Scenes of Carrie Symonds giving birth to son cut from Covid TV drama
Graphic scenes of Carrie Symonds giving birth to son Wilfred are cut from Covid crisis TV drama This Sceptred Isle after plans for the ‘gross’ clips emerged
Graphic imagined scenes of Carrie Symonds giving birth have been cut from an upcoming TV drama about the Prime Minister’s first year in office.
Michael Winterbottom, the Labour-supporting writer of the programme titled This Sceptred Isle, created a fictitious storyline showing Boris Johnson’s fiancee ‘on all fours, screaming and biting Boris’s hand’ in a delivery suite at a London hospital.
But after The Mail on Sunday revealed the plan last month, sources close to the production now understand that the scene will not be included in the five-part series after all.
First Exclusive pictures of Ophelia Lovibond playing Carrie Symonds, while Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson in new Sky series ‘This Sceptred Isle’
Graphic scenes of Carrie giving birth cut from TV drama after MoS report. (Pictured, Boris Johnson and fiancee Carrie Symonds)
Preparations to film Kenneth Branagh, who plays Mr Johnson, and Ophelia Lovibond, who has been cast as Miss Symonds, arriving at University College Hospital London, where the Prime Minister’s 33-year-old fiancee gave birth to their son Wilfred, have also been abandoned.
The scenes were to have been filmed on Thursday evening, but did not go ahead. Instead, the drama will show Mr Johnson and his fiancee leaving their Downing Street flat and returning with their baby.
The controversial production has been beset by problems, including the departure of Mr Winterbottom as director of the project and the drafting in of Julian Jarrold, whose previous work includes episodes of The Crown.
It is thought that Sky Atlantic, the broadcaster which bought the show from production companies Revolution Films and Fremantle, were anxious to restore credibility to the project.
The network said that Mr Winterbottom, a close friend of actor Steve Coogan, was stepping down due to ill health. Other sources claim he was unhappy at changes being made to his original idea that would have delivered a broadside against Mr Johnson and the Tories.
‘It’s extraordinary that Michael Winterbottom would know what took place in the delivery suite,’ said a source. ‘It was the most private of times for Boris and Carrie, yet he thought it was OK to have a guess, and then prepare to show what he thought happened, happening. It’s just gross.’
The film-maker had also planned to show Miss Symonds’s waters breaking, while another scene is due to show Mr Johnson changing baby Wilfred’s nappy as he watches the Queen address the nation about the coronavirus crisis.
Also portrayed are three of Mr Johnson’s former lovers – Petronella Wyatt, Jennifer Arcuri and Helen Macintyre – his second wife Marina and two of their adult children.
The drama invents a fictitious ex-boyfriend for Miss Symonds, of whom Mr Johnson is suspicious, and includes a plotline revealing her concerns about the Prime Minister’s closeness to his female physiotherapist.
The script has Mr Johnson talking to a girl given the name Sally, who is believed to be a portrayal of a lovechild with one of his mistresses. It is not known whether these will feature in the finished film.
Last night, a spokesman for Sky Atlantic said: ‘This Sceptred Isle is currently in production and is due to air in autumn 2022. As with any drama, the inclusion or not of any scenes will be decided as part of the editing process once production concludes.’
Meanwhile, the wardrobe expert tasked with choosing Miss Lovibond’s clothes for her portrayal of Miss Symonds can be revealed as Anthony Unwin, who it appears is no fan of Mr Johnson either.
He last year retweeted a video of Hassan Akkad, a Syrian refugee who was working as a cleaner in London’s Whipps Cross Hospital, lambasting Mr Johnson for not allowing foreign NHS workers to join its Covid-19 bereavement scheme.
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