So Long, The Thick Of IT

The curtain has fallen on the best British comedy I can remember; the final curse loaded insults spat from the mouths of Armando Ianucci’s imperfect and feckless characters that formed our insight into our Great British Government. In its 7 year tenure TTOI has mirrored, and in some cases predicted, the inner workings of life in government and shown us the pressures of the Cabinet, the ineptitude of advisers and civil servants, the conflicts of coalition and of course, the ranting, raving, screaming and threatening Director of Communications, Malcolm Tucker.

Were it not for Tucker (played icily by Peter Capaldi), TTOI wouldn’t have been half the show it was. His insults were calculated, vile, offensive and absolutely hilarious, not to mention too foul mouthed for this blog. In the show’s penultimate episode he is described nicely as “Like Iago with a BlackBerry” to which he responds, “I’ve got an application that can throw grenades into people’s dreams.” In an “art imitates life” sort of way, the program ends with Tucker facing arrest on a perjury charge, not unlike a real life PM’s former Director of Communications. Tucker could probably shout threats at 12 people and a judge in court and still be found not guilty.

The brilliant and ultimately scary thing about the show was that it wouldn’t take a giant leap of imagination to think things were actually run this way at Westminster. I can’t remember if a senior government official called policemen “plebs” and asked, “Don’t you know who I am?” in real life or on my TV one Saturday night. Did I see minister’s aide Ollie Reeder (played by Chris Addison, “Have you seen him? He looks like a Quentin Blake illustration” – Tucker) at the Leveson Enquiry?

Anyway, to use my favourite Tuckerism, “I’d love to stop and chat to you but I’d rather have type 2 diabetes.”

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