The Party Line

Satirical radio sitcom about backbench MP Duncan Stonebridge (played by James Fleet), written and recorded the day before transmission

Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
2005 - 2008  (BBC Radio 4)
Episodes:
18 (3 series)
Starring:
James Fleet, Simon Greenall, Rachel Atkins, Geoffrey McGivern, Geraldine McNulty, Beth Chalmers, Manjeet Mann, Dan Mersh
Writers:
Steve Punt, Hugh Dennis
Production:
British Broadcasting Corporation

Duncan Stonebridge MP (James Fleet) is a Labour Party backbencher, looking after the interests of the fictional constituency of Rothershurst. Following his party's poor performance in the 2005 General Election, Stonebridge's majority is now just 27.

Trying to maintain control of a constituency that could easily vote him out, Duncan is always living in the shadow of the last MP, the late Conservative Sir Digby, who spirit lives on in the form of his widow Lady Harriet.

Each episode, written and broadcast the day before it goes out, looks at how Duncan manages to cope with what looks like disaster at every corner.

Our Review: Created by satirical duo Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, this is a radio sitcom which could probably be never adapted for television, considering the fact that each episode is written and recorded the day before broadcast.

The latest third series differs from the previous two in that it was recorded in front of a studio audience.