Blair and Brown: The New Labour Revolution: what is BBC documentary on former PMs about - and when is it on TV?

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown served as UK prime ministers and leaders of the Labour Party

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown went from partners in politics to leadership rivals (Picture: BBC)

Former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are both synonymous with New Labour, even if they did have different views on how to deliver it.

BBC Two will now delve into their competitive, co-dependent relationship in a new five-part series, revealing how their careers unfolded and the events which led to their downfall.

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Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution was directed by the makers of critically acclaimed Thatcher: A Very British Revolution, and reveals how the Labour pair and their team “transformed our politics and shaped the direction of the country as we entered the 21st century.”

So, when is the docu-series on and what is it about? This is what you need to know.

What is Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution about?

Across the five episodes, the documentary will tell the story of Blair and Brown and their rise to success.

From their early days as MPs and what made them prospective leaders to how Blair overtook Brown in the bid to be the face of New Labour to the financial crisis and the catastrophic downfall of Labour at the 2010 elections, the series speaks to those who were closest to them at the time.

Most notably, the series hears from both former politicians themselves and provides their narrative of their rise, rejection and the phenomenon that was and is New Labour.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown worked hand-in-hand to launch the New Labour agenda (Picture: BBC)

The series begins in 1983, as Labour experiences a savage election defeat, receiving only 27.6 percent of the vote. While the party was all but whipped out, Blair and Brown were only just stepping their toes into the ocean of British politics as newly elected MPs.

Episode one explains how Brown was the initial star of the show, his understanding of the economy quickly caught the eye of Labour’s new leader Neil Kinnock.

He then took Blair under his wing and taught him the ropes - Blair was a privately educated Oxford graduate who had little background in politics, even less so in leftist views and the party of the working classes.

A young Harriet Harman with Labour leader Neil Kinnock, UK, 1992 (picture: Getty Images)

Over time, they began to project their modernising agenda, with the help of Labour’s Communications chief Peter Mandelson. By 1992, Labour had suffered two more election defeats and Neil Kinnock was forced to step down.

Shadow Chancellor John Smith took his place and Blair felt Smith was not the man to win over the electorate, he wanted Brown to contest Smith’s leadership but Brown remained loyal. When, in 1994, Smith tragically passed away, Blair and Brown came to an agreement that Blair would take his place.

The agreement between the pair meant Brown would stand aside in the immediate aftermath of Smith’s passing, only if he was made leader after Blair. This agreement would prove defining for their future relationship as Blair won the leadership election and subsequently, the 1997 general election.

The series will feature four further episodes, divulging how the pair went from political soulmates to rivals.

Who was interviewed for the docu-series?

In the first episode, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown will contribute, as well as fellow former Labour party leader Neil Kinnock.

Blair and Brown’s Director of Communications Peter Mandelson will also share insight into the early days of the duo’s agenda forming, as well as Patricia Hewitt, Press Secretary to Neil Kinnock.

Alastair Campbell, Blair’s Chief Press Secretary and Ed Balls, Economic Adviser to Gordon Brown will also take part, among others.

Brown’s Parliamentary Researcher and Speechwriter Douglas Alexander is also set to contribute, alongside Anji Hunter, Research Assistant to Blair and Peter Hyman, his Political Strategist and Speechwriter.

When is Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution on TV?

The first episode of the docu-series will air on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 4 October.

The subsequent episodes will air weekly, on Mondays at 9pm on BBC Two.

Episodes will also be available on BBC iPlayer.