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Iannucci: Satire no match for 'alien and awful' modern politics

Published 11/06/2016

Iannucci ruled out a return by foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker
Iannucci ruled out a return by foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker

Armando Iannucci has ruled out a revival of satire The Thick Of It because today's "alien and awful" world of politics would be hard to match.

The award-winning writer and creator of the popular BBC series, which made a star of Doctor Who's Peter Capaldi, talked about the irony in a column for The New Statesman.

Iannucci said people write to him and suggest the return of The Thick Of It every time something "stupid" occurs involving politics and politicians.

"No. Absolutely not," he wrote.

"I now find the political landscape so alien and awful that it's hard to match the waves of cynicism it transmits on its own."

He added: "Fiction is winning out because fact is no longer making sense."

The Thick Of It, written and directed by 52-year-old Iannucci, started life on BBC4 in 2005 and ended on BBC Two in 2012.

The caustic comedy was set in the corridors of power where Capaldi's foul-mouthed policy enforcer Malcolm Tucker soon captured the imagination of viewers.

Acclaimed for its sharp script and ensemble cast, The Thick Of It inspired 2009 feature film spin-off In The Loop which satirised Anglo-American politics.

On a similar theme, the makers of HBO political satire Veep, also created by Iannucci, have said it is increasingly difficult to parody American politics after the rise of Donald Trump.

The campaign of the Republican party's presumptive nominee for the US presidential election has been mired in controversy.

Proposed policies, including building a wall on the country's border with Mexico and temporarily banning Muslims from entering America, have provided comedians with a good deal of material.

Veep's Tony Hale, who plays the president's sycophantic personal aide Gary Walsh, told the Press Association that a character like the billionaire tycoon would not have been believed if he had been created by the show.

"There's already a comedy happening on the news," Hale said. "We might not need Veep any more."

Veep and The Thick Of It have both won top television awards, with the former taking home Emmys and the latter winning Baftas.

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