In Brief

'Borgen' and 'House of Cards' creators join forces for TV political drama

Fans rejoice as men behind acclaimed series collaborate on major BBC project

borgen.jpg

THE creators of two of TV's most acclaimed political dramas, Borgen and House of Cards, are teaming up to write a BBC series that is set in Westminister and showcases a "strong female lead".

Conservative peer Michael Dobbs, who wrote the original series of the 1990s British political thriller House of Cards, told BBC Radio 4's The World This Weekend, he was working on the new drama with Adam Price, creator of the hit Danish series, Borgen. The new show's central character will be the widow of a prominent British politician who reluctantly steps into her late husband's shoes out of a sense of duty.

"She doesn't enter politics willingly; she has been dropped in a situation that is a personal tragedy," Dobbs said.

The project was first discussed a year ago after Dobbs took Price on a tour of the Palace of Westminster, he told the Daily Telegraph. The "major project" is scheduled to be broadcast next year.

The popularity of Borgen - which follows the career and personal life of Denmark's first female PM, Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (pictured) – convinced Dobbs that the time was right for a British political drama centred on a woman. Dobbs was an adviser to Margaret Thatcher while in opposition, but says the heroine of the new series would not be inspired by the former Conservative PM. She will, instead, be drawn from "a culmination of my experiences".

"I like strong female characters and Adam writes them brilliantly," Dobbs said. "The life of a woman in Westminster is often quite different from a man's, and we could have much more fun with it. It's time for a change."

The politics.co.uk website described the collaboration between Dobbs and Price as "nirvana" and said the news meant "lovers of political drama were enjoying all their Christmases at once".

Dobbs conceded that British political drama "hasn't hit the high spots" in recent times, but insisted it was far from dead. He said too many dramas were written by people who don't properly understand political life. "They see the chamber of the House of Commons and that's it, but it's a very small part of the life of a politician."

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