Thursday, August 3, 2006

Only having a laugh

Comedy god Armando Iannucci (Alan Partridge, The Day Today, The Thick Of It) has a new series starting tonight on BBC2. Called Time Trumpet, it's a parody of those "I love the 1980s" shows - except it's set in 2031 and refers to events that have yet to happen.

I haven't seen any of it yet, but I have high hopes purely on the basis of the programme listing, which has made me done the laugh:

"On tonight's show, a 60-year-old Ant and Dec recall the time that singer Charlotte Church vomited herself inside out"

The programme's fake news reports have already attracted criticism from (surprise, surprise) the Daily Mail. It's apoplectic about the third episode, in which it reveals that Tony Blair was assassinated, and that terrorists flew an airliner into the Houses of Parliament.

When the paper phoned up Labour MP Andrew Dinsmore for a comment, he said it was 'sick'.

Fascinatingly, the Daily Mail's report has completely failed to stir up the passions of its readers - who are, after all, unused to the paper defending Tony Blair. The Mail's website, usually a hotbed of right-wing "send them home" diatribes, is full of commentators defending the programme:

"Looks fantastic. Can't wait to watch it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention," says Monty in London

"The day satire is censored will be the death of the democracy fought for on the Somme and on the beaches of Normandy," writes Silvester Stuart, sneaking in a crafty reference to the war (which, apparently, we won).

But there are dissenting voices: "Why don't you to explain this sick humor to the families of 9/11?" demands Susie in the USA, brilliantly missing the point.

The are clips of the show available on the Time Trumpet website, which suggest it will approach the levels of comedy genius achieved by Iannucci's The Day Today (which introduced Chris Morris and Steve Coogan to the world of TV). You should go and have a look, before making up your own mind.

It's the only way to show the terrorists they haven't won!! Or something!!!!

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