Oscar Winning Director to tell Whittington Health's Pandemic Story in ITV Documentary

12 Mar 2021

2020: The Story of Us will premiere on ITV on Tuesday (16/03/2021) at 9.00pm.

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A feature-length documentary from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald will air on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday (16 March) telling the story of the first wave of Coronavirus in the UK. Whittington Health NHS Trust staff and patients share their stories as it tracks the pandemic from before it became a worldwide emergency, through lockdown and to the peak of the crisis.
 
As Britain enters a new phase in the global pandemic, now is the perfect time to reflect back on where and how Covid-19 all began. The documentary tells the story of Coronavirus in the UK through the testimonies of the people most affected by it both personally and professionally.
 
From Whittington Health, Professor Hugh Montgomery shares his experience of working as a consultant in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) throughout the pandemic. It shows the pressure that NHS staff were under, their struggles to understand and fight a new disease and to keep patients alive.
 
It also follows the stories of some of the patients who survived the virus thanks to the care they received from Whittington Health. We hear from Bus Driver Matthew Richards and Author and Poet Michael Rosen about what it was like to find themselves in the ICU and their struggle to come to terms with having been so close to not surviving. It also follows their journeys as they face up to the very real long-term consequences that COVID-19 and a stay in an ICU can bring.
 
When Whittington Health sat down for a meeting with The Intensive Care Society and a TV production company back in early 2019 to discuss an idea they had about a documentary to mark the Society's 50th anniversary (which was celebrated in June 2020) little did anyone know how central to all of our lives the work of intensive care staff was going to become.
 
The documentary is directed by Kevin Macdonald, whose documentary film, ‘One Day In September’ won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 2000. It examines the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. He is also known as the Director of ‘The Last King of Scotland’ in 2006. It is based on the events of the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime as seen by his personal physician during the 1970s. The film received a 2007 BAFTA Award for Best British Film.
 
Much of the footage has been captured by staff themselves on their mobile phones in real time adding a unique dimension to the documentary. All filming was carried out with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. 
 
The 90 minute program is a powerful and moving insight behind the doors of our hospital at a time of national crisis and at the skill, professionalism and dedication of our staff to saving lives.
 
Tune in at 9pm on Tuesday 16 March to ITV to watch the show.

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