Scenes from Partygate on Channel 4

‘My mum died alone, fighting for breath’: 10 heartbreaking tweets from infuriated Channel 4 viewers watching Partygate show

"Compelling, heartbreaking, infuriating"

The Partygate docudrama aired on Channel 4 last night and viewers were left infuriated online.

The show told the story of the Covid-19 pandemic from inside 10 Downing Street as staff were accused of breaking lockdown rules and guidance with parties.

It mixed real news footage with dramatisations of the alleged parties which took place at Downing Street during the lockdown.

Staff members collecting booze during Covid pandemic in Partygate on Channel 4
Partygate aired on Channel 4 last night (Credit: Channel 4)

Partygate on Channel 4

Jon Culshaw starred as Boris Johnson, Prime Minister at the time. Meanwhile, Craig Parkinson, Ophelia Lovibond, Charlotte Ritchie, Rebecca Humphries, Kimberley Nixon and Phil Daniels all had roles.

During the show, footage was shown from hospitals at the height of the pandemic. It would then flip to a dramatisation from inside Downing Street when gatherings were allegedly being organised despite social distancing rules being in place.

Compelling, heartbreaking, infuriating and perfectly crafted drama.

One dramatised scene saw two staff members going to the shop to pick up some booze for a gathering. One staff member asks her colleague: “Are we having a party?”

Ophelia Lovibond’s character, special advisor Annabel D’acre, replies: “No, just socially-distanced drinks.”

Members of Downing Street in Partygate on Channel 4
The show showed dramatised scenes (Credit: Channel 4)

Another dramatised scene shows members of Downing Street doing karaoke. Other scenes saw real life people showing the sacrifices they made during the pandemic. One woman showed her friends outside of her home having an actual socially-distanced gathering as she wore a mask and gloves.

In another scene, a woman called Emma Jenkins spoke about losing her gran during the pandemic. She told the camera: “Being told to stay at home. I remember seeing Boris saying, ‘You must stay at home.’ I couldn’t go and see her.

“My gran died of Covid she caught in a care home. She died alone.”

Viewers watching Partygate were both heartbroken and infuriated. They shared their thoughts on X – formerly known as Twitter.

Woman telling story on Partygate on Channel 4
Heartbreaking stories were told during the show (Credit: Channel 4)

Reaction to Partygate

One person said: “My mum died alone. She didn’t have the funeral she deserved and the funeral we needed. Whilst these monsters partied. #Partygate.”

Another wrote: “Compelling, heartbreaking, infuriating and perfectly crafted drama. It brings it all back how much ordinary people sacrificed while these amoral toffs shamelessly partied on #Partygate.”

Someone else tweeted: “Watching #Partygate brought it all back. Like thousands of others my mum died of Covid: Christmas eve 2020, in a nursing home, alone because we weren’t allowed to visit.”

Meanwhile, another person added: “My mum died alone in hospital, in 2020, on the day I was finally going to see her after months apart…there was no family members present… I will never ever forgive and never ever forget.”

Boris Johnson talking to Downing Street staff in dramatised scene for Partygate on Channel 4
Viewers were infuriated and heartbroken watching the show (Credit: Channel 4)

What else was said?

Another said: “My mum died alone, fighting for breath. I couldn’t hug my children at her funeral. There were just 6 of us there. We all went home alone. My wife couldn’t go to her son’s wedding. There are no words to convey how much I despise Boris Johnson. Thank you @Channel4.”

Someone else tweeted: “Steaming at #Partygate this was all at a time when I couldn’t go to a friend’s funeral & my nan was dying alone in a care home, disgusting and shameful.”

Read more: ‘We’ve been used and well and truly exploited’: DIY SOS’ biggest upsets over the years

Another said: “Well done to @Channel4 for showing this powerful prog – so much anger, sadness brought back; while they partied the UK was dying.”

It’s brought up a lot of painful memories #Partygate,” another viewer admitted.

Someone else wrote: “It was heartbreaking to watch, made me really cry.” Finally, another commented: “Gosh, these real-life stories really bring home how devastating the pandemic was for so many people. Heartbreaking.”

Partygate is available to watch on Channel 4 on demand now.

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Did you watch the show? You can leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

Rebecca Carter
Associate Editor (News)

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