The Thick of It

Series 4 - Episode 6

The Thick of It
Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

Armando Iannucci and his A-Team of writers serve up a surprise this week: a one-off, gift-set edition that’s a different beast altogether from what we’re used to. In place of the usual sweary farce, we get dry satire, set entirely at hearings for a public inquiry into the death of Douglas Tickell, the health worker whose suicide has dogged DoSAC ministers and flunkies throughout the series.

The exchanges are skilfully done, mocking the etiquette of Leveson-type inquiries, where a quaint legalistic process (“If you would turn to tab 16...”) tries to fathom the mad scramble of ministerial politics.

To start with, you may miss the mad scramble and its belly-laughs
a bit, but this has great moments. There’s Peter Mannion struggling
to appear politically correct, Stuart Pearson talking guff (“I believe in government as a transceiver, yeah?”) and Malcolm, still cobra-deadly without his usual profanities, and all the more dangerous when he seems to be cornered.

But it’s fragile aide Robyn who returns to deliver the damning verdict on her political masters: “To be honest, I think they’re just trying to get through the day without cocking up.”

About this programme

6/7. Everyone has a lot of questions to answer about the suicide of the key worker after his flat was sold off - government, opposition and civil service alike. Heading the inquiry is Lord Goolding, who isn't going to stand for any nonsense. The truth is about to come out - unless someone lies, or creates a diversion of some kind, or simply pretends not to remember anything. Peter Capaldi stars.

Cast and crew


Lord Goolding
William Hoyland
Simon Weir
Tobias Menzies
Baroness Sureka
Priyanga Burford
Matthew Hodge
Michael Maloney
Stewart Pearson
Vincent Franklin
Malcolm Tucker
Peter Capaldi
Fergus Williams
Geoffrey Streatfeild
Peter Mannion
Roger Allam
Emma Messinger
Olivia Poulet
Phil Smith
Will Smith
Adam Kenyon
Ben Willbond
Terri Coverley
Joanna Scanlan
Nicola Murray
Rebecca Front
Robyn Murdoch
Polly Kemp
Oliver Reeder
Chris Addison
Glenn Cullen
James Smith


Armando Iannucci
Armando Iannucci
Adam Tandy
Simon Blackwell
Roger Drew
Sean Gray
Ian Martin
Tony Roche
Will Smith
Dan Gaster
Georgia Pritchett
David Quantick