tantrums and tactics of some of Britain’s most maligned and misunderstood public servants in these turbulent times.
From staunch remainer, Labour MEP Seb Dance, who famously held up a sign saying “he’s lying to you” behind Nigel Farage in the debating chamber, to the Brexit spokesperson, and now UKIP leader, Gerard Batten, the series follows some bold and colourful personalities with hugely conflicting agendas.
Catherine Bearder, the only Liberal Democrat MEP, is on a mission to keep Britain in the EU by using her VIP connections. Meanwhile, UKIP’s press officer, Hermann Kelly is on the hunt for dirt to “… kick the EU in the face” and fuel the party’s strategy for the hardest possible Brexit.
Ex-IRA member, now Sinn Féin MEP, firebrand Martina Anderson, sees Brexit as the biggest opportunity or worst nightmare to ever happen to her country. Meanwhile Conservative MEP, David Campbell Bannerman, is using his Government contacts to boost trade prospects outside the EU with one eye firmly on his career after Brexit.
The series opens in Brussels where we find the festering animosity between British MEPs ready to explode, and a fierce debate in Parliament leads to an acrimonious confrontation and a dramatic walk-out by UKIP.
As if Brussels wasn’t baffling enough, for one week every month, the entire Parliament decamps to its other HQ in Strasbourg to vote. In episode 1, Seb Dance and his assistant Emily are facing the challenge of their careers with their contentious environmental report and its red meat proposals. As the voting day arrives, support is dwindling and they face seeing six months’ work flushed down the drain.
With around 7000 people working at the Parliament, across 28 countries, this unprecedented documentary offers a cultural cocktail of politics, pastries and PR stunts. Find out what happens on the curiously named floor 5 ½, which (non-British) MEP has a Union Flag fridge in their office and why it’s impossible to type a question mark in one MEP’s office.
Episode 1 of Carry On Brussels will air on Wednesday 23rd May at 10pm on Channel 4.
Commissioning Editor: Nick Mirsky
Production Companies: October Films and Trumble Films
Series Producer and Director: Christian Trumble
Executive Producers: Jane Merkin and Denman Rooke
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