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BBC Orders Documentary Series on Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Almost four decades after Margaret Thatcher rose to power as Britain’s first female prime minister, the BBC has ordered a landmark documentary series on the iconic and divisive leader. “Thatcher,” a five-hour look at the politician dubbed the “Iron Lady,” will go out on BBC Two in the U.K.

BBC Studios will sell “Thatcher” internationally. The series will tell the story of how a young girl from a modest English market town, who trained as a chemist, became a world leader. Thatcher served as premier from 1979 to 1990, and died in 2013.

Spanning five one-hour installments, the documentary will provide a social history of modern Britain. British pubcaster the BBC promises “a front-row seat as Thatcher rides the tumultuous tides of public support through three election victories, as the nation yo-yos and divides itself between soaring adulation and violent unrest.”

The show will also examine the legacy of a Conservative politician often voted as both Britain’s best and worst post-war leader. “Thatcher” will weave archival footage with interviews with the politicians, friends, and adversaries who knew her.

Margaret Thatcher defined her age like no other leader since the war,” said Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two. “This series promises to be not just the story of her extraordinary political journey, but also an exploration of the age that produced so much of the world we live in today.”

The factual arm of BBC production and distribution business BBC Studios is making “Thatcher.”

“Whether we love it or hate it, we all live in a world created by Margaret Thatcher,” said Aysha Rafaele, creative director of BBC Studios’ documentary unit. “This new BBC Two series will explore how the ideology that she espoused and embodied came to be the defining narrative of the last 40 years.”

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