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BBC unveils documentary series on Margaret Thatcher 40 years after she won power

The BBC has announced a new documentary series on Margaret Thatcher, which it says will “reignite the debate” around the former prime minister.

Given the working title Thatcher, the five-part series will mark 40 years since Britain’s first female prime minister came to power in May 1979.

It is billed as “the defining story of Margaret Thatcher and of the era when she dominated the political and social landscape”.

The BBC2 series will also examine the “social history of modern Britain” and “a nation undergoing epoch-defining social and cultural change.”

BBC2 controller Patrick Holland said: “Margaret Thatcher defined her age like no other leader since the war.

“This series promises to be not just the story of her extraordinary political journey, but also an exploration of the age that produced so much of the world we live in today.”

Aysha Rafaele, creative director of BBC Studios’ documentary unit, said: “Whether we love it or hate it we all live in a world created by Margaret Thatcher.

“This new BBC2 series will explore how the ideology that she espoused and embodied came to be the defining narrative of the last 40 years and will take a forensic look at her impact and legacy on all corners and all aspects of British life.”

The documentary is billed as “personal” and “revelatory” and will feature interviews with politicians, friends and adversaries and “from the citizens from every corner of Britain whose lives would be altered forever by the powerful shifts she brought about.”

It will feature archive footage, “ranging from the violent and visceral to the intimate and unseen”.

Just months after she came to power, Margaret Thatcher, eventually Baroness Thatcher, suggested that advertising could be introduced to some of the BBC’s radio programmes to help raise revenue for the broadcaster.

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