Soldiers of Fortune

Satirist writes coup film

Satirist John Fortune has written a film about old Etonian Simon Mann's failed attempt to overthrow the Equatorial Guinea government.

BBC Two, which will air Coup!, describes it as ‘a story of audacity, incompetence and betrayal’.

Channel controller Roly Keating says: "The attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea is a remarkable story that gripped the British public as it just seemed too incredible to be true.

‘John Fortune's razor-sharp wit will expertly draw out the absurdity of what was a terribly serious situation.

‘I'm keen to have more strongly authored, contemporary dramas on BBC Two and I think this will hit the mark for the channel's audience."

Fortune added: ‘The purpose of the film is not to vilify or be unsympathetic to Simon's situation.

‘I hope Coup! will be seen as an absurd and funny insight into what makes a man Risk Everything for one last dangerous adventure: to try and overthrow a government.’

Filming on location in South Africa will commence in November and it is due to be broadcast in 2006. Casting has not yet been confirmed

Following his arrest, Simon denied any involvement with a coup but was charged with weapons offences. He is currently serving a four-year sentence in Chikurubi prison, Zimbabwe.

Mark Thatcher became embroiled in the plot, pleading guilty to failing to ensure that money he invested wasn't used for in a coup.


Published: 26 Aug 2005

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