BBC’s investigative strand ‘Panorama’ is prepping a documentary about the late Dame Tessa Jowell and her fight for better healthcare for cancer patients across the UK.
Produced by Glasgow-based indie Firecrest Films, Tessa Jowell: Her Last Campaign captures the former Labour Party culture secretary behind-the-scenes as she uses her final weeks to successfully lobby on cancer funding and access to more treatments for National Health Service (NHS) cancer patients.
Jowell was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a common and deadly brain tumor, in May 2017. Three in four people diagnosed with her type of brain cancer pass away within a year. Despite this, there is very little funding put forward for research on this type of cancer, and there have been no significant new treatments for this illness over the past 50 years.
The documentary will follow Tessa’s journey from the fatal diagnosis, to her final days, including her return to the Houses of Parliament where she previously held office.
The documentary includes interviews with professor Richard Gilbertson, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute; professor Susan Short, St. James Hospital Leeds; and those who share the same diagnosis as Jowell.
Directed and produced by Erica Gornall, Her Last Campaign was filmed in April and May 2018, eleven months after Jowell’s diagnosis, with final filming one week prior to her death on May 12, 2018.
Tessa Jowell: Her Last Campaign was made by Firecrest Films for BBC ‘Panorama’. The executive producer for the BBC is Aisling O’Connor, and the editor is Rachel Jupp. The executive producer at Firecrest Films is Nicole Kleeman.
Tessa Jowell: Her Last Campaign will air June 4 at 7.30 p.m. on BBC1.