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Portillo: The Trouble with the Tory Party Set for Channel 5


Channel 5 has commissioned Transparent TV to produce Portillo: The Trouble with the Tory Party, a new two-part series that will be presented by Michael Portillo.

Portillo, a former Secretary of State for Defense and leadership candidate, will explore the events that have divided the Conservative Party and the U.K. He will meet leaders, power brokers and party insiders such as Norman Lamont, George Osborne, Kenneth Clarke, Boris Johnson, Michael Heseltine and William Hague, and aim to uncover why the Tory party has grappled with Europe for so long.

Commissioned by Channel 5’s factual commissioning editor, Guy Davies, Portillo: The Trouble with the Tory Party is Portillo’s fourth project for the channel. The two-parter is slated to air this summer.

Portillo said: “Winston Churchill called for a United States of Europe, Ted Heath led Britain into the European Community, Margaret Thatcher said ‘No, no, no’ to European integration, and Brexit has torn the Conservatives in two. This series will explain the party’s hideous ructions over Britain’s place in Europe, which mirror the divisions in the nation.”

Davies added: “This is an incredibly timely piece with Michael’s top-level insider insight into the political earthquakes that are shaking up British politics, and within the Conservative Party in particular. Who better than Michael to present this series as someone who spent a political career inside the heart of the party.”

Gowans, CEO of Transparent Television, said: “Michael is such an impressive and established broadcaster, it is a privilege to work with him again. This landmark, authored series sees him challenging key politicians—from both today and decades past—revealing the behind-the-scenes story and offering a rare window inside the corridors of power. Michael is uniquely placed to explore the issues surrounding the Conservative Party, which has shaped and changed the lives of British people for generations, as well as offering a comprehensive account of its history.”

About Chelsea Regan

Chelsea Regan is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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