When the Blair government takes office in 1997 the difficult job of Secretary of state for Northern Ireland, trying to broker peace between sectarian factions, goes to Dr. Marjorie Mowlam, known as 'Mo'. With her no nonsense attitude, rough language and liking for a drunk - not to mention the odd flasher's moment - she is equal to any man and totally committed to her role. However she has cancer. The chemotherapy gives her hair loss and she plays on this to defuse situations with humour. Unfortunately the cancer is malignant and will kill her within a few years but Mo keeps this fact quiet in order to see through her Northern Irish task.