Armando Iannucci slams the American “buffoons” who tried to remake The Thick of It

Oscar-nominated satirist complains that working with US TV network ABC was far from easy


The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci has hit out at the “buffoons” who attempted to remake his BBC political sitcom in the States.


Having previously complained that the pilot for a proposed American Thick of It adaptation made in 2006, was “terrible”, “conventionally shot” and lacking any “improvisation or swearing”, Iannucci told Radio Times: “The mistake is to think that because America has this tremendous influence internationally, therefore all Americans are brilliant.

“When we were doing the pilot of The Thick Of It at ABC there were just scores of people working on it, all called vice president this and that, and a lot of them were buffoons.”

However, Iannucci explained that his experience of making Veep, the American cable sitcom starring Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus which began airing in 2012, was far more positive.

“What has been great with HBO [the makers of Veep] is that they are the opposite,” he said.

“It’s very much ‘Let’s keep it small and try to make it as good as it can be’. What you realise is that they are people at the top of their game, and you are actually benefiting from their experience.”

Iannucci also confessed that, while he enjoys working in New York, he’s less keen on practicing his craft in Los Angeles.

“I get an absolute sigh of despair whenever I go to LA. I find it a huge, shapeless, heartless city full of people talking about television and films, morning, noon and night. I just wish they would shut up and read a book!”


Read the full interview with Iannucci, in which he discusses his life, career and future TV projects, in this week’s Radio Times.