Maggie movie puts world TV in her bag
Sunday 13 March 1994
The Beeb, which used to being on the receiving end of the former prime minister's waspish tongue, is now dishing out royalty cheques to her, and plans to issue the four-and-a- quarter-hour blockbuster on video next month.
This astonishing TV sale of the century has come as no surprise to Hugh Scully, presenter of the Antiques Roadshow, whose Finite Productions persuaded Lady Thatcher to unburden herself in front of the camera. 'We knew as soon as she signed the contract that we had something extraordinary, but we didn't know how frank and forthcoming she was prepared to be,' he said last night. 'She was as good as her word.'
Maggie, The Movie, has been sold to television networks in Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia (for several Middle East countries), Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Denmark, Portugal and Canada. Negotiations are continuing in the United States, where her price - about dollars 250,000 ( pounds 170,000) - is said to be meeting resistance.
Not surprisingly, she is also exciting strong interest in Germany. 'The Germans are fascinated by three women, apparently,' says Scully. 'Liz Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Margaret Thatcher.'
Quite what these foreign audiences will make of the political melodrama, with its saintly heroine whose downfall is plotted by horrible men in suits, is another matter.
One omission from the mini-series is likely to disappoint the hundreds of millions to whom it will be screened later this year. Although Lady Thatcher amazed Scully by her frankness in the 40 hours of filming, she refused to discuss the Other Woman who fascinates foreigners, the Queen.
Scully said: 'I asked her what the Queen said when she went to the Palace to tender her resignation. She said she couldn't go into that, and changed the subject.'
What a pity. But at least Lady Thatcher can count her royalties while queening it round the world. This week, she sets off for Brazil, Chile and Mexico at the invitation of the Brazilian bank Garantia. All her engagements are private, ticket-only affairs to which 'a cross-section of businessmen, bankers and VIPs' are invited, says her office coyly. And somebody pays, but 'that's private'.
BBC Enterprises, itself a legacy of the Thatcher years, is in no doubt why the series is so popular. 'She was a colossus on the world stage. Her name is known from Moscow to Madagascar.'
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...
£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...
£60k - 80k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...