Armando Ianucci tells James O'Brien: Political satire won't work any more

21 January 2020, 12:46

Armando Ianucci admitted he has stepped away from political satire due to the comical state of modern politics.

Having spent much of the last 15 years working on The Thick Of It and Veep, the writer and director is releasing two major projects - the HBO show Avenue 5 and film The Personal History of David Copperfield.

It's a step away from the politics, but as he told James O'Brien, politics is now satirising itself.

He said: "That kind of comedy relies in there being a set of conventions, so then when people depart from them, you can point out how they've departed.

"But if there are no longer any conventions, if anything goes...

"If you have a President who says 'I can shoot someone in the face and still get away with it'. If you have a party which changes its name to FactCheckUK for a bit of a laugh, nothing is left really."

James O'Brien's chat with Armando Ianucci was very entertaining
James O'Brien's chat with Armando Ianucci was very entertaining. Picture: LBC

Mr Ianucci believes that with politicians becoming more populist, it's the comedians who are doing best at holding them to account.

He added: "The comics who are best adapted to dealing with politics today are the more journalistic ones. John Oliver has a team of researchers and he has an argument as well as a team of one-liners.

"It's almost like if the politicians are the entertainers, then the comedians have become the journalists. And the journalists have become Prime Ministers."

Avenue 5 is on Sky One from Wednesday.
The Personal History of David Copperfield is in cinemas from Friday.