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Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 20:05 GMT
Archer satire shows Thatcher 'strip'
BBC One satire Jeffrey Archer: The Truth
Margaret Thatcher is portrayed as obsessed with Jeffrey Archer
A scene showing Margaret Thatcher performing a striptease on a desk is part of a BBC comedy satire about the life of disgraced politician Lord Archer.

The fictional drama called Jeffrey Archer: The Truth, which will be screened on BBC One on 1 December, shows the former Conservative prime minister taking her clothes off in an attempt to seduce the former novelist.


It's an affectionate portrait

Writer Guy Jenkin
Another scene will show the two involved in a steamy sex scene, which Archer will use an alibi after he is accused by the Daily Star of spending time with prostitute Monica Coghlan.

Archer - a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party - is serving a prison sentence after being convicted of perjury during a libel case against the newspaper.

Actor Damian Lewis - star of Hearts and Bones, Warriors and Band of Brothers - plays Archer and movie star Greta Scacchi plays Baroness Thatcher.

Jeffrey Archer
Lord Archer was jailed for perjury
Before the 90-minute programme begins, viewers will be told: "This story is based on real events - only the facts have been changed."

The satire - told through the eyes of Archer - portrays him as the catalyst for almost every major event in UK history over the past three decades.

It also holds him up as a victim of a conspiracy.

Baroness Thatcher is portrayed as obsessively attracted to her former deputy party chairman.

'Affectionate'

The programme's writer and director Guy Jenkin said there had been long discussions with the BBC's legal team about the content.

Mr Jenkin said: "The BBC lawyers were very helpful on this - they were trying to let us make the show we wanted to make. There were very few changes apart from rewording.

BBC One satire Jeffrey Archer: The Truth
In the film, Lord Archer wants to marry Princess Diana
"It's an affectionate portrait, but it's premised on a massive in-joke - that we suspect Jeffrey Archer is not the humble victim of circumstance as he is portrayed here."

The programme also sees Archer saving Baroness Thatcher from the rubble of the Grand Hotel in Brighton after it was bombed.

He also plots to marry Diana, Princess of Wales and climbs on to the roof of Buckingham Palace to lower the flag to half-mast after her death.

None of the people depicted in the film have seen it.

Mr Jenkin said: "We'll have to wait until it goes out and see what they think of it."

A representative of Lord Archer sent a letter to the BBC when he first heard about the planned production.

The BBC's head of drama, Jane Tranter, said it suggested the corporation televise Archer's courtroom drama The Accused instead.



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05 Oct 01 | Entertainment
13 Nov 02 | Entertainment
07 Nov 02 | Politics
06 Nov 02 | Entertainment
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