Series 1, Episode 2
Hugh complains about how tired and overworked he is as Terri dumps another hefty pile of Departmental press releases on his desk. His inability to keep the pace has been reflected in a profile piece that antagonistic journalist Simon Hewitt has penned about him. Hewitt calls Abbot 'out of his depth... disconnected to the point of autism.'
Abbot and his Department decide that the best tactic of defence is a new policy announcement - something a bit 'funky'.
Meanwhile, Malcolm Tucker's tactic is to set Abbot up with a counter-profile story with friendly journalist Angela Heaney, but Tucker is appalled when he discovers how 'out of touch' Abbot actually is. He has no idea who the only gay in the village is and he's never heard of a chav.
Tucker suggests that Abbot watches a copy of the zeitgeist tape they make for the PM - a boiled-down weekly digest of TV and cinema.
On their mission to find a new 'funky' policy, Glenn and Ollie come up with two opposing arts policies; unable to make a choice, they decide to pitch them to a focus group. Mary, a typical middle-England single mother, reacts particularly positively to one of their arts policies. Abbot requests they get Mary in for a one-on-one chat - he wants a précised focus group. In fact, he wants everything précised, from press reports to compilation tapes, getting rid of the fat.
But Abbot's desire to create an easily digestible 'Atkins' government soon heads for disaster. Can they trust the opinion of their focussed focus group?
Is Miss Middle England really representative of Middle England? Does a policy that plays well on the doorstep also play well for the press?
And can Tucker successfully predict and counter-attack Hewitt's journalistic scourge?
- Thursday 26th May 2005
- BBC Four
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Peter Capaldi||Malcolm Tucker|
|Chris Addison||Oliver Reeder|
|James Smith||Glenn Cullen|
|Joanna Scanlan||Terri Coverley|
|Chris Langham||Hugh Abbot|
|Morwenna Banks||Mary (Focus Group Lady)|
|Matthew Marsh||Simon Hewitt (Journalist)|
|Ian Martin||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Sam Bain||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Jesse Armstrong||Writer (Additional Material)|
|Jon Plowman||Executive Producer|