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TV review: Taking Control — The Dominic Cummings Story

‘Slippery’: Dominic Cummings with Boris Johnson PICTURE: REX

REVIEW

Taking Control: The Dominic Cummings Story

BBC2 ★★✩✩✩

WHETHER you regard Dominic Cummings as the brilliant hero or conniving villain of Brexit will depend on where you placed your cross.

But one thing not up for debate is that he is the most powerful political player no one voted for. So, with Boris Johnson in power for the foreseeable future, the time was ripe for the inside story on the adviser, who seems to have climbed the rungs of power using street-smarts and sorcery.

Who is he? Where did he come from? What makes him tick? These were the answers I was looking for in Taking Control but, with no interview with Cummings himself, they were in short supply.

Interviewer: Emily Maitlis PICTURES: GETTY/REX/PETER MACDIARMID

His allies and rivals lined up to sing his praises/damn him as the devil, but the picture they painted remained fuzzy. The word genius was bandied around alarmingly and, if genius is the ability to shed skins with a shift in the political wind, Cummings fits the bill. It’s doubtful even Emily Maitlis, who interviewed his political circle here, would be able to pin him down, such is his slippery nature.

It was a missed opportunity; Taking Control told us a lot about what Dom’s done to shape the state of the nation, but not why he did it.

By the end, all I’d learnt was he favours a plunging shirt and owns a wide range of woolly hats. To remain so invisible and so powerful is a kind of genius. But this was not.