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28 May 2021

Leading Nations factual producer Tern Television, part of Zinc Media Group, has been commissioned by Channel 5 to make Thatcher v The Miners – a landmark documentary exploring the incredible story of a battle of wills, 40 years on, that would divide the UK forever.   It is the company’s first feature documentary.

 

Using new evidence – including miners’ own footage – alongside first-person testimony, extraordinary archive and ground-breaking journalism, Thatcher v The Miners (1 x 90 min) charts the twists and turns of a struggle that would rip Britain apart and leave a lasting legacy for generations.

 

With access to cabinet papers revealing the true enormity of the civil war that raged between Scargill and Thatcher, the film also features interviews with miners’ leaders of the time, NUM officials, striking and working miners. Three of Thatcher’s staff – Lord Robin Butler, Lord Andrew Turnbull and Lord Stephen Sherborne also talk of their experiences with Thatcher ‘in the room’. 

 

Harry Bell, Managing Director, Tern Television, says: “This story is very much the beginning of the great divide across the UK – of Broken Britain, North v South, working class v middle class, city v country, old industry v new finance. The unrest of 1981 sowed the seeds for today’s world – a very disunited Kingdom 40 years on.  

 

“We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Channel 5. Tern has a fantastic heritage of shedding new light on our collective recent history – and this film is about one of the UK’s most pivotal moments. We are excited to be telling this important story and are looking forward to engaging audiences who are new to the subject altogether. ”

 

Tern has a distinguished track record in delivering powerful and popular modern archive films: The Father the Son and The Housekeeper (BBC/RTE – Prix Italia winner, BAFTA nominee); The Good Terrorist (C4 – RTS winner); Donald Campbell: Speed King (BBC TWO – Grierson nominee); and The Troubles: The War Next Door (BBC), Gutted (PBS/BBC – BAFTA & Cine Golden Eagle winner). 

Thatcher vs The Miners was commissioned by Emma Westcott, VP, Commissioning Editor, Factual and Factual Entertainment at Channel 5. It is Exec Produced by Harry Bell and Brendan Hughes for Tern Television at Zinc Media.