Saints be praised! At a time when we’re all about to die of swine fever, no second series of Bonekickers on the horizon, and MPs battling to keep those second homes so they can watch porn on expenses, we can all be thankful that The Thick of It is coming back to television.
In these dark times, there is only one man who can keep the plates of big politics spinning - Malcolm Tucker, super sweary Westminster spin doctor as played with effortless, foul-mouthed ease by Peter Capaldi. And now BBC2 is playing BBC1 at its own game (as it did previously with Lead Balloon) by nicking Armando Ianucci’s political satire from under the nose of BBC4.
Controller of BBC2 Janice Hadlow has said of commissioning the new series:
“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”
Yes, I’ll bet you are, love! The announcement of The Thick of It’s return is an exercise in perfect timing that Tucker himself would be proud of. The news comes, after all, just days after In the Loop, the movie version of the show, has been critically lauded on its cinema release and generated plenty of coverage. Not that I’m suggesting there’s anything premeditated in the choice of when to release this news.
Of course there are changes to the set up since the firsts series, with confirmation that Chris Langham will not be returning to the series as Hugh Abbott. This follows on from the broadcast of two special episodes in 2007, which Langham was absent from following legal allegations made against him at the time.
The new series will follow a new Secretary of State for Social Affairs, Nicola Murray, to be played by long-time Armando Ianucci collaborator Rebecca Front. However, returning to the cast will be Chris Addison as Ollie and Joanna Scanlan as press secretary Terri.
Considering that the first six episodes of The Thick of It were broadcast in 2005, I’d almost given up hope that we’d see Malcolm Tucker again. But it seems that he is alive and well and swearing up Westminster in fine style.
The new series of The Thick of It is likely to air sometime late in 2009, so we can look forward to plenty of creative and elaborate profanity in the name of good comedy. Hurrah!
And if you haven’t seen In the Loop yet, get yourself to the a cinema at the earliest opportunity. It is sublimely brilliant. And Tony Soprano is in it…