Simpsons star Harry Shearer to play Richard Nixon

Spinal Tap actor to play disgraced president in new comedy drama

Spinal Tap’s bass player Derek Smalls, aka Simpsons voice artist Harry Shearer, has taken the role that no other American actor wants: that of former US President Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon in a new TV show.

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Nixon’s the One, a comedy drama scheduled for broadcast on Sky Arts later this year, is based on the infamous 2,000 hours of audio recordings made by Nixon during his time in office, which captured the vilified politician’s homophobic, racist and expletive-laden remarks on everyday life.

Shearer, who voices Mr Burns on The Simpsons, said: “Having grown up in LA, I’d had Nixon in my brain my whole life and it recently struck me that the current portrayals of the man were leaving out the wonderland of his emotional complexity.

“To me, the key point of the comedy was that these conversations were being held, usually during working hours, by what was then usually described as the most powerful man in the world.”

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In a statement, the show’s executive producer, Jimmy Mulville, said: “I think that the Sky Arts audience will be genuinely shocked and hopefully amused by some of the opinions expressed by the Nixon White House. It’s a genuinely funny show and a startling historical document.”