Commentary (The Times)

MT: “Thatcher leaves hospital, feels ‘fine’” (health scare)

Document type: Press
Source: The Times , 9 December 2005
Journalist: On-line staff, The Times
Editorial comments:
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 642 words
Themes: Autobiographical comments, Autobiography (marriage & children)

Thatcher leaves hospital, feels ‘fine’

By Times Online

Baroness Thatcher left hospital today after being given a clean bill of health by doctors and told waiting reporters: "I’m fine, I’m fine. I feel fine."

Her private secretary said that the 80-year-old former prime minister had been treated in a private single room during her overnight stay on the coronary ward at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.

Mark Worthington said: "Staff have been absolutely wonderful. She could not have had better or more attentive care and she is extremely grateful for all the kindness and care shown to her."

He said Lady Thatcher’s two children, Mark and Carol, who are both currently overseas, had been made aware of the situation and were due to travel back to London in the next few days.

Carol Thatcher is still in Australia after winning the reality television programme I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Sir Mark is thought to be living in Europe.

During her time in hospital Lady Thatcher had received no visitors but the new Tory leader, David Cameron had sent a message wishing her a "speedy recovery". Mr Worthington said that Lady Thatcher is expected to take it easy for the rest of the week but hopes to be "back to normal" by Monday.

Lady Thatcher was taken to the hospital's casualty department by her bodygards after she complained of feeling faint during an appointment with her hairdresser. She was kept in overnight as a precaution.

Mark Purcell, spokesman for the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said this morning that Lady Thatcher had spent a comfortable night .

He said that she had been seen by her consultant this morning: "He is happy with her and she is expected to be discharged later today."

Lady Thatcher has suffered from frail health in recent years following a series of strokes. Three years ago she was advised by doctors not to make any more speeches in public.

Mrs Thatcher's dizzy spell comes after a torrid week for her family. Yesterday the BBC announced that the Thatchers will soon replace The Simpsons as television’s first family.

Jane Tranter, head of BBC drama commissioning, told The Times: "We are working on a major project to dramatise the life and premiership of Margaret Thatcher. It would be a multipart drama showing her rise as the first female party leader and encompassing events such as the poll tax and miners’ strike.

"The Eighties and Nineties are the new Victorian drama. Contemporary writers are now looking to this era and Thatcher’s influence is huge."

Actors for the plum Thatcher roles have yet to be found for the project, which is still in the planning stages. Carol Thatcher is likely to be approached to help the producers with background material.

Lady Thatcher will first be portrayed in Coup!, a BBC Two comedy-drama about her son's involvement in an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea.

Caroline Blakiston, who had the role of Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Alliance in Star Wars, plays Lady Thatcher.

Kika Markham, a member of the left-wing Redgrave dynasty, plays the former prime minister in The Line of Beauty, adapted by Andrew Davies from Alan Hollinghurst’s Booker prize-winning novel. It charts the trials of a young homosexual on the fringes of Tory high society.

There is a further Thatcher cameo in another BBC Two drama, Pinochet in Surrey, an account of the former Chilean dictator’s 1998 arrest in London, which will star Derek Jacobi. Two films from Stephen Poliakoff are set during the Thatcher premiership.