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Matthew Macfadyen, Romola Garai join cast of ITV film Churchill's Secret

Romola Garai, Matthew Macfadyen, Daisy Lewis, Rachael Stirling and Tara Fitzgerald are joining the cast of ITV period film Churchill's Secret, and will co-star with  Sir Michael Gambon and Lindsay Duncan.

Set during the summer months of 1953, Churchill—now Prime Minister for the second time and in his late 70s—suffers a life-threatening stroke, which is kept secret from the world.

Told from the viewpoint of his young nurse, Millie, the drama follows his battle to recover as his long-suffering wife Clemmie, desperately hopes the stroke will force Winston to retire, while his political friends and foes scheme to find his successor.

Meanwhile his adult children descend on Chartwell, unsure if he will pull through, as tensions within his family begin to surface.

Romola plays nurse Millie Appleyard and Churchill’s adult children are played by Matthew  as Randolph Churchill, Daisy as Mary Churchill, Rachael Stirling as Sarah Churchill and Tara Fitzgerald as Diana Churchill.

Further cast includes Bill Paterson as Lord Moran, James Wilby as Lord Bracken , Alex Jennings as Anthony Eden, Patrick Kennedy as Jock Colville, Christian McKay as Christopher Soames, Chris Larkin as Rab Butler and John Standing as Lord Camrose.

Filming begins later this month in London, Hayes and at Churchill’s principal family home, Chartwell, in Kent.

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.