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Wednesday, May 10, 2021

ah-ha, 10 downing
“The Thick of It” is the latest high-stylin’ Britcom to make noise in comedy circles. It’s a contemporized take on the classic “Yes, Minister”, imbued with the creative vigor that made the Alan Partridge shows so funny.

In fact, “Thick” owes its existence to the Alan Partridge character, which reveals how little has changed at 10 Downing Street since the days of “Yes, Minister”:

[Armando Iannucci] said the television series’s first direct inspiration came in 1996 when he got a call inviting Alan Partridge to interview Tony Blair as staged entertainment for a Labor Party conference in Blackpool. When Mr. Iannucci and [Steve] Coogan arrived, they were surprised by the greeting they were given by Mr. Blair’s chief image maker, Peter Mandelson.

“He was absolutely furious because he was expecting Alan Partridge,” said Mr. Iannucci. “He had to be taken to one side and explained that Alan Partridge was a fictional character played by Steve.”

“On the one hand, they tried to demonstrate this finger on the pulse of popular culture by knowing Alan Partridge was the one to be seen with. On the other hand, they demonstrated how little they know of popular culture by not realizing that it was a fictional character.”

“That’s when I started thinking, ‘Something is very odd about British politics right now.’”

Consider it a London version of the Beltway mentality.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/10/2021 11:16:53 PM
Category: TV, Politics | Permalink |

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