Watch The Thick of It

The British political satire The Thick Of It is a sitcom based on the workings of a single department of the British Government. Unlike many political based comedy shows The Thick Of It revolves around the real workings of the British government with the show reflecting the real workings of British politics; for example, in season four the characters are part of a coalition government and those who were previously in power are now in opposition to the ruling government. The majority of the show is scripted by creator Armondo Iannucci and a team of writers, but actors are allowed to improvise around the dialogue to add realism to their characters. The character of Malcolm Tucker has become the most famous in The Thick Of It, played by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi Tucker is an aggressive spin doctor who screams profanities at the people who cross his path.

First broadcast on the cable channel BBC4 in 2005 the main focus of the early seasons of the show was Hugh Abbot MP, the Minister for Social Affairs and Citizenship. No political parties are ever named, but it is made clear that the characters are part of the ruling Labour Party of 2005. Throughout the first and second seasons Abbot is shown desperately trying to hold on to his job with the aid of the Prime Minister's main spin doctor Tucker who abuses and ridicules Abbot and his main advisors at every opportunity.

During the third season Abbot is replaced by Nicola Murray MP as the head of Social Affairs and Citizenship; Abbot's main policy advisors and media relations assistant remain in place with Murray. By the fourth season Murray and Tucker's party have been removed from power by a coalition government that sees the cast expanded to include members of all political parties shown during the workings of their daily routines. Murray has become the leader of the opposition party in the U.K. and is being pushed back to power by Tucker.

Saturday 10:10 PM et/pt on BBC Four
4 Seasons, 25 Episodes
May 19, 2005
Cast: Chris Addison, James Smith, Peter Capaldi, Joanna Scanlan
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The Thick of It Full Episode Guide

  • The final reckoning. As the fallout from the enquiry starts to take its toll, the everyday problems of government continue. Despite the fact that no-one is actually talking to each other any more.

  • There are lots of questions about the suicide of a key-worker after his flat was sold off. Lord Goolding is reputedly a fair man, but he isn't going to stand for any nonsense. Surely now, the truth will come out.

  • After the unraveling of the key-worker housing sell-off policy Nicola Murray and Peter Mannion are scrambling for the moral high-ground as the smelly flood water of scandal is lapping round their toes.

  • With Nicola safely on a train to attend the party's Here 2 Hear event in far-flung Bradford, Malcolm is free to launch his latest plot.

  • Stewart Pearson is running "Thought Camp" at a remote hotel in the country as the perfect way to reengage the party with the creative cloudscape - no phones, no iPads.

  • Peter Mannion, the Secretary of State for Social Affairs is told to launch his Coalition partner Fergus' new "Networked Nation" policy at a school.

  • Malcolm finds himself running out of both options and friends as the election looms. Malcolm finds help offered from an unlikely quarter.

  • Nicola and the team try and find a well known sports star to be the face of the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship's new Healthy Choices campaign. With Malcolm away they find themselves having to advice from Steve Fleming.

  • Malcolm Tucker is left to run things whilst the prime minister is attending a meeting in Spain. As Nicola is set to launch her Fourth Sector Initiative, the press decide that they would rather have a person launch a leadership contest.

  • After weeks of trading bitter blows in the press, DoSAC minister Nicola Murray MP and her shadow Peter Mannion MP are invited onto BBC Radio 5 Live for a debate on Richard Bacon's late-night call-in program, but when some breaking news threatens to make things difficult for the politicians, the program quickly turns into a call-in like no other.

  • The team anticipate a visit from shadow minister Peter Mannion.

  • Nicola finds herself stuck in a hotel room in Eastbourne, but is able to finish her speech for the annual party conference with Ollie's help. Glenn brings in his secret weapon, Julie Price, a people's champion and a photo opportunity.

  • The press anticipates how long Nicola will survive in her new position. The immigration records are accidentally wiped of 170,672 people.

  • Nicola Murry is promoted to the Cabinet after everyone else denies the job in the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship.

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The Thick of It is currently available to watch and stream on BBC Four. You can also buy, rent The Thick of It on demand at Amazon, Hulu, Google Play, iTunes online.

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