• Emily Prescott

The Londoner: We’re in The Thick Of It, but this time it’s a tragedy


It’s fifteen years since the Londoner’s favourite satire, The Thick Of It, was broadcast. Creator Armando Iannucci told us: “Malcolm Tucker was an amalgam of a whole load of henchmen who would go around bullying ministers into sticking to the No 10 line.” Sound familiar? “Dominic Cummings is all that rolled into one. Except my impression is, rather than feared, he is despised.”


Iannucci feels the show could work today. “The Department of Health and Social Care would be a good ministry to set it in now, but it would feel more tragedy than comedy.” Actor Chris Addison, who played special adviser Ollie Reeder, said: “When we made the show, there was still a veneer of competence about front-line politics, but that’s just not the case anymore. The idea of a minister at sea is a little pointless when we have the daily briefing where we can see one in real life.”


There is one recent incident Iannucci wishes had featured. “I do wonder about an episode where the party leader gave a speech, while losing their voice with letters dropping off the set behind them. We’d base the rest around what happened in the next 24 hours. Those conversations must have been priceless.”

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© 2019 Emily Prescott.