Who has the Balls in the BBC’s The Politician’s Husband?

So who is it supposed to be based on then, tonight’s new BBC drama series The Politician’s Husband, starring David Tennant and Emily Watson?

Power in the Cabinet, or in the bedroom? David Tennant and Emily Watson star in the BBC's new political drama, in which the technical advice has come from someone in Croydon politics

Power in the Cabinet, or in the bedroom? David Tennant and Emily Watson star in the BBC’s new political drama, in which the technical advice has come from someone in Croydon politics

Is it Maggie and Dennis?

Or is it Mr and Mrs Speaker Bercow?

Could it be Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce perhaps? Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper?

Or is it someone closer to home? How about Croydon Council’s very own Terry and June, Dudley and Margaret Mead?

Take a close look at the end credits, and there is a name that has a close connection with Croydon politics, with Andy Bagnall listed as a technical adviser on the drama, which has been written by Paula Milne.

Croydon resident Bagnall is a former head of party networks for David Miliband and special adviser to both the Blair and Brown governments, who was recently elected as chair of Labour’s Croydon South constituency party.

The plot of The Politician’s Husband is not dissimilar to the premise of the old Hollywood movie, A Star is Born, first starring Judy Garland and James Mason, re-made with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson: girl sings; girl meets big star; star transforms girl; star wanes, girl stars… that sort of schtick.

The Politician’s Husband is billed as a drama about marriage, politics and power and tells the story of what happens when a female politician overtakes her husband, a fellow government minister.

Tennant and Watson play Aiden and Freya Hoynes. He is a senior member of the cabinet while she has put the brakes on her career to provide stability for the family.

It is not known if Bagnall has borrowed very heavily from his own life and work in guiding the drama-makers. Bagnall has stood for election to public office in Croydon in the past, in South Norwood ward where he was a councillor for four years until 2006.

According to the Radio Times, there’s a lot of detail in the three-parter which rings true – and some of that could have been the input of the technical adviser. For instance, while Aiden has a well-equipped home office, Freya has to work in the garden shed. No one has ever confirmed that Yvette Cooper once worked from a cubby-hole under the stairs.

  • The Politician’s Husband is on BBC2 tonight from 9pm
  • Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
  • Post your comments on this article below. If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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