WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

Live webchat with Armando Iannucci

(165 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 11-Nov-10 10:23:16

Much excitement at Mumsnet HQ as Armando Iannucci is going to be joining us next Tuesday (16th Nov) between 12 and 1 to answer your questions.

Armando has written and produced numerous television and radio comedy shows. 'The Thick of it' picked up 3 BAFTAS earlier this year and his screenplay for the film 'In The Loop' was nominated for an Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. He is currently working on a new comedy series for American network HBO, set in the Vice President's office at the White House and his latest book, The Thick of It: The Missing DoSAC Files is just out.

Armando is Patron of the Oxford Silver Star Society, a specialist care unit for mothers with difficult pregnancies, located at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, and has led a successful campaign this summer to keep it open.

Put the date in your diary and if you're unable to join us next Tuesday lunchtime, post your questions to Armando here.

AitchTwoOh Thu 11-Nov-10 14:02:36

he was lovely at school. bit geeky, mind, what with the debatey thing, but it's clearly paid off. everyone i know who knows him or has known him in the past is very proud of his success.

so aye, yes, who was your favourite teacher and why? sweaty? weebob? weed?

DownyEmerald Thu 11-Nov-10 20:47:34

Now my claim to fame is that I was at school with one of the other Thick of It writers - Jesse Armstrong. Sadly, this is still not impressing people as much as I think it should!

But, Armando - having loved Peter Capaldi since Local Hero, do you claim credit for casting him?

Prolesworth Thu 11-Nov-10 20:48:49

Message withdrawn

AitchTwoOh Thu 11-Nov-10 21:02:42

heheh, too late Prolesy.

Jooker Fri 12-Nov-10 09:56:09

Will there be another series of TTOI now the Con-Dem's are in? Please say yes!

Eleison Fri 12-Nov-10 10:07:21

Armando, do you feel a little bit responsible for the Big Society? Is Nichola Murray actually the brains behind the Big Society, with her Fourth Sector Pathfinder People initiative?

"It's all about empowering ordinary people to do extraordinary things. The Fourth Sector is between the other three sectors, but it's also the periphery around them, so it's very much encompassing. It's incorporating, it's enveloping, within and without. We want to elect certain people as fourth sector pathfinders who are ordinary people doing extraordinary things within their community... but are not vigilantes."

That is way clearer than Cameron's exposition of the Big Society. Please can you be more careful in future about life imitating art?

mummymoods Fri 12-Nov-10 13:01:26

Great question from Eleison re Big Society.

My question is do you respect British politicians or do you think they're all in it for themselves? Would you ever consider standing yourself?!

Eleison Fri 12-Nov-10 14:52:00

Also, when (not if!) you do the Con-Dem Thick of It series, pleeese can you include a politician's webchat, like this one in which Nick Clegg was torn into little slithers by angry women and manfully pretended it wasn't happening?

ConstanceFelicity Fri 12-Nov-10 16:36:48

Oooooh! I love Armando Ianucci! <twirls skirt and flutters eyelashes shamelessly>

The Friday Night Armistice was absolutely brilliant, as is The Thick of It and In The Loop. However, I do think that comedy has dumbed down a little bit since late eighties/ early nineties. It's as if alternative comedy has made comics and tv executives afraid of talking about current affairs, because alternative comedy wasn't really that funny. What does Armando think of this?

Also, will he marry me? wink

AitchTwoOh Fri 12-Nov-10 16:40:44

lol at eleison's link. i had completely forgotten about 'PS i am not a tory'

Snorbs Fri 12-Nov-10 16:42:33

Armando, absolutely loving your work.

Any plans to do another series of Charm Offensive on R4? Or at least to persuade the lazy swine on R7 to broadcast the previous series?

southeastastra Fri 12-Nov-10 16:42:51

dear Armando

lots of mn posters weren't allowed to watch itv. were you?

southeastastra Fri 12-Nov-10 16:43:08

(as children i should add grin)

NigellaTufnel Fri 12-Nov-10 23:12:46

I am another one twirling and fluttering.

He has had me crying with laughter for many years. And as someone from the west of Scotland living in hell the Home Counties, his dulcet tones remind me of rain, and all those very clever and funny Glaswegian boys at university.

I need to go lie down now.

Oh, a question...

If you weren't doing a webchat on here, how would you make fun of Mumsnet? (I know this is a bit self referential, but the way that that Mumsnet has entered the political landscape always struck me as a bit strange. Great, but strange.)

And PS. thank you for getting Peter Capaldi back on our screens.

KnowNothingFool Sat 13-Nov-10 14:06:57

Hello Armando

What did you think about the Twitter Joke Trial and the #IAmSpartacus reaction by Twitter users?

(Sorry for the boring question. I couldn't think of an intelligent one)

badcoverversion Sat 13-Nov-10 18:41:16

Hello Armando,

I'm going to be terribly mundane and ask for your favourites of 2010...

Film / TV programme / Album /Book / Celeb ???

PS: Would you consider another series of Time Trumpet? Pretty please...

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 20:27:07

what IS that twitter joke trial thing, knownothing? i utterly cannot be arsed finding out for myself. as enjoyable as i find twitter (which is a bit), all the gang gag stuff i find as amusing as armpit farting (which is not much).

Eleison Sat 13-Nov-10 20:30:59

Not much arsing needed Aitch. Here.

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 20:35:02

Oh, fantastic! Cannot think of a question right now, but marking my place joyfully.

Like the straight in there school link, Aitch. masterful. All I can do is some bloke from Brookside years ago.

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 20:54:31

aaaaw, that's nice. he got a girlfriend.
besides that, very amusing all that but still a bit groupthinky for me. in fact, that to me is the whole yick about twitter, it's a hive mind headed up by davina mccall.

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 20:55:37

and OF COURSE you can do some bloke from brookie, habs. of course. grin

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 20:58:57

pffffft.

I went to university with Susan Calman. That gives me 6 degrees of separation from all radio comedy these days.

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 21:00:12

Twitter is redeemed by Armando Iannucci, though - master of the random pithy comment.

<fawn fawn>

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:00:15

heheheh. <squeaky scottish voice>

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:00:37

by which i mean of course #iamsusan

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:04:22

actually, and i mean you no disrespect here armando iannucci, david schneider has been a revelation on twitter, with a lovely twisty brain. <suddenly gets yesterday's aung san suu kyi joke>

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 21:13:37

Got distracted when looking for DS there to see if S Fry had deflounced, and found his blog. Dear God. I loved loved loved Fry and Laurie, but age has not rendered him pithy. It's a wonder he can cope with Twitter.

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:31:16

there's a show coming up in a fortnight on gold that 'reunites' fry and laurie, i watched it in advance as was SUCH a fan. sketches great (and nice to see hugh laurie's real teeth again) but what a big old nellie that man fry is.

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 21:33:41

Bah - we don't have gold. Did you get some snazzy preview copy?

Feel like we're hijacking this thread!

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:54:06

yup. now watching a very interesting doc about a hawaiian deep sea water pipeline. <sighs> will abandon hijack now and get back to work.

AitchTwoOh Sat 13-Nov-10 21:59:06

(actually just for the record it's called the brands that make billions and is really, really interesting. next week, yogurt.)

FrameyMcFrame Sat 13-Nov-10 21:59:50

Armando, why do you think there is so little political satire on TV now (apart from the ubiquitous panel shows)? There is not much political stand up happening either,
why is that or is there good stuff out there that we're missing?

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 22:05:46

OK - here's one: Armando, why do you think there's no equivalent to the Daily Show on British TV? I guess the closest in terms of analysis is Bremner, Bird and Fortune - do you think something similar to DS would work here?

Eleison Sat 13-Nov-10 22:10:30

I like "hive mind headed up by davina mccall". That's a pretty good summary of Twitter. I had to unfollow loads of comedians for being either too prolific and needy ("Laugh at me now; laugh at me more" -- e.g. David Schneider) or too aloof ("My radio programe is on at 6:30. Don't expect me to be funny for free here.")

But anyway back to the webchat, sorry.

Habbibu Sat 13-Nov-10 22:18:29

Oh, and kudos for the John Radcliffe thing - I didn't know about it, and think it's great - having gone through two stressful pregnancies after complex losses, I'm well aware of the need for good specialist care (which thankfully I got in Dundee).

scottishmummy Sat 13-Nov-10 23:26:01

funny funny man,dont big up too much or he'll get a big heid.no bad for a holy wullie gone bad

scottishmummy Sat 13-Nov-10 23:29:53

enough blether,my question:what rl feedback have those you take piss out of gave you

Ilythia Sun 14-Nov-10 22:18:55

Oh great. finally a webchat I can enjoy and it's in the middle of the bleeding day. Bollocks.

On a more fawny note I got my Dosac book early after preordering it on amazon so thanks for that. Am using it daily as my swearfinder. Particularly love malcom's attempt at a novel. Very amusing.

Please say he will be back soon<<tries not to beg, fails miserably>>

Anyway, my question is...

Have you ever cleaned up your own mother's piss?

Hassled Mon 15-Nov-10 10:09:50

I'd like to ask who came first - Malcolm Tucker or Peter Capaldi? Did you have a strong idea of the Tucker character, then audition and happen to find an actor who did an amazing job, or did you know Peter Capaldi and build the Tucker character around what you knew he could do?

weblette Mon 15-Nov-10 13:35:19

Forget about the marriage offers, he's married to a very very lovely lady.

Arm you loon, you may live to regret doing this grin

Shammalamma Mon 15-Nov-10 13:35:37

this interests me not

mindfulmama Mon 15-Nov-10 13:47:44

Armando, do you recall the ORC tour in the 1984 when we had to sniff coffee granules out of the jar because we were too poor to buy coffee and the journo in Cambridge thought your name was a pseudonym becuase you had a Scottish accent?! How important do you think your University experiences were?

everythingiseverything Mon 15-Nov-10 14:27:40

Armando Malcolm is comedy genius. I sat hugging myself with joy at the nutters episode.

I swear a lot. I worry my 2 year old will have some choice language I am unable to explain. Do you swear much?

KirstyJC Mon 15-Nov-10 15:37:22

Hi Armando, my hubbie is a huge fan of yours and he would like me to ask you:

a) If you plan to do another sketch show like The Armando Iannucci Shows?

And

b) did you try and get a 2010 Election Armistice special with Peter Baynam and David Schneider?

Thankssmile

jonicomelately Mon 15-Nov-10 16:27:19

I've just received an email inviting me to submit a comedy sketch to a theatre company. The thing is this could be my big break so I was wondering if you could write it and I'll send it in my name.
Won't take you a jiffy what with your massive comic talent and it'll be great for me smile
Go on. Give a girl a break. If you don't, you're a tight git and the next time there's a thread on here about horrible slebs, I'll tell them how I once asked you for help and how you refused grin

midnightexpress Mon 15-Nov-10 16:54:16

<shriek>

Haven't got a question.

Love love love the Thick of It. Do so hope you will be laying into the present incumbents asap.

Oh, having read the OP I do have a question. Do you think there is something intrinsically comic about the role of Vice-President of the USA? It seems to attract more than its fair share of idiots. Though sadly for the world of comedy, not Sarah Palin.

jonicomelately Mon 15-Nov-10 17:21:01

Further to my previous post, this being Mumsnet, everybody will assume you refused to help me carry my buggy up a large flight of stairs or similar grin

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 15-Nov-10 20:15:43

Armando

I love the Thick of it with a passion - have read and watched everything, wish you would bring out more script books ( I have read and re-read them so many times, that even I have to face the fact that I need a new set of scripts to read, and in fact I think the existing book is now out of print). I used to be in PR so I particuarly love it when we hear Terri on the phone, almost always either planning a visit to her dental hygienist for a clean, or bitching to the journos about the latest minister. So true to life, almost makes me wish I had been in political PR rather than corporate. Sorry, more of a fan rant than a question but my question is this - please can we have some more script books, and also more from Stewart as per the email advertising the new Dosac lost files - I love Stewart, particularly the way in which underneath his touchy-feely talk he is actually an utter shit! NB - fave bit of the Dosac book is Malcolm's PA rewriting his emails, except the one to Adam B. One more plea - can we have a bit more from (Lord) Julius Nicholson. And is he based on John Birt? And if so, did John Birt famously have a thing for biscuits - realise you can't answer any of those questions for fear of legal action, but perhaps you could hint?

simonedeboudoir Mon 15-Nov-10 21:12:24

Armando

Everything you have ever written is fucking hilarious. This is a rare point of agreement between me and dh

Anyway, questions:

Will you be making another The Thick Of It spin off feature film?

Under what circumstances would you consider going on I'm a Celebrity? grin

<faints>

SpeedyGonzalez Mon 15-Nov-10 21:32:06

Armando. Hi! We once had a 3 second convo at the Pitt Rivers Museum. All the time I was hoping you didn't recognise me as the woman who got a bollocking for turning up very late to one of your TV industry seminars a year or so before...you didn't throw any shrunken heads at me so I think I got away with it.

I never watched The Thick of It but I roared out loud at Terry and June and It Ain't 'Alf Hot, Mum.

Arf.

Seriously, though, I did roar at In The Loop. It's not often that comedians make a barrage of swear words flow with such brilliance and panache! I also loved the way all the politicians managed to talk absolute meaningless bollocks and yet take themselves incredibly seriously.

I don't actually have a question for you, I am just fawning and wittering. I just wanted to say that you are very very good at what you do. And that you have a fabulous name! grin

Longstocking2 Mon 15-Nov-10 21:32:52

Did you go on that Joan Collins encrusted election night boatfest as a lapse into personal hubris or as research?
You looked reassuringly horrified to be there.

How many things do you have in common with Martin Scorcese? Is Malcolm your Travis Bickle?

Loving your work for decades!

lowrib Tue 16-Nov-10 01:13:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lowrib Tue 16-Nov-10 01:14:43

radge not rag! grin

IntergalacticHussy Tue 16-Nov-10 09:49:59

Hi Armando,

Listening to the radio, or watching tv these past few months, I regularly feel as though i'm banging my head against a brick wall shouting 'No, you can't bloody do that, you'll just create a society where only the rich have access to justice/education/healthcare/countryside...'

I can't help feeling we've reached a stage where governments are simply (sort of)democratically elected fronts for multi-national corporations. Do you agree?

Armdando,

My husband and I just love The Thick of It. Cried tears of laughter in the episode where Malcolm punched Glenn. Just the funniest thing.

So, how do you feel about the Lib Dems now? Do you think Nick Clegg and his party made the right decision or do you think they are regretting the Tory coalition.

Please do more TV!!

Excuse my typo in your name (shame)

TheFoosa Tue 16-Nov-10 10:36:06

Why was Ollie called Toby in 'In The Loop'?

All the other characters were different too.

But Malcolm was still Malcolm

I will forgive you the confusion as it was very enjoyable nonetheless

Eleison Tue 16-Nov-10 11:12:52

Armando, do you know that the government (or parliament? It isn't clear) has started a talk thread asking Mumsnetters their views on the winding down of the Health in Pregnancy Grant and the Child Trust Fund.

What do you think of this latest evolution of the consultation culture -- consultation by chat? Can you see DoSAC trying this? Should the LibDems start a thread in Relationships ("I think I have shacked up with a monster WWYD?")

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 11:16:29

Armando has called and having real problems on the trains... he's still joining us but there may be a delay in starting the webchat. We'll keep you posted.

jonicomelately Tue 16-Nov-10 11:29:19

If the lovely Armando can't make it ask him to send Malcolm in his place grin

TheFoosa Tue 16-Nov-10 11:31:58

I think Malcolm would feel at home here grin

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 11:59:13

ah. trains thing reminds me to inform twitter people that david nobbs now tweets and he is HILARIOUS. in a bonkers, steve martin-y way, not needy.

mumbot Tue 16-Nov-10 12:07:33

Armando, has fatherhood influenced your approach to comedy?

everythingiseverything Tue 16-Nov-10 12:07:42

Is there an ETA for the AI?

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 12:17:14

can't he just 3G us? he looks the type to have a smartphone. very least a blackberry.

My first question to anyone. What do you make of the announcement that Prince Thing is to marry Kate doodah? Can't remember their names as I don't have any interest in them and a day off for the wedding wouldn't affect me.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:18:14

Do you think present day politicians change their public personas in light of programmes like The Thick of It, and if so, in what way - to appear larger than life and be remembered, or to tone down and slip under the radar?

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:18:17

Another one from me, sorry. Watcing "Yes, Minister" still feels remarkably current and familiar decades after it was made - I don't know whether this is depressing or strangely comforting. Do you think "The Thick of It" will have similar longevity, or is it more precisely reflective of a particular point in time?

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:19:07

Do you think, Aitch? I'm guessing he writes on a typewriter.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 12:22:14

so long as it's not an iphone. that's a woman's phone.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:22:25

Habbibu, I think the longevity of Yes Minister is a credit to its writing style, comic wit and the fact that politics has not changed at all.

Eleison Tue 16-Nov-10 12:26:10

But on the other hand, Yes Minister is about mandarins -- imperious permanent crowns in a civil service bureaucracy. V different from ephemeral party-appointed wonks. And less sweary.grin So the programmes are about deeply copntrasting ways of doing politics.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:27:30

It is said that Margaret Thatcher loved YM as it so accurately captured that profession. Wonder if Cameron, Clegg, Blair etc love The Thick of It? It is maybe just a wee bit too close to the bone.

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:31:43

yy, that's kind of what I was thinking - YM seems to be about something stuck forever, for good or ill - will we recognise the politics of TTOI in 20 years time?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 12:32:21

Phew - train nightmare this end. Nancymumsnet and sitting in Soho offices awaiting Armando who should be arriving in the next few mins - we'll start as soon as he arrives....

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:33:20

God that is a depressing thought Habbibu, that that mindset may be the historic legacy of this decade. Eek!

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 16-Nov-10 12:34:54

I love Yes Prime Minister as much as Thick of It. My theory is that in YPM days, Sir Humphrey is basically running the country. Now it's really the media, or how things will play in the media. Discuss.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:35:12

Testing. I've arrived. Somewhere. A

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:36:06

so if we accept that it's never politicians who run the country, should we just stop paying them?!

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:36:06

Yay, let the lively debate begin!

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:36:32

Hello!

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:37:05

Crew members at McDonalds don't run the country, yet they are still paid. So it is only fair that MPs also get paid lol.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:37:20

sorry meant company!

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 12:37:33

Armando is with us and ready (just about) to answer your questions.. welcome to Mumsnet Armando

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:37:53

Actually, in YM/YPM, there's a fair amount of stuff about how things will play in the media, iirc.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:38:49

Right. Train nightmare over. I've arrived. There's a coffee by my side. There's a screen in front of me, and a load of questions. I'll get cracking. Sorry to keep everyone waiting.
A
x

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:41:02

AnnOnimous

It is said that Margaret Thatcher loved YM as it so accurately captured that profession. Wonder if Cameron, Clegg, Blair etc love The Thick of It? It is maybe just a wee bit too close to the bone.

Hi AnnOnimous. Cameron has said it's one of his favourite shows. I'm genuinely in two minds about that. Nice to see we're noticed, but worrying that politicians didn't see how horrifically they come out if it. The other worrying this is, some politicians have come up to me and said, 'You know, in real life, it;s so much worse?'

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:42:17

mindfulmama

Armando, do you recall the ORC tour in the 1984 when we had to sniff coffee granules out of the jar because we were too poor to buy coffee and the journo in Cambridge thought your name was a pseudonym becuase you had a Scottish accent?! How important do you think your University experiences were?

But it's weird speaking to someone I obviously knew years ago and who'se now operating under a psuedonym. University. Mm. I was pretty academically minded so you'd think I'd say now it's a good thing. But I also don't get too worried about it being the be-all and end-all for all kids. I think it's mad we've hooked the jobs market so closely to the university experience. Suddenly learning becomes a market force rather than an aspect of your character. But what do I know?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:42:40

AitchTwoOh

he was lovely at school. bit geeky, mind, what with the debatey thing, but it's clearly paid off. everyone i know who knows him or has known him in the past is very proud of his success.

so aye, yes, who was your favourite teacher and why? sweaty? weebob? weed?

Hi, Aitchwooh, good to hear from you. Yes, I admit, I was a bit of a geek. I took part in debating and was usually sick with nerves for weeks in advance. It's a strange consolation to read that Blair got nervous before Prime Minister's Questions. Gives me joy to know he was throwing up. Ronnie Renton taught me English and inspired me not to be scared of literature but to enjoy it. More power to the Geeks.

Spacehoppa Tue 16-Nov-10 12:42:43

Might I possibly ask what biscuit you are having with your coffee?

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:43:05

I can truly believe that it is so much worse ... the autobiographies usually come out a decade or so later confirming all the speculation which is denied at the time.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:43:24

Longstocking2

Did you go on that Joan Collins encrusted election night boatfest as a lapse into personal hubris or as research?
You looked reassuringly horrified to be there.

How many things do you have in common with Martin Scorcese? Is Malcolm your Travis Bickle?

Loving your work for decades!

Hi Longstocking2
I remember being promised the Election Barge was going to be very serious, so, yes, finding myself standing next to Joan Collins wasn't a good start. She banged on how good David Cameron was for the family, and I thought, that's rich coming from the thrice-married star of The Stud and The Bitch.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:43:52

DownyEmerald

Now my claim to fame is that I was at school with one of the other Thick of It writers - Jesse Armstrong. Sadly, this is still not impressing people as much as I think it should!

But, Armando - having loved Peter Capaldi since Local Hero, do you claim credit for casting him?

Hi DownyEmerald. Actually my casting director Sarah Crowe said 'you must meet Peter Capaldi' when she read the script. We hadn't written Malcolm as Scottish, but when Peter, a normally quiet gentle guy, starting roaring at me in the audition, I knew Malcolm Tucker had entered the building.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 12:44:42

LOVE ronnie. he's now helping my teeny dd with gaelic, such a kind man. <ends hijack>

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:45:18

Spacehoppa

Might I possibly ask what biscuit you are having with your coffee?

Hi Spacehoppa, no biscuit. I came in such a flap from the train that I forgot to ask for biscuits. for the record, though, my favourite biscuit always was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, the Jammy Dodger

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:45:55

AitchTwoOh

LOVE ronnie. he's now helping my teeny dd with gaelic, such a kind man. <ends hijack>

Good to hear, Aitch TwoOh, he's a great guy. Give him my love. A

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:46:45

If you truly WERE the Malcolm Tucker character that would be a Jammy Bastard Dodger!

forevervacuuming Tue 16-Nov-10 12:46:49

Hi Armando!

On the 15th of May you wrote in the Independent re: the Tory/Lib Dem coalition "Seventy per cent of something you don't like is still awful, but it's better than 100 per cent."

Given the announcements in the months since, do you still feel that it is any better than 100 per cent Conservative?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:47:31

Jooker

Will there be another series of TTOI now the Con-Dem's are in? Please say yes!

Yes, Jooker, yes. Don't know when, but we're beginning to start storylining it now.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:49:11

sickofsocalledexperts

I love Yes Prime Minister as much as Thick of It. My theory is that in YPM days, Sir Humphrey is basically running the country. Now it's really the media, or how things will play in the media. Discuss.

Ah, sickofsocalledexperts, the essay question! Certainly, the civil servant has been pushed to one side of the office, and replaced by the non-elected special advisor, or Spad as they're known. It's their obsession with how things will 'play' with the media and escpecially The Mail and Murdoch press, that subconsciously dictates how politicians prioritise their policies. We need to wait and see if this Govt is as obsessed with media strategy as the last.

biffo1989 Tue 16-Nov-10 12:49:33

Will there be any more Thick of It meetings with the writers? I missed the last two as don't live in London. Do a weekend yes? Yes. Oh and Bring Back Jamie? And add a bit of Tim Key? yes. Happy days.

hackneyman Tue 16-Nov-10 12:49:51

Hi Armando. As my wife is the wage earner, I find myself the main carer of a 15 month old girl, also I am an older father and try my best to get our little girl to as many mum and toddler groups as possible. My conclusion is, that dad's are invisible at these things. Why do you think that is?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:50:28

forevervacuuming

Hi Armando!

On the 15th of May you wrote in the Independent re: the Tory/Lib Dem coalition "Seventy per cent of something you don't like is still awful, but it's better than 100 per cent."

Given the announcements in the months since, do you still feel that it is any better than 100 per cent Conservative?

I don't know. It's very hard to quantify the difference between Downright Depressing and Utterly Miserable. Anyone got a calculator?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:51:08

everythingiseverything

Armando Malcolm is comedy genius. I sat hugging myself with joy at the nutters episode.

I swear a lot. I worry my 2 year old will have some choice language I am unable to explain. Do you swear much?

I swear pretty rarely. Although, after months editing Thick of It I do tend to have a sweary twitch. Swearing can be funny if used creatively, I'd say. But I wouldn't recommend it for 2 year olds.

Spacehoppa Tue 16-Nov-10 12:51:48

The house biscuit is in fact the jammy dodger. Sends one to make up fo lousy train experince biscuit

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 12:52:09

Statistically speaking, 2 year olds are the number 3 cause of swearing.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:52:11

Eleison

Armando, do you feel a little bit responsible for the Big Society? Is Nichola Murray actually the brains behind the Big Society, with her Fourth Sector Pathfinder People initiative?

"It's all about empowering ordinary people to do extraordinary things. The Fourth Sector is between the other three sectors, but it's also the periphery around them, so it's very much encompassing. It's incorporating, it's enveloping, within and without. We want to elect certain people as fourth sector pathfinders who are ordinary people doing extraordinary things within their community... but are not vigilantes."

That is way clearer than Cameron's exposition of the Big Society. Please can you be more careful in future about life imitating art?

Worse still, Elieson, in the very first episode of The Thick of It, the Minister and his team had 45mins in the back of a car to improvise a cheap policy to announce. They came up with Pet Asbos and National Spare Room Database, both of which became law two years later!

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:52:12

AitchTwoOh

so long as it's not an iphone. that's a woman's phone.

I'm typing on an i_Pad with a keyboard attachment. It's about the only tech-geek piece of equipment I've got, but I'm quite enjoying the admiring looks from everyone here.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:55:04

hackneyman

Hi Armando. As my wife is the wage earner, I find myself the main carer of a 15 month old girl, also I am an older father and try my best to get our little girl to as many mum and toddler groups as possible. My conclusion is, that dad's are invisible at these things. Why do you think that is?

Ah, yes, I've gone through the, Dad At the Playground Being Ignored By The Mums routine many times. Don't know why that is. My only consolation is, clearly it's not just me. I've found that you have to double up the effort to go and make the first approach. Not to a Mum standing on her own, that'll just look sinister, but to a group.

Euphemia Tue 16-Nov-10 12:55:59

What do you think of the Scottish Government? Do you pay any attention to them, or are they too ridiculous? grin

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:58:06

kreecherlivesupstairs

My first question to anyone. What do you make of the announcement that Prince Thing is to marry Kate doodah? Can't remember their names as I don't have any interest in them and a day off for the wedding wouldn't affect me.

Ah, bless! all I can say is that I pity the Prince after the wedding. he's going to come under enormous pressure from us and the media to get on with it and as soon as possible produce a mistress.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:58:38

mummymoods

Great question from Eleison re Big Society.

My question is do you respect British politicians or do you think they're all in it for themselves? Would you ever consider standing yourself?!

Hi, Mummymoods. I think I've come to sympathise with them a lot more. We and the media place a ridiculous amount of pressure on them to behave perfectly, have all the answers and not get paid much. However, I've lost respect for all parties at the moment given how little they discussed cuts and NHS reform during the election. Unbelievable. Can't imagine being a politician; I'd be useless at towing the party line.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 12:59:06

lol!

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 12:59:26

<ignores hackneyman>

"We need to wait and see if this Govt is as obsessed with media strategy as the last." <hollow laugh>

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 12:59:44

Euphemia

What do you think of the Scottish Government? Do you pay any attention to them, or are they too ridiculous? grin

Unfortunately, the Scottish Government are not for Viewers in England, who have their own Government. Not much coverage in London of what's going on in Edinburgh. I do have the option on Sky Digital of tuning to BBC Scotland for Reporting Scotland. Can't think why I haven't done so.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:00:39

ConstanceFelicity

Oooooh! I love Armando Ianucci! <twirls skirt and flutters eyelashes shamelessly>

The Friday Night Armistice was absolutely brilliant, as is The Thick of It and In The Loop. However, I do think that comedy has dumbed down a little bit since late eighties/ early nineties. It's as if alternative comedy has made comics and tv executives afraid of talking about current affairs, because alternative comedy wasn't really that funny. What does Armando think of this?

Also, will he marry me? wink

Mm, I'm not sure, Constancefelicity, my experience has been that people have been saying comedy's not as sharp for the past 20 years. I think, yes, channels are now more concerned about ratings and playing a little safer, but I'm also quite excited that the internet is opening up new ways in which younger performers and writers can get their stuff out there. The worry, though, is that the channels play safe because they feel under less pressure to show this stuff.

Euphemia Tue 16-Nov-10 13:01:51

You're missing some really good stories about ... oh ... erm confused

Guacamohohohole Tue 16-Nov-10 13:02:30

"He is currently working on a new comedy series for American network HBO, set in the Vice President's office at the White House."

Can you tell us more? It's not going to be a The Thick of It American styley is it? Does that make sense? Is it going to be like the US version of The Thick of It?

annielennoxmademecry Tue 16-Nov-10 13:02:46

drat - i am late - and can't think of a clever or interesting question! Thank you for Thick of it. DH works in Govt communications so he actually can't watch it he finds it too painful so you are clearly getting something right grin - Looking forward to your next project and please do more R4 as you help to cancel out the headaches Sandy's voice give me.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:03:23

Eleison

Armando, do you know that the government (or parliament? It isn't clear) has started a talk thread asking Mumsnetters their views on the winding down of the Health in Pregnancy Grant and the Child Trust Fund.

What do you think of this latest evolution of the consultation culture -- consultation by chat? Can you see DoSAC trying this? Should the LibDems start a thread in Relationships ("I think I have shacked up with a monster WWYD?")

Have they now? I do hope this isn't part of the tendency over recent years to pretend things are happening by having 'consultation.' Blair once had a consolation over nuclear policy but declared at the outset 'it wont change the policy.' he was actually ordered by the courts to consult again, because the first chat wasn't wide enough. The most recent example, that Nick Clegg appeal to write to him and tell him what laws to repeal, has been kicked long and hard into the grass because too many people took him up on the offer.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 13:04:06

tsk at this anti-jock parly turn.

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 13:04:30

Interesting how they didn't start a thread about the changes to Child Benefit.

MmeLindt Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:01

Armando
I bought the Alastair Campbell autobiography and struggled valiantly for a couple of days before deciding to use it as a doorstop. I found there were so many tiny details about politicians and their staff, many of whom I did not know. I was constantly referring to the glossary - almost like reading a Jilly Cooper book but without the sex.

I think that politicians and their staff get lost in a bubble of their own importance, without realising that there are people out there who just don't know who they are and what they do. I wonder how many Brits would recognise their own MP in the street.

Is this a problem or an advantage for the politicians?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:11

NigellaTufnel

I am another one twirling and fluttering.

He has had me crying with laughter for many years. And as someone from the west of Scotland living in hell the Home Counties, his dulcet tones remind me of rain, and all those very clever and funny Glaswegian boys at university.

I need to go lie down now.

Oh, a question...

If you weren't doing a webchat on here, how would you make fun of Mumsnet? (I know this is a bit self referential, but the way that that Mumsnet has entered the political landscape always struck me as a bit strange. Great, but strange.)

And PS. thank you for getting Peter Capaldi back on our screens.

Thank you, NigellaTufnel, for your Capaldi enthusiasms. Now, of course, I would NEVER make fun of Mumsnet, but I can imagine a Minister feeling obliged to do the interview and spending a lot of time with his or her advisors trying to work out the best answer to 'what's your favourite shop?' And then typing something stupid in answer to 'why aren't speed cameras working?'

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:29

Isn't it just an anti-Reporting Scotland turn., Aitch? with which I have some sympathy. save fascination with Jackie Bird's changelessness.

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 13:05:45

There's a certain court case going on in Scottish politics that has a feel of fictional comedic satire about it

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:06:03

Guacamohohohole

"He is currently working on a new comedy series for American network HBO, set in the Vice President's office at the White House."

Can you tell us more? It's not going to be a The Thick of It American styley is it? Does that make sense? Is it going to be like the US version of The Thick of It?

Hi, well I'm excited to be working for HBO. They've made some of my favourite comedy shows, esp The Larry Sanders Show. We're hoping Julia Louise-Dreyfus is going to play America's first female Vice President. She was once a powerful Senator, and now finds herself very close to power, without being that powerful herself. There'll be an element of The Thick of It tone, but hopefully something new as well. it definitely won't have hugs and jolly theme music though.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 13:08:09

she is embalmed, i happen to know from someone who works with her.

did you read the nick clegg chat, then, 'mando? he turned out to be Adrian Mole.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:09:19

badcoverversion

Hello Armando,

I'm going to be terribly mundane and ask for your favourites of 2010...

Film / TV programme / Album /Book / Celeb ???

PS: Would you consider another series of Time Trumpet? Pretty please...

Mundane away, Badcoverversion.
Film has to be Four Lions. Funny terrorists. TV Eastbound and Down, an HBO comedy about an out-of-condition baseball player. I have very very medieval musical tastes. Best album, John Eliot Gardner's sequence of Bach Cantatas. Just read a terrific novel called The Financier by Theodore Dreiser. It's about an American stocks and shares guy brought down by debt. It was written in 1912. Celeb? That would have to be Andy Coulson.

stickylittlefingers Tue 16-Nov-10 13:09:52

I think you were totally right in TTOI episode where the MP comes right out and says how he hates the public. I think a lot of them do: for different reasons -I'm sure many start out wanting to change the world for the betters, and others are Giles Brandreth... but what to do? Or have we got the politicians we deserve?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:10:33

MmeLindt

Armando
I bought the Alastair Campbell autobiography and struggled valiantly for a couple of days before deciding to use it as a doorstop. I found there were so many tiny details about politicians and their staff, many of whom I did not know. I was constantly referring to the glossary - almost like reading a Jilly Cooper book but without the sex.

I think that politicians and their staff get lost in a bubble of their own importance, without realising that there are people out there who just don't know who they are and what they do. I wonder how many Brits would recognise their own MP in the street.

Is this a problem or an advantage for the politicians?

Interesting point. I think it happens in politics generally. Politicians get presented every morning with a set of newspaper cuttings about them-self and their department. No wonder they go through life worrying what we're all thinking about them, if all they read about is so close to them and what they do. They assume we must read the same set of cuttings, whereas all we do is pick up a newspaper, look at the front, look at the back, burn some toast, flick through to the middle, sigh and put it down. In Westminster (and in Washington, I've recently discovered) everyone's circle of friends consists exclusively of other people involved in politics. so each development becomes a major talking point and focus for gossip. That's how the obsession starts to grow over how the media and the public are going to react to individual little bits of policy or political behaviour. Truth is, we don't.

Guacamohohohole Tue 16-Nov-10 13:10:38

Oooohhhh a female VP, I like!

Euphemia Tue 16-Nov-10 13:11:16

Seeing George Galloway run for the Scottish Parliament will be interesting ... hmm
"Do you want me to be the First Minister?"

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 13:13:01

LOL euphemia Purr purr

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 13:13:53

we have to have some entertainment now tommy's gaun tae the jile.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:14:22

simonedeboudoir

Armando

Everything you have ever written is fucking hilarious. This is a rare point of agreement between me and dh

Anyway, questions:

Will you be making another The Thick Of It spin off feature film?

Under what circumstances would you consider going on I'm a Celebrity? grin

<faints>

Ta. Glad to hear it. Don't think I'll do another political spin-off film.The next one's now written, and it's more of a slap-stick movie, but in a very contemporary setting. Basically, adults behaving terribly childishly. a bit like In The Loop, I suppose.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 13:17:19

Hi Armando,
So sorry about your train trials today - we're gutted you couldn't make it into the Towers (we had Jammy Dodgers and everything).

Many think Stewart Pearson, the Tory communications ad-guru type character, is a thinly-veiled portrait of DC's chief strategist, Steve Hilton (right down to the balding dress down look). But actually he's the one most ideologically set on about the Big Society etc, according to those in the know. Do you think your portrayal is a bit unfair/two dimensional?

And do you give a monkeys grin?

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:18:44

sickofsocalledexperts

Armando

I love the Thick of it with a passion - have read and watched everything, wish you would bring out more script books ( I have read and re-read them so many times, that even I have to face the fact that I need a new set of scripts to read, and in fact I think the existing book is now out of print). I used to be in PR so I particuarly love it when we hear Terri on the phone, almost always either planning a visit to her dental hygienist for a clean, or bitching to the journos about the latest minister. So true to life, almost makes me wish I had been in political PR rather than corporate. Sorry, more of a fan rant than a question but my question is this - please can we have some more script books, and also more from Stewart as per the email advertising the new Dosac lost files - I love Stewart, particularly the way in which underneath his touchy-feely talk he is actually an utter shit! NB - fave bit of the Dosac book is Malcolm's PA rewriting his emails, except the one to Adam B. One more plea - can we have a bit more from (Lord) Julius Nicholson. And is he based on John Birt? And if so, did John Birt famously have a thing for biscuits - realise you can't answer any of those questions for fear of legal action, but perhaps you could hint?

Well, that's a question and a half. Glad you like it so much. Stewart, you'll be pleased to hear, is now in Government, and will be making his presence felt very strongly, in a touchy-feely-bendy-breaky kind of way, throughout the next series. Julius is a blue-skies thinker, and, as with all the characters, he's inspired by one or two real-lifers, but based on no-one in particular. there are 100s like him.

yama Tue 16-Nov-10 13:18:59

Armando

On a happiness scale of one to ten, how happy are you?

[Stolen from BBC news this morning]

beansprout Tue 16-Nov-10 13:19:40

Hi

What three words would you use to describe the BBC boat you found yourself aboard on election night?

grin

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 16-Nov-10 13:20:14

I know I've had a question, but am wanting desperately to ask a) will they bring out any more Thick of it script books, love love love the one I have and b) is (Lord ) Julius Nicholson really John Birt, and does he famously have a thing for biscuits, or is that some abstruse reference for something more unsavoury? Aware you can't answer re Birt due to legal action, but can you give a hint?!

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:21:04

JustineMumsnet

Hi Armando,
So sorry about your train trials today - we're gutted you couldn't make it into the Towers (we had Jammy Dodgers and everything).

Many think Stewart Pearson, the Tory communications ad-guru type character, is a thinly-veiled portrait of DC's chief strategist, Steve Hilton (right down to the balding dress down look). But actually he's the one most ideologically set on about the Big Society etc, according to those in the know. Do you think your portrayal is a bit unfair/two dimensional?

And do you give a monkeys grin?

It's never meant to be an impression. I'm told the real Steve Hilton is madder. I was also told people in the Tory Party tried to prevent him ever hearing about it, in case he suspected a mole. The sad truth is, we make a lot of stuff up, then politicians get in touch after wards and say 'How on earth did you find that out? we thought we'd kept it quiet?'

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:21:50

beansprout

Hi

What three words would you use to describe the BBC boat you found yourself aboard on election night?

grin

Groaning. Grounded. Grim

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:23:48

yama

Armando

On a happiness scale of one to ten, how happy are you?

[Stolen from BBC news this morning]

I'm assuming 1 is Terribly Miserable and 10 is Unbelievably Elated? I think i'm currently 7: Reasonably Up-Beat with a Smattering of Apprehension

everythingiseverything Tue 16-Nov-10 13:25:03

<<creates swearbox with picture of Armando looking stern on it>> smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 13:27:19

We'll have to bring the chat to a close now as Aramando has to rush off - huge thanks to Armando for joining us and thanks to you all for sending in so many questions.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:27:24

weblette

Forget about the marriage offers, he's married to a very very lovely lady.

Arm you loon, you may live to regret doing this grin

I can indeed vouch that I am (married to a lovely lovely lady, that is. Not, a loon. Though I may be that as well.)

AnnOnimous Tue 16-Nov-10 13:28:36

Brilliant web chat, thanks to Armando and everyone for interesting topics.

ArmandoIanucci Tue 16-Nov-10 13:29:42

bye bye everyone. sorry for the delay, sorry it's gone so quickly, sorry I haven't answered every question, sorry for the profuse apologies at the end.

Arm x

Eleison Tue 16-Nov-10 13:30:33

Thanks, Arm.

Euphemia Tue 16-Nov-10 13:33:37

Watch what he says on Twitter about us now. wink

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 13:36:16

Thanks, Armando.

MmeLindt Tue 16-Nov-10 13:44:13

Great webchat, thanks.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 13:56:56

yeah, euphemia, on his i-pad...

many thanks armando, will pass on message next time i speak to ronnie renton.

Longstocking2 Tue 16-Nov-10 14:06:21

Thanks Armando.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Nov-10 16:00:19

We have a couple of other answers that Armando had sent over to us in advance which we'll post up now -

Snorbs Fri 12th 16:42
Any plans to do another series of Charm Offensive on R4? Or at least to persuade the lazy swine on R7 to broadcast the previous series?

ArmandoIanucci:
Hi Snorbs. Afraid not. I love doing Charm Offensive but, because it's topical, it has to be recorded the week Radio 4 has the slots and unfortunately the slots aren't coming up at the same time I'm free. We're looking at doing a new, non-topical show instead.

and

Habbibu - Sat 13th Nov 22.05
OK - here's one: Armando, why do you think there's no equivalent to the Daily Show on British TV? I guess the closest in terms of analysis is Bremner, Bird and Fortune - do you think something similar to DS would work here? Oh, and kudos for the John Radcliffe thing - I didn't know about it, and think it's great - having gone through two stressful pregnancies after complex losses, I'm well aware of the need for good specialist care (which thankfully I got in Dundee).

ArmandoIanucci - Thanks, Habbibu. Quite a few of you think there's not much satire these days. Don't know the answer why. Maybe it's our fault for getting so obsessed with celebs and reality. I still think Big Brother did untold damage to the quality of British TV/ our brains/ our society in general. In years to come, historians will bracket it with the Black Death.

Thanks also for the mention of The Silver Star unit. It's the only maternity specialist care unit of its kind outside London, taking in mum's with difficult pregnancies from hundreds of miles around. It's important that the Government is held firmly to its promise that, despite the cuts, the NHS is protected. There have been worrying signs already that it's been quietly put under pressure to make 'savings' and I don't think that was anything anyone agreed to at the General Election.

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 19:14:15

mr renton didn't teach him how to use the apostrophe... wink

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 20:59:17

Just watched Friday Night Armistice again on YouTube - v funny.

I've realised that what I don't get about MN webchats is why people have to get trains and stuff. It's web-based - why couldn't he have been sitting in his own shed, train-trouble-free?

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 21:14:18

ikwym, habs. it's like they're not using the internet or something.

Habbibu Tue 16-Nov-10 21:31:23

And he had to bring his own computer anyway. So what was with all the travel? What do MNHQ actually do bar provide coffee and apparently no biscuits?

AitchTwoOh Tue 16-Nov-10 21:33:14

it's geraldinemumsnet, she's a fame whore. she wants her photo taken with all the schlebs.

narkypuffin Tue 16-Nov-10 23:44:08

Arse. I missed it.

'Eddie Grundy' style biscuit choice discussion would've been good.

everythingiseverything Wed 17-Nov-10 10:14:07

Maybe it's so they know they're not cheating, and it is actually them answering the questions!

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Nov-10 16:51:46

darn, I've been rumbled grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now