Already bored of the serious side of the election? Well there’s the prospect of some respite in the form of a new comedy about the political struggle for Number 10, starring Ben Miller, Hugh Dennis and Sarah Hadland.
Written by Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, the five-part Ballot Monkeys will be shown in the run up to polling day on 7th May – with key scenes written and performed close to transmission.
The comedy will cut between the various campaign buses of the four main parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP.
On each bus sit a rich collection of characters including press officers, line managers, empathy consultants, SPADs, IT wizards, social media monitors, political analysts, interns and even bus drivers.
The writers will respond to the latest political development or crisis which Channel 4 hopes will bring a freshness and immediacy to the show.
Death in Paradise and Doctor Who star Ben Miller plays Liberal Democrat Kevin Sturridge, the campaign co-ordinator and a lifelong liberal ground down by the humiliation of the Tory coalition.
Miranda actress Sarah Hadland is UKIP’s Kate Standen, an office support manager and ex-TV presenter with an inflated notion of her abilities.
Hattie Morahan plays Siobhan Hope the Conservative Party’s women’s issues consultant. Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis has been cast as fellow Tory Martin Frost, the party’s caustic deputy campaign manager.
Filming for the series will begin one week before transmission and will draw on major themes and incidents of the campaign so far.
As with their 90s news room comedy Drop the Dead Donkey, Hamilton and Jenkin will leave gaps in which to insert the highly topical material at the very last minute.
Fiona McDermott, C4’s commissioning editor for comedy, said: “We haven’t yet decided whether we’re brave or bonkers but a real time satirical sitcom like Ballot Monkeys could only be handled by the remarkable Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. We are thrilled to have them and such an amazing cast on board our buses.”
Ballot Monkeys begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday April 21 at 10pm