The actor Robert Hardy, who has played the role of Winston Churchill many times, describes his life with Churchill—as a young boy growing up in the Second World War and then playing his hero in films, television and on stage.

The Director of the Archives Centre, Allen Packwood, who had the formidable job of interviewing Hardy, sets the scene:

“I am sitting on a stage within Portcullis House in the Palace of Westminster. Sitting opposite me is the instantly recognisable stage actor Robert Hardy, a man known to older generations as the vet Siegfried Farnon from All Creatures Great And Small, to the younger generation as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic in the Harry Potter films, and to everyone as Winston Churchill, a role he has reprised nine times and made his own. He has just received a standing ovation after reciting Churchill’s eightieth birthday speech from 1954. He takes a sip of whisky, smiles mischievously at me, and waits for me to ask my first question. My job is to interview him. Another fine mess I have got myself into …”

Hardy event line up

From left to right – Allen Packwood, Eleanor Laing MP, Sir David Cannadine, Speaker Bercow, Randolph Churchill, Celia Sandys, Robert Hardy, Sir Nicholas Soames MP. Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament.


Parliament in the Making 2015

This event took place as part of Parliament in the Makinga series of displays, lectures and events commemorating a series of major parliamentary anniversaries in 2015, including: 750 years since the Simon De Montfort parliament, 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta and 50 years since the death of Sir Winston Churchill.

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