The Thick Of It. Image shows from L to R: Oliver Reeder (Chris Addison), Terri Coverley (Joanna Scanlan), Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front), Glenn Cullen (James Smith), Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi). Copyright: BBC.

The Thick Of It

BBC Two and BBC Four sitcom about political spin. 23 episodes (4 series), 2005 - 2012. Stars Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, James Smith, Joanna Scanlan and others.

Series 1, Episode 1

Hugh Abbot, newly appointed Minister for Social Affairs, faces a policy crisis.

Further details

Cliff Lawton, the Minister for Social Affairs, is having a meeting with Number Ten's Chief Political Advisor - Malcolm Tucker. There have been press rumours that the Minister is to be sacked. Lawton is told that none of these stories have come from Number Ten. However, now they're out there, Number Ten would look weak not to sack him. He's given the opportunity to 'resign' before he is sacked, although obviously they'll be telling the press that he jumped before he was pushed.

His replacement as Minister, Hugh Abbot, takes office. Bored of spinning out his predecessor's Departmental line, he finds a new policy to announce - the Snooper Force.

The decision is made to ignore Governmental procedure and move full steam ahead with press releases - leaving Terri Coverley, the Press Secretary, concerned about revenue implications. The Department's response is 'F*** the revenue implications... bounce the Treasury.'

Abbot and Senior Policy Advisor Glenn Cullen are chuffed with their new policy. But as they prepare to deliver a press launch, their hopes are quashed. They receive a furious call from Tucker. Where did this policy come from? Did the PM approve it? When is 'should' a 'yes'?

Junior Policy Advisor Oliver Reeder is called in to help brainstorm a new cost-free policy that they have to announce to the nation's press in 45 minutes.

But how can they stop the media wheel from turning? Will the press be able to see through the cover-up? And how many shit sandwiches can you feed your allies and enemies before they turn on you?

Broadcast details

Thursday 19th May 2005
BBC Four
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Peter Capaldi Malcolm Tucker
Chris Addison Oliver Reeder
James Smith Glenn Cullen
Joanna Scanlan Terri Coverley
Chris Langham Hugh Abbot
Lucinda Raikes Angela Heaney
Guest cast
Timothy Bentinck Cliff Lawton (ex-Minister)
John Biggins Driver
Writing team
Jesse Armstrong Writer
Armando Iannucci Writer
Ian Martin Writer (Additional Material)
Sam Bain Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Armando Iannucci Director
Adam Tandy Producer
Jon Plowman Executive Producer

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see script development, production designer & editor credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?