Armando Iannucci: British politics doesn’t make me laugh any more

The Veep and Thick of It showrunner suggests he won't be doing a British-based political comedy for a while because he's lost his sense of humour about Westminster

Armando Iannucci says he has fallen out of love with British politics as comedy inspiration and has no foreseeable plans to make another Thick of It style comedy set here.


“I have lost my sense of humour about British politics,” he said at the launch of series three of the Washington-set Sky Atlantic comedy Veep, which airs next week, adding that he has no plans to work on ideas centred around Westminster as he concentrates on his US political satire.

Explaining his apparent disillusionment with the politics of his home country, Iannucci, who won acclaim for the British political comedy The Thick of It, said that the UK electorate does not have sufficient choice because there is not enough difference between the main parties.

“I just wish [Labour leader] Ed Miliband would just say something other than we are going to take more benefits off people because they are really dragging the country down,” he said. “I sort of sympathise with the fact that people just don’t know which way to turn…. It feels very disengaging.”

Iannucci, a self-confessed US politics “anorak”, is already working on series four of Veep which he said was “shooting pretty soon”, and will take him to April. He later confirmed to that The Thick of It had finished for good despite rumours that it could resurface sometime in the future.

“When Peter [Capaldi] said he didn’t want to do any more Malcolm Tucker, that was it really,” said Iannucci, adding that he would like to make more Veep and did not have an end date in mind.

“In the US, series tend to have four yearly cycles so we will get to the end of season four and see where that takes us.”

In the third season of Veep, Vice President Selina Meyer, played by Julia-Louis Dreyfus, is running for President in a  campaign that will inevitably be beset with problems.

One episode is filmed in the UK, with Darren Boyd playing the part of a British deputy Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, Glasgow-born Iannucci says he will not be revealing where he stands on the Scottish referendum.

“I’m keeping well out of it. The last thing Scotland wants to have are the view of a Scot who doesn’t live in Scotland. I have my views but I don’t want to say.”

Iannucci also reiterated his belief that Capaldi, who starred as spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and is now filming his first series of Doctor Who, would make a great Time Lord.

“I am really looking forward to watching him,” he told, adding that he was going to pay the actor a visit next week on set.


Veep series three begins on Sky Atlantic on Wednesday 16 July