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Armando Iannucci in Conversation with Tony Martin
Similar but not the same
Armando Iannucci is the brilliant comedic mind behind Veep’s Selina Meyer, The Thick of It’s Malcolm Tucker and, in collaboration with Chris Morris on The Day Today, the irrepressible Alan Partridge. If you’re familiar with Iannucci’s work, you’ll know he’s also responsible for some of the most inventive swearing and bizarre black comedy ever broadcast in TV history.
Yet this giant of British comedy – famous for his brand of caustic, sometimes surrealist, political satire – worries about the role of comedy in this era of post-truth, populist politics. ‘I now find the political landscape so alien and awful that it’s hard to match the waves of cynicism it transmits on its own,’ he wrote in the New Statesman last year.
One of the running ideas in Iannucci’s work – from Alan Partridge to Selina Meyer – is the gap between puffed-up public image and paranoid private persona. Most recently, he’s been working on a feature film that might touch on these tensions again. It’s set in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and it’s called The Death of Stalin.
In conversation with Tony Martin, Iannucci discusses the predicaments and possibilities of political satire today.
Armando Iannucci is a writer and broadcaster who has written, directed and produced numerous critically acclaimed television and radio comedy shows.
His screenplay for the film In The Loop was nominated for an Oscar at the Academy Awards, and his iconic series for BBC – The Thick of It – was nominated for 13 BAFTA Awards, winning five during its four series run. Armando’s HBO comedy Veep has picked up numerous awards including two Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series over the last four years, and he is currently adapting a new version of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield for the big screen. As well as publishing a new book on classical music, Armando's latest feature film The Death of Stalin will be released in the autumn of 2017.
Tony Martin’s credits include The D-Generation, The Late Show, Martin/Molloy, Get This and Upper Middle Bogan. He appeared in Kath & Kim, Crackerjack, Thank God You’re Here and is in The Castle for nine seconds. Nine long seconds.
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