Partygate viewers saying same thing about Channel 4's new drama

Georgie Henley in Partygate
Georgie Henley in Partygate (Channel 4)

Channel 4's new factual drama, Partygate, premiered on Tuesday night and viewers have taken to social media to give their verdict.

The feature-length docudrama depicts the controversial scandal that occurred inside No 10 during the coronavirus pandemic and is interwoven with news archive footage and documentary interviews.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, viewers praised the compelling piece, with one person writing: "#Partygate now on Channel 4 is pretty good. It's a dramatised but essentially factual reconstruction of what occurred in Downing Street during lockdown with lots of quotes from the Sue Grey report. Set against the sacrifices that real people actually made. Very well made," while another added: "Wow. @Channel4 #partygate was fantastic."

Georgie Henley and Ophelia Lovibond in Partygate
Georgie Henley and Ophelia Lovibond star in Partygate (Channel 4)

A third viewer tweeted: "Compelling, heartbreaking, infuriating and perfectly crafted drama," while another wrote: "Wow. #Partygate is already superb. Well done, @Channel4."

Other viewers found the drama an emotional watch and were reminded of painful memories from the time. One person wrote: "Finding #partygate surprisingly emotional," while another added: "#Partygate is chilling. The genuine feeling of dread is overwhelming as it brings back such terrible memories."

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A third person commented: "This is hitting a lot harder than I thought. Really quite emotional and angrier than I thought over this #Partygate."

What is Partygate about?

Partygate tells the "real, untold story" behind the Downing Street scandal, "juxtaposing the revelry inside the nation's seat of power with the hardship and sacrifice being experienced across the rest of the country."

The synopsis reads: "As the horrors of COVID unfolded – three national lockdowns, PPE, 40,000 care home deaths, socially distanced funerals, a peak of more than 1,000 dead a day by January 2021 – Downing Street staff kicked back at a string of parties lubricated by quantities of alcohol."

Charlotte Ritchie in Partygate
Charlotte Ritchie plays Helen MacNamara (Channel 4)

Who stars in Channel 4's Partygate?

Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Ophelia Lovibond (W1A) lead the cast as fictional advisors, Grace Greenwood and Annabel D'acre.

Meanwhile, impressionist Jon Culshaw features as the voice of Boris Johnson, Grantchester star Charlotte Ritchie plays Helen MacNamara and Ten Percent actress Rebecca Humphries portrays Carrie Symonds.

Tom Durant-Pritchard and Ophelia Lovibond in Partygate
Tom Durant-Pritchard and Ophelia Lovibond in Partygate (Channel 4)

Other cast members include Phil Daniels as Mickey Port, Hugh Skinner as Josh Fitzmaurice, Tom Durant-Pritchard as Rory Baskerville, and Alice Orr-Ewing as Alice Lyons.

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What happened in the Partygate scandal?

Back in November 2021, it was reported that the staff at No 10 Downing Street held a Christmas party in 2020 despite lockdown restrictions that were in place at the time. Boris Johnson, the then-Prime Minister, denied the reports.

Soon after, a video of a mock press conference was released, which featured Downing Street Press Secretary Allegra Stratton joking about the party with another senior staff member.

Boris Johnson in a blue suit and his wife Carrie in a white suit
Boris Johnson was Prime Minister at the time of the scandal (Getty)

Allegra resigned from her position and civil servant Sue Gray launched a Cabinet Office inquiry into the scandal. In her report, which looked into 15 events between May 2020 and April 2021, she found "a serious failure" to abide by the "standards expected of the entire British population", with "excessive alcohol consumption" taking place at several events in 2020.

She also concluded that Johnson had attended eight of the events, alongside other senior government officials.

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