A television company is planning to feature Boris Johnson’s love child in a drama about his first year in Downing Street, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Producers say the drama, This Sceptred Isle, will document how the Prime Minister has dealt with the pandemic, his own health battle with Covid-19 and the birth of his son Wilfred.
But in a highly controversial move which is likely to infuriate No 10, it is also set to feature Stephanie, his 11-year-old daughter by former mistress Helen Macintyre.
Produced by the TV firm Freemantle, the drama is being co-written and directed by Michael Winterbottom, a staunch Labour supporter, while Desmond Hamilton Casting, which finds actors for Freemantle, is seeking an actor to play Stephanie.
A television company is planning to feature Boris Johnson's love child in an upcoming documentary about his first year in office. Pictured: The Prime Minister and his fiancée Carrie Symonds speak to the midwifes that helped deliver their son Wilfred at University College Hospital in London in July last year
An advert asks for well-spoken white girls, aged 11-12, with blonde/brown hair.
Candidates have been asked to record themselves acting out a scene in which Stephanie meets the newborn Wilfred and Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds. The deadline for applications is tomorrow.
The prospect of Stephanie’s portrayal on screen is likely to horrify her parents, who jealously guard her privacy.
‘Stephanie and her mum live a life very much under the radar,’ said a source. ‘She has never been in the limelight so this could be very difficult for them both. Helen has always protected her privacy fiercely.’
Helen Macintyre who had Boris Johnson's daughter in 2009
It is unknown if Mr Johnson’s four grown-up children by his second wife Marina Wheeler will feature in the drama, nor if Freemantle has yet sold the rights to the series to a broadcaster. Mr Johnson divorced Ms Wheeler, his wife for 27 years, last February after they reached a financial settlement.
Announcing the project in June, Freemantle executive Andrea Scrosati said: ‘There are rare moments in history when leaders find their private lives uniquely connected to national events… the last few months in the life of the Prime Minister mark one of these moments. At Freemantle we are passionate about finding powerful and authentic stories and telling them with a fair and fact-based approach.’
Until now, there has been no mention that the drama could also delve into the private lives of Mr Johnson’s family.
Stephanie was born after Mr Johnson had an affair with Ms Macintyre, an art consultant, in 2009. She sought an injunction to prevent reporting of the child’s existence, but a judge ruled that the public had a right to know.
The Prime Minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, last year revealed that he speaks to Stephanie and thinks of her as one of his grandchildren. ‘I have spoken to her on FaceTime and I am thrilled,’ he said, adding that he looks forward ‘to meeting her when lockdown is over’.
Asked how many grandchildren he has, he replied: ‘Fourteen includes Stephanie, that’s the point, I am particularly pleased to include Stephanie.’
Nine-month-old Wilfred is Mr Johnson’s sixth child. He was born last April, a few days after the Prime Minister was discharged from hospital after falling seriously ill with Covid-19.
Michael Winterbottom is a self-confessed lifelong Labour supporter, though he does admit that he became disillusioned with Tony Blair over the invasion of Iraq
The Prime Minister and Miss Symonds have not yet announced a date for their wedding.
In addition to casting for an actress to play Stephanie, producers are also looking for people to portray the doctors and nurses at St Thomas’ Hospital in London who helped nurse Mr Johnson back to health.
After he was discharged, the Prime Minister thanked them for their care, paying special tribute to New Zealander Jenny McGee and Luis Pitarma from Portugal who stood by his bedside for 48 hours ‘when things could have gone either way’.
Last night, representatives for Mr Johnson and Miss Symonds declined to comment.
Director Michael Winterbottom is a lifelong leftie
Michael Winterbottom is a self-confessed lifelong Labour supporter, though he does admit that he became disillusioned with Tony Blair over the invasion of Iraq.
The director’s pals are predominately Leftie luvvies. One of his closest is Steve Coogan, who is outspoken about his views and, in the run-up to the 2019 Election, urged the public to vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Another close friend is Stephen Fry, who has revealed how he considered running to be a Labour MP in the 1990s.
Winterbottom’s company is even called Revolutionary Films.
He and Coogan most recently collaborated on the 2020 movie Greed, which satirised the downfall of businessman Philip Green. It was Winterbottom’s fourth movie starring Coogan, following 24 Hour Party People, A Cock And Bull Story and The Look Of Love.
The two have also done three series of TV’s The Trip. Winterbottom, 59, who grew up in Blackburn, recently claimed that the UK Government’s attitude to the BBC and Channel 4 would result in everyday British stories being ‘totally marginalised’.