Julie Walter brings ‘Mo’ to Channel 4

by Lisa McGarry

Oscar-nominated actress Julie Walters (Mamma Mia, Harry Potter) takes on the lead role in a revealing portrait of Mo Mowlam; the woman whose charisma and no-nonsense approach to politics helped achieve one of the most monumental landmarks in recent British history, the Good Friday Agreement.

Arguably the most popular, if controversial, Labour politician of a generation, Mo’s (Walters) warmth, passion and unorthodox style made her renowned throughout the country and loved by many. Away from the public gaze, she found happiness in later life with husband Jon Norton (David Haig – My Boy Jack), but just months before the pivotal 1997 general election, she discovered she had a brain tumour. Defying medics, her brave battle with ill-health was played out on the public stage.

Julie Walters says; “It’s a very human story. The politics is interesting, but it’s almost in the background, eclipsed by Mo herself. Which everything was. She was this tornado that went through life with everything else happening around her. It’s about who she was, it’s about her love for her husband, it’s about caring for people, it’s about dealing with the tumour, it’s about her courage. But it’s not sentimental, that’s why it’s special.”

Mo stars Gary Lewis (Billy Elliot) as friend and colleague MP Adam Ingram; Toby Jones (Harry Potter) as Dr. Glaser; Adrian Dunbar (Ashes to Ashes) as David Trimble; John Lynch (The Yellow House) as Gerry Adams; Eoin McCarthy (Alien vs. Predator) as Martin McGuinness and Steven Mackintosh (Criminal Justice) as Peter Mandelson.

Written by Neil McKay (See No Evil: The Moors Murders), Mo offers a poignant and intimate look at the life of Mo Mowlam and is based on extensive first-hand research. McKay interviewed key players in the Northern Ireland peace process and close colleagues as well as Mowlam’s family who are in full support of the project.

Sun 31 Jan, 9PM on Channel 4