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The Journey

Screenwriter Colin Bateman imagines what might have been said at a momentous real-life encounter between two Irish political heavyweights in this drama directed by Nick Hamm. Dr Ian Paisley (Timothy Spall), leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and Sinn Fein MP Martin McGuinness (Colm Meaney), a former member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), have been at loggerheads for years and despise each other. They have never met until the opportunity to negotiate a landmark peace agreement in Northern Ireland brings together the two men in St Andrews in Scotland. Enmity simmers and the negotiations are complicated by Paisley's insistence that he must return to Belfast to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife. As part of a security protocol to protect both men, McGuinness insists on travelling with Paisley and the two men sit in the back seat of a chauffeur-driven car, bound for the airport. Little does Paisley realise that the driver Jack (Freddie Highmore) works for MI5 and the car is fitted with surveillance equipment that allows Tony Blair (Toby Stephens) and various officials to eavesdrop on the conversation.