AN invite to the corridors of power in Westminster to meet the Prime Minister.
No, not the one headed this weekend for Labour’s conference in Manchester. His successor. Former supermarket manager Ros Pritchard.
Tony Blair even rang to congratulate Ros on her general election landslide victory. Or, at least, someone who sounded very much like him.
Westminster Central Hall and then the House of Commons were the venues last night for the launch of new BBC1 drama series The Amazing Mrs Pritchard.
It stars Rawtenstall-born Jane Horrocks as a woman fed up with the lack of choice offered by present day politics. “I could do better than you lot,” concludes Ros. So she stands as an MP in her local constituency and ends up as PM at No 10.
Written by At Home With The Braithwaites creator Sally Wainwright, the first episode is hugely enjoyable and will spark plenty of discussion. Real life MPs may also like to check out the manifesto of Mrs Pritchard’s Purple Alliance party.
Described as a fairytale about real people, it features cameo appearances from some famous faces and a meeting between Mrs Pritchard and “The Queen” at Buckingham Palace.
There was a huge turnout for the premiere of the much anticipated six-part series, including the likes of Newsnight’s Gavin Esler and Hustle star Robert Vaughn.
Afterwards, Jane told us that the script had touched a nerve. “So many people don’t feel involved any more and find politics so dull that they don’t even bother voting. I haven’t voted at the last two elections for that reason, which is outrageous. But I know I am not alone.”
She also revealed that the character of Mrs Pritchard is the closest to the real Jane Horrocks viewers will ever have seen.
The series starts on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday Oct 3.
Sept 26 update – you can read the MEN feature here
*I dashed back from my audience with the Prime Minister last night to get some sleep before catching the 0703 Pendolino train from London to Manchester this morning.
I’m now sat in the MEN Deansgate newsroom, which will close this weekend as we move to a shiny new building in Hardman Street. But first I’m off to Coronation Street to talk to a cast member about a dramatic future storyline, of which more on another day.