Channel 4 makes new drama out of Partygate booze-ups

Channel 4’s dramatisation of the No10 lockdown-busting parties will star impressionist Jon Culshaw as Boris Johnson alongside Quadrophenia’s Phil Daniels.

Movie-length Partygate The True Story promises to splice reenactments of the Christmas 2020 booze-ups with archive news footage and interviews with the public done mid-pandemic.

Channel 4 said it relied on “meticulous research”. And boss Ian Katz revealed it will be “heavily based” on Sue Gray’s report into the scandal.

He called it an “astonishing document”, adding: “Possibly people know about it as a headline but when you read it it’s a profoundly shocking catalogue of extraordinary bacchanalian activity.

“At one point someone goes home to get a karaoke machine to bring in. It’s really about using that as the base material and then juxtaposing what’s laid out in the Sue Gray report with what was going on in the country at the same time.”

He denied the feature-length film was inspired by the Tories’ long campaign to privatise Channel 4, a plan which has now been abandoned.

Ian said: “I don’t think this is related to the privatisation thing in any way. We are always about holding power to account in the most entertaining way and this is a classic bit of public service telly.” He added that screening it as the Tories gather for their conference in October “seemed like a relevant and useful moment to air it”.

W1A star Ophelia Lovibond and The Chronicles Of Narnia actress Georgie Henley will play fictional special advisers. Spitting Image star Jon will voice the PM.

Other cast members Ghosts actress Charlotte Ritchie, Hugh Skinner, who played Prince William in Channel 4 spoof The Windsors, and Fresh Meat’s Kimberley Nixon.

Channel 4 promised it “will tell the real, untold story of Partygate, juxtaposing the revelry inside the nation’s seat of power with the hardship and sacrifice experienced across the rest of the country”.