Armando Iannucci, the creator of The Thick Of It - the hit BBC comedy which satirises the goings on behind closed doors in the corridors of government - has signalled he's unlikely to make any more series of the show.
In an in-depth interview in The Observer conducted by political commentator Andrew Rawnsley, Iannucci indicated that he wanted to move on to make a new comedy about internet millionaires.
It has been a gap of three years since the last episodes of the show broadcast, but the much anticipated seven-part fourth series of The Thick Of It is due to start on BBC Two next Saturday. The new series is said to mimic real-life by focusing on the tensions growing within a coalition government arrangement. However, according to Iannucci, this is likely to be the final series of the comedy.
He explains: "Probably this will be the last series of The Thick Of It. The door is left open at the end to come back and do specials. But I feel I have explored every crevice now and it's time to take stock and move on. I'm thinking about the power of the internet.
"Microsoft, Google, Facebook: you have these twentysomethings who have a way into billions of households. It's what we were talking about earlier: where's the power gone? The power is gravitating towards these companies. I'm also interested in that personal thing of what it does to you when you're 25 and you're a multibillionaire and everyone in the world knows who you are."
Iannucci has already created a script for a show set in Silicon Valley, which he has taken to HBO. The US network is already working with the satirist on Veep, a sitcom set around the American Vice President that is widely seen as 'the American version of The Thick Of It'. A second series of Veep has already been ordered by HBO.
Giving his thoughts on British politics, Iannucci says: "This time around I've kind of come at it with a feeling that the whole system just doesn't work. And it's primarily because we have a generation of politicians who have done nothing apart from politics. They do the politics degree, become a researcher, become an adviser, become an MP; they're in the cabinet by the time they're 39."
The new series of The Thick Of It starts on BBC Two at 9:45pm on Saturday 8th September. The plot sees tensions running high in the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. It is launch day for 'Silicon Playgrounds', a new digital youth policy - and Number 10 spin doctor Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin) delivers the bombshell that the department's digital-illiterate minister Peter Mannion (Roger Allam, pictured) has to launch it.
Mannion is now in charge of DoSAC, following the election. However, he is having to work with Fergus Williams (Geoffrey Streatfeild), a minister from "the Inbetweeners" (aka the Lib Dems) due to the coalition agreement. Meanwhile, Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front) is now the leader of the opposition by a quirk of the block vote mechanism that no one understands.
Viewers will have to wait until Episode 2 of the new series to see Malcolm Tucker, the show's best known character played by Peter Capaldi. In the interview, Iannucci admitted he finds it anxiety-inducing when he meets real-life spin doctors because "they always talk about how much they like Malcolm and how they try and emulate Malcolm. And I think, have we got this wrong?"
Below is a short trailer for the new series: