4 x 30 minute episodes
MPEG-1 Layer 3
Adaptation of John O'Farrell's best-selling book about the New Labour project.
O'Farrell's best-selling comic memoir about how he helped the Labour Party lose elections, with a bit of help from Hugh Dennis, Jan Ravens, Doon Mackichan and Lewis MacLeod.
How did British politics go from New Labour landslides to Brexit and Corbyn? John O'Farrell is the comedy writer with a knack of finding himself at the heart of British politics; standing in Maidenhead against Theresa May in 2001, doing even worse in the Eastleigh by-election of 2013, successfully campaigning for a non-selective inner-city state school but then realising he had to send his kids to it.
Looking back at the last 20 years in British politics, these are the frank and funny memoirs of one Labour activist who tried to carry on as usual long after politics stopped making sense.
Episode 1 - 1997-2001
Election night 1997 ushered in a new era. Tony Blair promised a brave new future to the sound of D:Ream singing Things Can Only Get Better. That was certainly true for Professor Brian Cox. But the shine of that election victory is a distant memory in 2018. Just how did we get here?
Episode 2 - 2001-2007
John O'Farrell looks back at the last 20 years in British politics, to try to make sense of where we are now. The shine had barely gone off the New Labour project when 9/11 changed everything. By the time of the 2005 election, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were rowing so hard that Blair's purchase of two ice-creams felt significant and oddly reassuring. Iraq made the New Labour government unpopular but for Gordon Brown a bigger crisis was ahead - at the hands of, well, Gordon Brown.
Episode 3 - 2008-2013
John O'Farrell looks back at the last 20 years in British politics, to try to make sense of where we are now. In the US the Democrats had chosen Barack Obama as their candidate, and John O'Farrell headed to Wisconsin to help canvas. Hope was in plentiful supply but 2008 would still bring a series of financial blows from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Worse still, Gordon Brown forgot all about Prudence on the campaign trail.
Episode 4 - 2013-2017
John O'Farrell looks back at the last 20 years in British politics, to try to make sense of where we are now. It was a time of self-inflicted wounds - from the "Ed Stone", to David Cameron's decision to hold a referendum on Brexit to unite the Conservative Party. Trump won a fantastic victory in the US presidential elections,, but lost the popular vote. In the bloody war of Miliband v Miliband, Ed may have won the battle. But did David win the war?
written and read by John O'Farrell
Produced by Victoria Lloyd
A BBC Studios Production.