Another treat in store for Peter Firth fans this weekend. Not only is Mayday starting on BBC TV on Sunday, but Peter will also be on BBC radio on Saturday afternoon, in a new play called ‘The Iraq Dossier’. Peter plays the part of Richard Dearlove, the head of MI6.
The dossier “Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction”, lead to the headline “just 45 minutes from attack”, persuaded MPs to vote for an invasion of Iraq, and hardened public opinion against Saddam Hussein. Fall out from accusations by the BBC that the claims had been “sexed up” led to the death of Dr David Kelly and the Hutton Inquiry.
A dramatization of the inside story of the controversial document that persuaded MPs to back the 2003 Iraq war. Behind closed doors in Downing Street and Whitehall, Tony Blair’s advisers raised the threat of weapons of mass destruction to persuade the country to invade Iraq.
We follow the story of Dr Brian Jones, the MoD’s leading expert on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as he tried to stop exaggeration and inaccuracy creeping into the document. The author, David Morley, interviewed Brian Jones, who died in 2012, several times and says he found him to be “a very calm and precise character, with a great sense of his duty as a public servant who felt very let down by his superiors.”
The author, David Morley, has created the script from the mountain of emails, memos, and first hand testimony submitted to the various inquiries into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as from first-hand interviews with Dr Brian Jones, who died in 2012 and was the MoD’s leading expert on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, concerned that exaggeration should not creep into the dossier.This includes evidence presented to the Chilcot Inquiry, Hutton Inquiry, Butler Report, House of Commons reports and from what has emerged over the last 10 years in various memoirs and diaries.
The cast features Richard E Grant as Dr Brian Jones, Anton Lesser as John Scarlett, Peter Firth as Richard Dearlove, Lindsay Duncan as the narrator, Andrew Dunn as Alastair Campbell, David Caves as Robert Green, Stephen Critchlow as Mark Allen, Jon Glover as Henry Brown, Keith Wickham as Tony Cragg, Felicity Duncan as Sally Morgan, Tom Goodman-Hill as Jones’s Boss as and Tom Alexander as Danny Pruce.
You will be able to listen to the play on your radio or online HERE
This drama goes behind the scenes of MI6, the Ministry of Defence and Downing Street to dramatise one of the most controversial episodes in British politics.
What a wonderful week this will turn out to be! Peter Firth on the radio on Saturday, and then Peter Firth on the television Sunday til Thursday. Roll on the weekend!