I think it’s breath-taking,” Jon said. “It’s a perfect demonstration of what the BBC is about. They have thrown the kitchen sink at it and it’s superb. Including the editing process, I must have watched it eight or nine times by now but the way, for example, they present the peace process in Northern Ireland in the second episode still chokes me up.”
And the series has been well-received by critics too. Piers Morgan called it ‘riveting and enlightening’, while journalist Sebastian Payne, of the Financial Times, called it a “total triumph”.
Jon said: “I’ve had so many nice messages since the first episode aired, from family and friends, some from friends I haven’t spoken to in years – it’s been quite incredible and wonderful.”
At the heart of it all – the module, the book and now the TV series - is the famously fractious relationship between the prime minister and his chancellor, a relationship that continues to fascinate more than a decade after Brown left Downing Street.
For a generation becoming used to the politics of a new era, Jon believes the Blair-Brown relationship is a hark back to a time when things were done differently.
He said: “[Blair and Brown] were the two big beasts of their era. This was Disraeli and Gladstone except they were in the same cabinet. When you have two colossal figures who dominate the political scene for a decade, you can’t help but be fascinated.
“And, as well as being very good, I think the TV series reminds us that politics is just not as serious as it once was. That’s not to say that a relationship like Blair and Brown’s could never happen again, though, because there is that long history of tension between number 10 and number 11.”