The Thick of It? It wasn’t extreme enough says Andrew Marr

The BBC satire featuring Peter Capaldi's notoriously foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker was actually a "slightly sanitised" version of what really went on in 10 Downing Street, says Marr

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BBC broadcaster Andrew Marr says that far from being an over-the-top, expletive-filled political farce, The Thick Of It was remarkably close to the real thing.

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The presenter of The Andrew Marr Show joked that compared to the real goings-on behind the door of Number 10 Downing Street, the BBC political satire was “a slightly sanitised, calmed-down version.”

Marr added, however, that he did have a problem with the BBC comedy series, because it made people assume that government was simply about political spin.

“I think the problem with The Thick of It, to be serious, is that it implies the only thing that matters in politics is spinning, and dealing with the press and public in that way,” Marr told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

“Actually there’s a whole layer of stuff going on in politics: policy formulation, deciding what to do, trying to work out numbers, trying to work out money, fighting with the Treasury, and all of that stuff. That is probably, in the end, around 90 per cent of what goes on,” he said.

The Thick of It, starring Peter Capaldi as the foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, ran for four series from 2005 to 2012.

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Marr added, “The Thick of It is a brilliant, brilliant, and not particularly extreme take on the 10 per cent which is about people like me and people like you as the electorate. There’s a lot else going on in politics, of course, all the time.”