Good news for fans of biting political satire – The Thick of It is returning to British television screens this autumn for a fourth series, with seven new 30-minute episodes scheduled for broadcast on BBC2.
Expect back room deals, ministerial cock-ups and political backstabbing to go into overdrive as Malcolm Tucker and company face their toughest challenge yet – working in a country with a coalition government.
Peter Mannion MP (Roger Allam) is now the Secretary of State for The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DOSAC) and he will need to work closely with Number 10's Director of Communications Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin) in order to outwit his new coalition partner, DOSAC's Junior Minister Fergus Williams MP (Geoffrey Streatfeild).
But never fear, Nicola Murray MP (Rebecca Front) and foul-mouthed spin doctor extraordinaire Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) are not far away. Although they have now been consigned to Her Majesty's Opposition, the pair and their team are determined to return to power in the near future – whatever it takes.
"This series takes The Thick of It into exciting and uncharted territory: a new coalition government, and Malcolm and Nicola fretting in the wings.” said creator and producer Armando Iannucci.
He added: “For the first time too a storyline takes us all the way through the series right to the bitter, bitter end, with Government and Opposition convulsed in an incident that questions every political convention imaginable, but in a funny way."
Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, and Rebecca Gethings are also confirmed for series four of the show.
Described by Iannucci as “Yes Minster meets Larry Sanders”, The Thick of It began life on BBC4 in 2005 and has in its three series earned numerous awards from Bafta, the Royal Television Society and the Broadcasting Press Guild. In 2009, a feature film adaptation of the series starring many of the original cast was released and In the Loop went on to be nominated at the 2010 Oscars for best adapted screenplay.
The Thick of It also inspired Iannucci's HBO political comedy, Veep, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as hapless Vice President Selina Meyer attempting to suffer the slings and arrows of Capitol Hill with only the help of her equally dysfunctional aides.
While no firm transmission dates have been set for The Thick of It series four on BBC2, Iannucci fans can currently watch the excellent Veep on Monday nights at 10pm on Sky Atlantic.