Black Mirror: Hugh Grant almost played the prime minister in infamous pig sex episode

Isobel Lewis
·1-min read
 (Getty/Channel 4)
(Getty/Channel 4)

Hugh Grant has revealed that he was originally offered the part of Prime Minister in Black Mirror’s infamous first episode.

Airing in 2011 on Channel 4, “The National Anthem” is one of Black Mirror’s most memorable episodes.

It imagines a scenario in which a member of the British royal family is kidnapped, with the only way to ensure their release being for the prime minister to have sex with a pig live on TV.

In the show, Rory Kinnear plays fictional prime minister Michael Callow, but speaking to Digital Spy, The Undoing star Grant recalled being offered the part by creator Charlie Brooker.

“I’ve got this feeling I was offered a part in [Black Mirror] ages ago,” he said. “Was there one in which the Prime Minister has to have sex with a pig?”

The actor continued: “Yeah. I think I was offered a part in that. Maybe I was the Prime Minister… But I knew I couldn’t do it at the time. I think I was busy doing something else.”

Grant did go on to work with Brooker in the future, with the pair collaborating on talking head mockumentary Death to 2020, which was released in December and starred Grant as British historian Tennyson Foss.

Despite starring an impressive cast including Samuel L Jackson, Lisa Kudrow and Tracy Ullman, the special was torn apart by critics who branded it “disappointing”.

The Independent’s Ed Cumming gave Death to 2020 a one-star review, writing: “Death to 2020 is a mess and you’ll be glad when it’s over. In that sense, at least, it’s appropriate to its subject.”

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