At the height of the Covid pandemic, a particular man’s face with a slightly untidy appearance and messy blond hair was a common sight on the news.
But look close enough, this isn’t Boris Johnson, but actor Sir Kenneth Branagh who takes on the role as the prime minister in the upcoming political drama, This England.
The award-winning actor, best known for his roles as Poirot and Gilderoy Lockhart, as well as his Shakespeare adaptations, now appears so convincing in his character that viewers may need to do a double take.
This England, based on Boris Johnson’s tumultuous first months as Prime Minister, traces the impact on the country of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Co-written and directed by Michael Winterbottom, the drama takes viewers inside the halls of power, as Johnson (Branagh) grapples with Covid-19, Brexit, and a controversial personal and political life.
Sky’s official synopsis reads: “The events in government are interwoven with stories from around the country, from the experts and scientists racing against time to understand the virus; the doctors, nurses and care-home workers on the frontline working tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome it; and ordinary people whose lives were thrown into turmoil.”
Here is everything you need to know about Sky’s latest political drama This England, its release date and cast members.
When can I watch This England?
How many episodes does This England have?
This England cast
Sir Kenneth Branagh stars as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the drama follows his response to the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, as well as his personal encounter with the virus.
The rest of the main cast consists of Ophelia Lovibond as his now-wife Carrie and Andrew Buchan as former Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Here’s the full cast list for This England.
- Sir Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson
Branagh has directed and appeared in a number of film versions of William Shakespeare’s plays, including Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet.
He also directed and appeared in three films: the romance thriller Dead Again, the horror picture Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. (2014). Branagh was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for his semi-autobiographical comedy-drama Belfast (2021), and he won the Award for Best Original Screenplay.
- Ophelia Lovibond as Carrie Symonds (later Johnson)
Ophelia Lovibond’s famous roles include Carina in the film Guardians of the Galaxy, Izzy Gould in BBC’s W1A, Joyce Prigger in HBO’s Minx, and Kitty Winter in CBS’s Elementary.
- Andrew Buchan as Matt Hancock
Andrew Buchan is an English stage and television actor best known for his appearances as Mark Latimer in ITV’s Broadchurch, Scott Foster in BBC political drama Party Animals, John Mercer in ITV’s The Fixer, and William Garrow in BBC historical drama Garrow’s Law.
Below is the rest of the cast:
- Tim Goodman as Stanley Johnson
- Alec Nicholls as Sir Patrick Vallance
- James Corrigan as Isaac Levido
- Rachel Sophia-Anthony as Lola Aldenjana
- Simon Kunz as Andrew Mills
- Simon Paisley Day as Dominic Cummings