Channel 4, Rogan Productions, Andrew Neil team for Boris Johnson doc

Rogan Productions, the UK prodco that previously produced the three-part docuseries Putin: A Russian Spy Story and the feature-length doc Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit for Channel 4, has ...
January 25, 2022

Rogan Productions, the UK prodco that previously produced the three-part docuseries Putin: A Russian Spy Story and the feature-length doc Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit for Channel 4, has partnered with the broadcaster again for a one-hour doc special on the crumbling premiership of Boris Johnson.

Making its debut on Channel 4 and the broadcaster’s on-demand platform All 4 on January 30, Boris Johnson: Has He Run Out of Road? follows veteran political journalist Andrew Neil through exclusive interviews with Conservative Party MPs, who provide insight and commentary on the escalating series of scandals that have put the once seemingly Teflon-coated prime minister’s reign in jeopardy.

“It’s been a tremendous privilege following Andrew Neil, one of Britain’s greatest journalists, as he covers the most extraordinary and dynamic political story of our times,” said the doc’s director, Simon Gilchrist, in a release. “It’s not often one gets access to the key players within a political party as it tries to decide whether or not to depose the Prime Minister.”

Johnson, who ascended to the PM’s office in 2019 after taking a leading role in Brexit, had previously demonstrated a Trump-like immunity to allegations of corruption and multiple breaches of ethics. However, a series of recent scandals, as well as his handling of the COVID crisis over the past two years, have perhaps made him a political liability for the ruling Conservative Party.

In November of last year, Johnson drew fire when he sought to overturn the 30-day suspension of Conservative MP Owen Paterson by the House of Commons’ standards committee after it was discovered that Paterson had been paid more than £100,000 a year to act as a lobbyist for two companies while in office. An attempt by Conservative MPs, at Johnson’s instigation, to overhaul the standards committee’s rules regarding MP behavior elicited a major backlash, and was soon withdrawn.

Earlier this month, Johnson was also compelled to admit that he had attended a BYOB party of more than 100 government staff in the garden of the prime ministerial residence at No. 10 Downing Street in May 2020, in flagrant violation of pandemic lockdown regulations.

“With Boris Johnson’s future as UK Prime Minister seemingly hanging on a knife edge, who better to examine how we got here and what could happen next than Britain’s leading political journalist, Andrew Neil,” said Louisa Compton, Channel 4′s head of news and current affairs, who commissioned the doc for the broadcaster. “This timely film underlies the channel’s commitment to producing distinctive, thought-provoking and outstanding journalism.”

Neil, a longtime BBC presenter, departed the pubcaster in September 2020 for the position of chairman and lead presenter of the right-skewing UK news channel GB News, which launched in June 2021. He left the channel a mere three months later, citing technical and organizational chaos as well as disagreements about the broadcaster’s political direction.

The new doc for Channel 4 marks Neil’s return to air for the first time since his departure from GB News.

Boris Johnson: Has He Run Out of Road? is produced by Claire Kavanagh and executive produced by James Rogan for Rogan Productions.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.