A major new Channel 4 drama coming to screens next year has chosen a rather unlikely subject matter – Sheffield MP Nick Clegg.
The Liberal Democrat leader, who represents Sheffield Hallam, will be the focus of a new one-off drama that will be shown in the run-up to next year’s general election.
The 90-minute film, which has the working title Coalition, will be set in the days after the 2010 election when backroom deals were cut to create the country’s first coalition government in decades.
There is no word yet on who will be cast to play Mr Clegg in the drama, being written by playwright James Graham.
It will tell the story of how the Lib Dems ended up working with the Conservatives in coalition after no party was left with an overall majority.
The deal followed several days of intense talks between the Lib Dems and Labour and the Tories.
Mr Graham, whose National Theatre play This House was set in the dying days of James Callaghan’s Labour government, said: “In May 2010, British politics was faced with a dilemma it hadn’t had to face in peacetime for over 75 years.
“The public were asked ‘Who should govern?’, and they came back with the answer ‘We don’t know’.
“Those historic, dramatic few days put personalities at the heart of politics – and the choices made, I believe, changed the face of British politics forever.
“What we try to capture in this drama is the tension, the high stakes, and the frequent farcical and absurd nature of what happens when a power is wrangled, negotiated and fought over like children trading cards in the playground.”
Channel 4 has said the drama promises to be ‘a penetrating insight into one of the most influential and significant political decisions of recent years’.
The film is the latest in a string of political dramas on the channel including the Bafta-winning Mo about Mo Mowlam and The Deal, which starred Michael Sheen and David Morrissey as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Mr Clegg was not available for comment today on who he would like to play him in the drama.
But online readers of The Star came up with some serious and not-so serious casting suggestions on Facebook, with names put forward to play Mr Clegg varying from Sheffield’s Sean Bean to late comic Benny Hill.