More runners and riders confirmed: So who will be PM in season four of ‘Borgen’?

The new premier will need to have the balls to retain Birgitte Nyborg as foreign minister, so who are the favourites among the returning cast?

Lining up for the promo shot (left-right): Özlem Saglanmak, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, Lars Knutzon and Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen (photo: Mike Kollöffel, DR)
January 11th, 2021 1:57 pm| by Ben Hamilton
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Further confirmation of who is lining up for the fourth season of ‘Borgen’, the Danish political series that wowed the world over the first half of the last decade, begs the all-important question: who will be PM when the series returns to DR and then Netflix in 2022?

The non-runners
First off, let’s confirm who it won’t be, starting with the lead character Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who the producers have already confirmed will be the foreign minister when the show begins – the same position she assumed at the end of season 3 in 2013 after reigning as PM as the leader of the Moderates (Radikale) in seasons 1 and 2. 

Her spindoctor Kasper Juul, sorry Kenneth Juul, is also ruled out on account of the actor Pilou Asbæk having bigger fish to fry after his spell in ‘Game of Thrones’. 

Lars Hesselboe, the right-wing PM (and leader of the Liberals – Venstre in the real world) when we last left off, is also out on account of the actor Søren Spanning having passed away last year. 

Ole Thestrup, who played long-term Freedom Party (Dansk Fokeparti) leader Svend Åge Saltum, also died – in 2018 (although he’ll be fondly remember forever; see video below) – so it won’t be him either. 

One of the journos?
Over in Britain, the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and George Osborne have shown how easy it is to move from journalism into a top job in politics, so why not the characters in ‘Borgen’?

After all, the last time we encountered news anchor Katrine Fønsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sørensen), she was working as the spindoctor of the New Democrats – and then presumably as an aide of Nyborg’s. 

Less likely is Torben Friis (Søren Malling), who had just got his job back at TV1 News (TV2 News), but had to sack his long-term lover Pia Munk (Lisbeth Wulff).

Søren Ravn (Lars Mikkelsen), an advisor to the New Democrats in season three, might also seem unlikely, but Mikkelsen’s career has come on leaps and bounds since 2013, so maybe the writers have come up with a way to make ‘Søren the Socialist’ the PM?

Climbing the ranks?
More likely, it will be one of the actors who played a politician in the first three seasons.

There’s former Labour (Socialdemokratiet) leader Michael Laugesen (Peter Mygind), who ended up becoming the editor-of-chief of Ekspres (Ekstra Bladet), but would he retain Nyborg as his foreign minister just eight years after she took a post in a centre-right party, or even return to politics.  

Anne Sophie Lindenkrone (Signe Egholm Olsen), the loose cannon leader of the Solidarity Party (Enhedslisten), also seems unlikely. This was the politician at the centre of the series’ most far-fetched moment when audio emerged of her threatening to have the PM’s kid kidnapped (more like Bogota than Borgen).

While Bent Sejrø (Lars Knutzon) is too knackered – particularly after his stroke just moments after being appointed EU commissioner in season 2.

More likely are two of the team who made up the New Democrats: Jon Berthelsen (Jens Albinus) and Nadia Barazani (Laura Allen Müller Smith). We never really trusted Berthelsen, so maybe he wheeled and dealed it to the top seat, but with Barazani, the producers have a chance to deliver Denmark’s first non-ethnically Danish PM a decade after crowing its first female one.  

Finally, could the producers spring a surprise with Nyborg’s daughter Laura Nyborg Christensen (Freja Riemann) or son Magnus (new actor Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen from The Rain) or even former husband Phillip (Mikael Birkkjær). The short answer is no. 

Complete newcomer
All of this leads us to the conclusion that the PM will be a new addition to the cast, with Mikkel Boe Følsgaard and Özlem Saglanmak the most likely candidates.

Følsgaard, a mainstay in Danish cinema since his acclaimed turn as Christian VII in ‘A Royal Affair’, may only be 36, but then again, the Finnish PM Sanna Marin is just 35, so why not. However, the baseball cap he’s sporting in the promo photo suggests he will be playing a bum … a journo probably. 

That leaves Özlem Saglanmak as our preferred candidate. Currently nominated for a Robert for her role in ‘Shorta’, her star is clearly rising. At 40, she’s the right age and, as mentioned before, the right ethnicity given the show’s previous track record. 

Stick your money on Özlem for the top job!