Maggie’s moment of lust with ex-PM
PUBLISHED: 17:46 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 12 August 2010
A FILM is set to recreate the moment two future prime ministers flirted at a dinner dance. BBC4 s drama – Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley – has Ted Heath whisking Thatcher, then Miss Roberts, off her feet at a North Kent Conservative dinner
A FILM is set to recreate the moment two future prime ministers flirted at a dinner dance.
BBC4's drama - Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley - has Ted Heath whisking Thatcher, then Miss Roberts, off her feet at a North Kent Conservative dinner dance in 1950.
As the music ends, Heath clasps Thatcher's waist and she shoots him a look of breathless approval.
"Shall we get some air?" he then says, heavily.
The film, due to be aired tonight, charts Mrs Thatcher's struggle for power from losing the Dartford general election vote in 1950 to winning Finchley in 1959.
A sexist 1950s Conservative Party saw her turned down for a long line of vacant seats, including Orpington and Beckenham.
Her Orpington rejection was painful, leading her to write to Tory Central Office, saying: "The only political temptation for the next 10 years was Orpington for which I have long had an affinity.
"Now that temptation has been removed for all time, I shall continue at the Bar with no further thought of a parliamentary career for many years."
Speaking about her earlier life, writer Tony Saint, who grew up in Labour heartland Newcastle, said: "I was intrigued by the way it was only barely sketched out in biographies about her, it felt as if there was an untold story to tell.
"First of these was the force of character that the young lady from Grantham displayed from the outset.
"Parachuted in to contest the hopeless seat of Dartford, she gave it absolutely everything and managed to cut the huge Labour majority by a third."
He said the film is meant to be foremost a comedy with a nod to Ealing Studios and the Boulting Brothers.
He added: "I'm not sure there's anyone who would claim to know exactly what was going on in Ted Heath's mind.
"Knowing the antipathy that later developed between Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, I was amazed to discover that they had fought neighbouring seats in the 1950 election and so knew each other well as far back as that."
Last year, Lady Thatcher's daughter, Carol Thatcher accused programme makers of warping history after hearing of a scene in which her mother rails against the 'f-ing Establishment'.
The idea that her mother would have used the f-word was 'laughable' and 'offensive', she said.
The line was removed after a call from BBC bosses to producers.
Geordie Andrea Riseborough, 26, who plays the Iron Lady, said: "If she watches it then I hope that Lady Thatcher will recognise that the film portrays the real struggle she went through to get into parliament.
"As we're not dealing with the truth here, it would be wrong for anyone to judge it on the basis of historical accuracy.