Nick Clegg: The Movie is now a thing. Photo: Getty
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Would you watch a film about Nick Clegg? Channel 4 thinks so

A new TV drama will include the Lib Dem leader as its central character, in a show about the creation of the coalition.

The character of the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will be the protagonist of a new TV film being made by Channel 4. He will be the unlikely key part in a drama written by James Graham, the playwright behind such recent political theatre treats as This House and Privacy. The drama will follow the tortuous, tense backroom dealings that led, in the space of days, to the creation of the coalition.

The film will be a one-off, 90-minute creation and has the working title Coalition.

The Telegraph reports playwright Graham's explanation of his rather niche idea for a drama:

In May 2010, British politics was faced with a dilemma it hadn't had to face in peacetime for over 75 years. The public were asked 'Who should govern?', and they came back with the answer 'We don't know'.

What we try to capture in this drama is the tension, the high stakes, and the frequent farcical and absurd nature of what happens when a power is wrangled, negotiated and fought over like children trading cards in the playground.

In May 2010, after decades of single party rule and amidst growing disillusionment, all eyes turned to one man. A man who found himself with the power to change the landscape of British politics - and his career - forever. But at what cost?

Rather convincing. But Clegg's team seems less sure about the idea. One spokesperson joked to the Telegraph "That would explain why Brad Pitt keeps calling", whereas Michael Savage of the Times was told by a source close to the Deputy Prime Minister, "That explains why Daniel Craig has been calling", and the Guardian's Nicholas Watt had "that would explain why George Clooney's been calling".

Twitter has other ideas, citing, among others, Colin Firth, Hugh Dennis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ricky Gervais and, err, Idina Menzel.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.