The Thick of It

9:45pm Saturday 20 October on BBC TWO

The award-winning, seven-part political comedy series The Thick Of It continues tonight with a one-hour special. In episode six, everyone has a lot of questions to answer about the suicide of a key-worker after his flat was sold off – Government, Opposition and Civil Service alike.

Lord Goolding is reputedly a fair man, but he isn’t going to stand for any nonsense. And neither is his team of expert inquisitors. Surely now, the truth will come out. Unless someone lies, or creates a diversion of some kind, or simply pretends not to remember anything. They wouldn’t do that, would they?

The cast includes Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith and Ben Willbond.

Devised and directed by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 6/7

9:45pm Saturday 13 October on BBC TWO

Armando Iannucci’s award-winning, seven part political comedy series The Thick Of It continues. In episode five, with Nicola Murray and Peter Mannion both on the back foot after the unravelling of the key-worker housing sell-off policy, there’s inevitably going to be a scramble for the moral high-ground while the smelly floodwater of scandal is lapping round their toes.

In fact, several people are calling for some sort of inquiry. Everyone wants to spin the story, and everyone wants their own version of the story out there, by fair means or foul. But as more and more fingers get pointed, the bigger the scandal becomes, finally threatening to implicate everybody. And in amongst it all, the department is trying to launch the new Carers Pass

The cast includes Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond and Rebecca Gethings.

Directed by Chris Addison. Devised and produced by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 5/7

10:00pm Saturday 29 September on BBC TWO

Armando Iannucci’s award-winning, seven-part political comedy series The Thick Of It continues. In episode four, with Nicola safely on a train to attend the party’s ‘Here 2 Hear’ in far-flung Bradford, Malcolm is free to launch his latest plot.

But how is Olly going to be able to help, given that he’s in St Thomas’ Hospital with a burst appendix? And what will Ben Swain’s price be for playing along with the scheme? More than a bar of chocolate, that’s for sure. And when Nicola finds out what’s going on, can she control the situation from a seat in standard class right under the watchful eye of Sky News? Or is she sitting on the fast train to Nowheresville, West Yorkshire?

The cast includes Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond and Rebecca Gethings.

Devised and produced by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 4/7

9:55pm Saturday 22 September on BBC TWO

Armando Iannucci’s award-winning, seven part political comedy series The Thick Of It continues. In episode three, No. 10’s spin doctor Stewart Pearson is running ‘Thought Camp’ at a remote country house hotel, as the perfect way to re-engage the party with the creative cloudscape. No phones, no iPads.

Peter Mannion can definitely think of better ways of spending the Easter weekend than ‘imagineering’ with Stewart, Emma and a bunch of back-benchers and party workers. Meanwhile, Phil is surprised to find the ministerial offices less than deserted. Glenn is there, working on the Fourth Sector backlog, Fergus and his advisor Adam are meeting with a young, attractive economist who wants to start a bank. Then all political hell is let loose when an unexpected and tragic news story breaks.

The cast includes Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond and Rebecca Gethings.

Devised and produced by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 3/7

9:55pm Saturday 15 September on BBC TWO

Armando Iannucci’s award-winning, seven-part political comedy series continues tonight. The cast includes Roger Allam, Rebecca Front, Peter Capaldi, Vincent Franklin, Geoffrey Streatfeild, Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, Rebecca Gethings and Tony Gardner.

In episode two, it’s a busy day for Nicola Murray MP (Rebecca Front), who is mostly trying to tell her left foot from her right with the help of her new policy advisor, Helen Hatley (Rebecca Gethings). When Helen is accidentally photographed holding embarrassing notes from Nicola’s ideas meeting, Nicola and her media strategist Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) are less than happy. But then Nicola is already stressed by having an eight foot pork chop follow her about, and being attacked by the rest of the shadow cabinet for endorsing unpopular policies. And, even worse, her rival Dan Miller MP (Tony Gardner) seems to be getting on very well with Malcolm.

Devised and produced by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 2/7

9:45pm Saturday 8 September on BBC TWO

Government embarrassment, ministerial cock-up, Coalition rows, backroom deals, policy U-turns, spin-doctoring, political back-stabbing, wild media speculation, and more time spent with one’s family – it can only be the eagerly anticipated return of Armando Iannucci’s award-winning political comedy series.

Roger Allam returns as Peter Mannion MP, the new Secretary of State for The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC), supported by his team of special advisors, commanded by Number 10’s Director of Communications Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin) and thwarted by his new Coalition partner, DOSAC’s Junior Minister Fergus Williams MP (Geoffrey Streatfeild).

Also back are Nicola Murray MP and foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, in roles reprised by Bafta award winners Rebecca Front and Peter Capaldi. Both are now consigned to Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, but still desperately hoping for a return to power. The ensemble cast is completed by Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, and Rebecca Gethings.

In the first episode of this seven-part series, tensions are running high in DoSAC. It is launch day for ‘Silicon Playgrounds’, the Coalition’s new digital youth policy master-minded by Junior Minister Fergus Williams. Number 10’s spin doctor Stewart Pearson delivers the bombshell that the PM wants digital-illiterate Peter Mannion to launch the policy, rather than Fergus. What could possibly go wrong with that? All Fergus gets left with is drawing up the list of staff redundancies, and Terri Coverley is pretty sure she can make his hit list if she plays her cards right, finding help from an unexpected direction.

Devised and produced by Armando Iannucci. Produced by Adam Tandy

Ep 1/7

This Saturday sees the return of one of the greatest programmes aired on British television – ever! I’m talking, as the headline above suggests (I say ‘suggests’, it actually states it implicitly), about the wonderful The Thick Of It.

The Thick Of It is one of those rare programmes (even more rare in comedy circles) that isn’t afraid to be intellectual. This show doesn’t pander to the format, rather, chucks you in the grim, dizzying world of politics head-first, jargon and backstabs and all.

In Malcolm Tucker, we have one of the greatest TV inventions ever. Even if you puke at the very sight of his odious, manipulative self, you can’t help but thrill at his incredible use of language… or rather… his aptitude and inventing new ways of insulting people.

Apparently, the first episode of the new series includes the instant classic Tuckerism of; “He’s so dense, light bends around him.” As well as the poetically crass “I’ll be with you in two shakes of a crying baby”. Only in a political satire (‘satire doesn’t do it justice… it’s more of a political mauling) could Tucker exist and we should be very, very grateful that Armando Iannucci has created this monster of a man.

Like all the best shows, The Thick Of It is a multi-layered thing, which can be peeled back to an imagined core. Each character isn’t one-dimensionally disgusting or vapid. In Tucker, somewhere, buried incredibly deep, is a bloke full of hang-ups and worry. You can sense it about him… he’s due a nervous breakdown.

And this new series isn’t just welcome because it’s great and been off our screens for too long, but it comes slap bang in the middle of absolutely everyone in Britain hating every politician in the UK. No-one trusts them (or their expenses) and with perfect timing, Tucker & Co roll in town to give us all further reason to pity the idiots in the Houses of Parliament.

The only sad thing is that David Milliband or George Osborne are actually real humans running our country rather than the twisted mindwrongs of a brilliant set of writers and actors.

I’ve never seen anyone looking so f*cking ugly with just one head…

The new series starts one BBC Two and BBC HD on Saturday 24th October

The BAFTA award-winning comedy series The Thick Of It returns for a new series on BBC Two.

Once again, the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications, played by Peter Capaldi, is ready to fight fires caused by The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship for eight brand new episodes of the acclaimed political comedy.

This time, after a reshuffle – the last one before the General Election – he has a new Social Affairs Secretary to deal with, in the form of Nicola Murray, played by Rebecca Front.

Nicola Murray will be in charge of regular cast members including Ollie, played by Chris Addison, James Smith who plays Glenn and Joanna Scanlan as the ineffectual Departmental Press Secretary, Terri.

And, with the government at a low ebb, and an election looming, the opposition are also in Tucker’s sights. The new stories welcome back Her Majesty’s loyal opposition in the form of Peter Mannion, played by Roger Allam, as they try to steal the initiative from the government.

The new series was commissioned by BBC Two Controller Janice Hadlow.

She says: “The Thick Of It is one the cleverest, sharpest and funniest political comedies on television and I’m delighted that it is moving to BBC Two.”

Armando Iannucci says: “Fresh from the international arena of In The Loop, Malcolm Tucker will be brought back to British basics in this new series, and I’m delighted to have Rebecca Front, one of our funniest actresses, play his new nemesis, Nicola Murray MP. I can’t wait to start shooting.”

The series was devised by Armando Iannucci and written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Sean Gray, Ian Martin, Will Smith, Roger Drew and Tony Roche.

The Thick Of It is now in production and will be ready for transmission on BBC Two later this year.

The Thick of It

Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison return to front line political action later this year as The Thick of It returns to BBC Two later this year.

Once again under the deft satirical hand of producer Armando Ianucci, The Thick of It also sees the arrival of comedy actress Rebecca Front as new Social Affairs Secretary Nicola Murray.

Front of course is no stranger to the guiding hand of Ianucci, having previously appeared as a regular on the influential news spoof The Day Today (which spawned Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge) in the 1990s – a series that exaggerated the news broadcasts of the era and predicted much of the OTT imagery and footage that we see now in the news.

With the recent critical success of The Thick of It spinoff movie In The Loop – which opened across the UK on April 17th – the series will see a beleaguered government depending on Director of Communications Malcolm Tucker (Capaldi) to fight fire with more fire and try to give them an uneven, underhand platform on which to fight and election that they will surely lose.

It’s wonderful stuff – I just can’t imagine where they get their inspiration from…

A move to BBC Two is a massive nod in favour of the quality of the writing on The Thick of It, commissioned by BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow:

“The Thick Of It is one the cleverest, sharpest and funniest political comedies on television and I’m delighted that it is moving to BBC Two.”

Co-starring Chris Addison as Ollie, James Smith as Glenn and Joanna Scanlan as Press Secretary Terri, The Thick of It should find a whole new audience on BBC Two thanks to its recent theatrical spin-off success.

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