September 11 at 8pm on CET
Michael Gambon stars as Winston Churchill in this dramatization of Churchill’s life-threatening stroke in the summer of 1953 and secret battle to recover while holding onto the reins of power.
Based on a true incident in the life of Winston Churchill and directed by three-time Emmy nominee Charles Sturridge (Shackleton, Brideshead Revisited), Churchill’s Secret opens when Churchill, age 78, is prime minister for the second time and as pugnacious as ever — until he is felled by a severe stroke while hosting a state dinner at 10 Downing Street. Lady Churchill manages to conceal the seriousness of her husband’s sudden incapacity, while he is evaluated by his personal physician, Lord Moran, and later transported in worsening condition to his country home, Chartwell.
Summoned to care for the apparently dying prime minister is a remarkable young nurse, Millie Appleyard, who treats the world’s most famous man as she would any other difficult patient: with compassion, firmness, and occasional indulgence. In the weeks that follow, the two bond over the Victorian poet William Ernest Henley, whose celebrated poem “Invictus” helps inspire Churchill to relearn to speak, stand and walk.
Churchill’s Secret co-stars Romola Garai (The Hour), Lindsay Duncan (Sherlock), Bill Paterson (Little Dorrit), Matthew Macfadyen (Any Human Heart), Tara Fitzgerald (Jane Eyre), Rachel Stirling (The Bletchley Circle), Daisy Lewis (Downton Abbey) and Alex Jennings (Silk). The movie-length drama is an adaptation of Jonathan Smith’s acclaimed 2015 novel, The Churchill Secret: KBO.