Sunday, 16 September 2012

Peter Capaldi - 'The Thick Of It' review and charity swear-a-thon gaff

The Thick of It, BBC Two, review
Michael Deacon reviews the return of Armando Iannucci's satirical political comedy The Thick of It (BBC Two).
To the list of problems for which we blame the Coalition we can now add the undermining of the funniest comedy on British TV. In the past, The Thick of It (BBC Two) – the last series of which aired in 2009 – was loosely a satire of New Labour: the bug-eyed belligerence of its spin doctors, its fixation on how it was presented by the media.
But times have changed, and the men behind The Thick of It – led by Armando Iannucci – have changed the show to match. Peter Capaldi’s Malcolm Tucker, the splenetic spin doctor, and Rebecca Front’s Nicola Murray, the previous Secretary of State, are now in Opposition (we’ll see how they’re getting on in episode two); Murray’s department is instead in the hands of a coalition. The new Secretary of State is Roger Allam’s Peter Mannion, a drawling middle-aged Tory who forever looks as if he’s just awoken fully clothed on the living room sofa. His junior minister is Geoffrey Streatfeild’s Fergus Williams, a charmless Lib Dem.
But it isn’t only the government that’s different. The show’s dynamic is different too. Previously, Tucker was the key character: he drove the plot, he got the best lines. On Saturday, to compensate for his absence, the remaining characters appeared to be taking turns to do his job.
Everyone had Tucker’s sense of humour: cruel, quick, blackly cynical. Everyone had his knack for nicknames (the Lib Dems were “The Inbetweeners”, Mannion was “Raffles the gentleman MP”). Everyone had his gift for inventive swearing (“Seven years of ear-p---,” muttered Phil, Mannion’s aide).
More significantly, there no longer seemed to be a hierarchy of mockery. In earlier series, this was fairly strict. Tucker did more put-downs than anyone else, and his were the nastiest. Other characters hardly dared insult him back, or at least not to his face. Chris Addison’s Ollie, the gawky ideas man, was good at put-downs but reserved them largely for those equal to or below him. 
Source: The Telegraph

Alistair Campbell and Malcolm Tucker's 'swear-athon' accidentally broadcast in crèche
Alistair Campbell and Peter Capaldi were left red-faced after their sponsored swear-athon was accidentally broadcast into a crèche. 

Tony Blair's former spin doctor was at City trader BGC’s charity day with actor Capaldi who plays foul-mouthed communications director Malcom Tucker in The Thick of It
The pair initially got involved on the trading floor to raise money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research team but were then urged to take part in a "swearathon," which was broadcast to the whole building. 
But the microphone was cut out when organisers realised they had inadvertently played the potty-mouthed tirade throughout the building, including a crèche downstairs.
Mr Campbell apologised to "the kids and their mums and dads, and anyone else who took offence". 

"Our only defence is that the traders looked in need of a laugh after a day spent trying to humour celebs, and we were raising money for our respective charities," he added.
The real spin doctor claimed victory in the competition by managing eleven swear-words in his time limit, compared to Mr Tucker's nine. 

On his blog, Mr Campbell wrote: "Someone had the bright idea of Peter aka Malcolm and I having a sponsored swear-off, which went down very well with the testosterone-charged trading floor, some of whom stopped shouting to listen to the twin torrents of f words." 

He rose to the challenge by telling Malcolm Tucker that his "f—-ing programme and its f—-ing anti politics so-called f—-ing jokes were pretty well f—-ed by the coalition and quite frankly the whole f—-ing show is f—-ed to f—-ing f—-ery and he and his f—-ing scriptwriters might as well just f— off." 

Mr Tucker hit back by saying he was "f—-ing offended that a f—-ing unemployed has been like me dared to f—-ing suggest he had f—-ing writers to write his f—-ing sweary bits and …. and then the microphone went dead, and so the traders couldn’t hear him, and so I was declared the winner." 

Mr Campbell got into hot water for using four-letter words during his time in Number 10. He once accidentally sent an email containing profanities meant for party officials to a Newsnight journalist. 

Source: The Telegraph

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