Bill Paterson is returning to ITV. The former Law & Order: UK star has been tapped for a co-starring role in the channel’s feature length Winston Churchill drama Churchill’s Secret, which is a co-production with US public broadcaster PBS.
Based on Jonathan Smith’s book The Churchill Secret: KBO, the two-hour drama is set during the summer months of 1953 when Churchill, who is once again Prime Minister, suffers a life-threatening stroke, which is kept secret from the world. Told from the viewpoint of his young Nurse, Millie Appleyard, the drama follows his battle to recover as his long suffering wife Clementine desperately hopes the stroke will force Winston to retire while his political friends and foe scheme to plot who will succeed him.
Bill Paterson has been cast as Charles Wilson, the 1st Baron Moran and Winston Churchill’s personal physician who was instrumental in the Prime Minister’s recovery. Paterson, who most recently starred as Ned Gowan on Starz’s period drama Outlander, joins a cast which is being led by Harry Potter and The Casual Vacancy star Michael Gambon, who plays Winston Churchill; and Lindsay Duncan, who plays Winston Churchill’s long-suffering wife Clementine.
As TVWise previously reported, further cast additions for the feature length drama include Romola Garai (Legacy) as nurse Millie Appleyard, Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) as Randolph Churchill, Daisy Lewis (Downton Abbey) as Mary Churchill, Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle) as Sarah Churchill, Tara Fitzgerald (Game Of Thrones) as Diana Churchill, James Wilby (Endeavour) as Lord Bracken, Alex Jennings (Silk) as Anthony Eden, Patrick Kennedy (Downton Abbey) as Jock Colville, Christian McKay (Borgia) as Christopher Soames, Chris Larkin (Doctors) as Rab Butler and John Standing (The Other Wife) as Lord Camrose.
Love & Marriage scribe Stewart Harcourt penned the script for KBO, which is being produced by Daybreak Pictures in association with US public broadcaster PBS. Da Vinci’s Demons helmer Charles Sturridge is set to direct, while Timothy Bricknell will serve as the producer. The executive producers are Rebecca Eaton, David Aukin and Hal Vogel. Production gets underway later this month in London and at Churchill’s principal family home, Chartwell in Kent. Passion Distribution is handling global sales.