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Kenneth Branagh responds to criticism over Boris Johnson Covid drama This England

The actor defended the upcoming series


this england kenneth
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
11 September 2022
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Kenneth Branagh has defended his upcoming political drama, This England, in which he stars as former prime minister Boris Johnson. 

MORE: Kenneth Branagh is Boris Johnson in This England trailer – and the resemblance is uncanny

The new five-part Sky series, which follows the tumultuous events surrounding Boris and his government during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, has been criticised for being released "too soon" after the disease swept through the nation and the world.

WATCH: Kenneth Branagh is Boris Johnson in This England

Speaking about the drama in a new interview, the 61-year-old actor said: "There will be those who say it's too soon. I think these events are unusual and part of what we must do is acknowledge them. 

"It might allow people to process a little of what went on. Any way of understanding it better is important," he told The Times

The new series was scheduled to be released on September 21 but has been delayed by a week following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

MORE: Kenneth Branagh looks unrecognisable as he transforms into Boris Johnson for new role

MORE: The Queen on screen: Olivia Colman, Helen Mirren, Claire Foy and more

Starring alongside Kenneth in the drama are Trying and Feel Good actress Ophelia Lovibond playing Carrie, while Andrew Buchan will play Matt Hancock.

this englans 1© Photo: Sky

Kenneth defended the upcoming drama

The official synopsis reads: "This England, a Sky Original drama, is co-written and directed by Michael Winterbottom and stars BAFTA and Academy Award-winner Kenneth Branagh. The series, based on Boris Johnson’s tumultuous first months as UK Prime Minister, traces the impact on Britain of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

"The drama takes us inside the halls of power, as Johnson grapples with Covid-19, Brexit, and a controversial personal and political life. The events in government are interwoven with stories from around the UK, from the experts and scientists racing against time to understand the virus; the doctors, nurses and care-home workers on the frontline working tirelessly and heroically to contain and overcome it; and ordinary people whose lives were thrown into turmoil."

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