Comment by the Churchill Centre: The idea that Churchill’s longtime disciple and wartime Minister of Information was Churchill’s illegitimate son made for amusing chit-chat in London clubs during the 1920s and 1930s, but Churchill never took it seriously. When his wife brought the rumor to his attention, WSC remarked with a grin: “I’ve looked up the matter, but the dates don’t coincide.” This film correctly dismisses the charges.
New Irish Documentary Investigates ‘Churchill’s Secret Son..?’
19 Apr 2010
Independent production company Marbella Productions are currently finishing work on ‘Brendan Bracken – Churchill’s Secret Son..?’ The history documentary co-produced by RTÉ examines the life of Irish man Brendan Bracken, Winston Churchill’s right hand man and explores the possibility of a biological connection between the two men.
IFTN spoke with producer Adrian Bracken about making his production debut at 60, casting the young Winston Churchill and his own possible links to the documentary’s subject matter.
Due to be broadcast on RTÉ One in November 2010, the 60 minute HD documentary, ‘Brendan Bracken – Churchill’s Secret Son..?’ is currently in post production at Marbella Productions in Spain. Produced and presented by Adrian Bracken (actor, In Sickness and in Health, Tom’s Midnight Garden), the documentary is a personal journey to uncover the story of a man who went to great lengths to hide his tracks, including having all of his personal papers incinerated when he died.
The documentary traces Brendan Bracken’s life from his birth in Ireland in 1901, via Australia where his mother exiled him at the age of 14, to his life in England from 1920 onwards whereupon he reinvented himself as an Australian and began his journey to become a pillar of the English establishment – MP, Privy Councillor, First Lord of the Admiralty and ultimately Lord Bracken – to his lonely death from cancer at the age of 57. Following comments on the surname he shares with the documentary’s subject, Adrian Bracken explains that he very possibly is a relative: “My great grandfather and Brendan’s family all have Wexford roots and my Grandfather always referred to him as his cousin so there very definitely is a link there.”
As to the question of Bracken being Churchill’s son, Adrian explains the investigation commenting: “On meeting Winston Churchill for the first time, Bracken and he became such close companions, tongues wagged in 1920’s London that Bracken was Churchill’s illegitimate son, a rumour that never really went away, and one which neither Bracken nor Churchill ever denied.” The doc features dramatic re-enactments of Bracken’s interaction with Churchill which begs many questions as to the casting of the actor who plays the iconic British leader, Rob Trutt: “There are classic look-alikes of Churchill, jowels and all,” he explains, “but if you look at photos of him in the period between 1923 and 1935 he obviously looks very different – he’s thinner and has a lot more hair. So we had this one particular photograph that we used for reference when we were casting and, at one point, we go from a shot of Rob to an archive photo of the young Churchill and the resemblance is uncanny.”
Read the entire article here at the Irish Film and Television Network
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