Sky releases first-look image of Sir Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson

Tom Horton

Sky has released a first-look image of Sir Kenneth Branagh playing Prime Minister Boris Johnson in This Sceptred Isle.

A photo shared by the broadcaster shows the 60-year-old actor with blond tousled hair as he stares, frowning, into the distance.

The series will focus on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

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“The five-part drama will chart the events surrounding the UK Prime Minister, the Government, and the country in the face of the first wave of the global pandemic,” a statement from Sky said.

It is based on the first-hand testimony of people from Downing Street, the Department of Health, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), care homes and hospitals, according to the broadcaster.

Filming has begun for the series, which is being directed by Michael Winterbottom.

Tim Shipman, political editor of the Sunday Times, is acting as a consultant.

A post on Sky TV’s Twitter page, which was shared alongside the image, said: “No, you’re not seeing things. That’s Kenneth Branagh as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the first day of filming This Sceptred Isle.”

Sir Kenneth Branagh given the Freedom of Belfast
Sir Kenneth Branagh (Niall Carson/PA)

The drama will begin with Mr Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister and will recount the first coronavirus cases in the UK.

It will tell the story of the 56-year-old premier falling ill with the virus, as well as the arrival of his son, Wilfred.

This Sceptred Isle will also focus on the impact of the pandemic on the country as a whole.

The series will air in the autumn of next year on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.