Married to the Prime Minister, Channel 4

by | Dec 5, 2005 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

From Channel 4, we expect much more than this TV equivalent of a flick through Hello. We were hoping for analysis and insight and some humour. Got none.

What was good about it?

• Laughing again at a knackered, dishevelled Cherie opening the door the day after her old man became PM.

• Cherie is turning into a cross between Liz Smith and Dawn French (and Antonia Fraser resembles Miss Piggy)

• The clip of a black and white (and probably orange) Judith Chalmers enquiring about suppertime in the Wilson household

• Mary Wilson was the most human of the featured women – but she loses points for her poor poetry

• Discovering that Thatcher was not only without a heart; she lacked taste, too. Norma Major was disgusted when she moved in to 10 Downing Street and realised it had all the class of a sink estate flat

What was bad about it?

• Cherie’s grumble that living in 10 Downing Street was like “living in a goldfish bowl”. How many goldfishes live behind iron gates and bullet proof doors with a copper on duty outside? Maybe she should channel her energies into getting her husband to quit now to save her from a living hell (and the nation from pseudo-Tory policies).

• We didn’t get to see that post-Cheriegate sobbing.

• Scandal about Cherie’s greed was glossed over with a blink-and-you’ll-miss it newspaper montage.

• Against our better judgement we were forced, for the first (and last) time to agree with former Conservative Party spin doctor Amanda Platell’ when she observed: “She has flogged that family from the moment she sniffed Number 10. She uses her position as the Prime Minister’s wife to make money.”

• “Unguarded” footage of Cherie tossing her high heels away at a posh reception didn’t seem to be remotely spontaneous

• Cherie’s voice is like sandpaper when she’s not affecting her statesladyship – and it’s no wonder her husband has lost the plot after having to suffer her cackling laugh at the end of each sentence

• Cherie’s interviewing technique with the previous first ladies – stiff old Clarissa Eden, cuddly old Mary Wilson and mega-normal Norma Major – was so soft an appearance on Nigella Lawson’s chat show would be like the Spanish Inquisition in comparison.

• The intrusion of illustrative, pathetically literal pop music. Roy Orbison did particularly well, with Oh Pretty Woman, It’s Over and Only The Lonely all finding “suitable” places in the narrative.

• Narrator Gina McKee purring out the facts.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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