'The Thick of It' set for new series

Writer and director Armando Iannucci has today confirmed he is working on a new series of The Thick of It, saying the Twitter posts on the subject were written by him.

Writer and director Armando Iannucci has today confirmed he is working on a new series of 'The Thick of It', saying the Twitter posts on the subject were written by him.

It has been reported that someone under Iannucci's name claimed he was writing new episodes of the political satire.

Speaking during press interviews for his forthcoming film 'In The Loop', a film version of the television series, Iannucci said: "That was me. The only reason I joined Twitter was because there was someone else claiming to be me so I managed to take over him - I inhabited his body - but now anything I say is not taken seriously because people seem to think that I don't exist."

He added that the project was in its early stages, but that it would be set in the same government department as the previous episodes, whereas the film is set in the department of foreign affairs.

He said: "We're at the very early stages of writing at the moment and we'll go and do it in the second half of this year.

"We're back in the department of social affairs and citizenship."

The TV show originally starred Chris Langham who played the department minister, but Iannucci said the actor, who has served a prison sentence on child pornography charges, would not be returning.

He said: "We know Chris won't be coming back but we'll sort out the personnel later on."

The new minister in the film, Simon Foster, is played by Tom Hollander who said he was intimidated by the prospect of filling Langham's shoes at first.

"Chris Langham was brilliant and I watched him in it and I did think: 'Gosh to have to replace him is a nightmare' but somebody's got to do it and they've asked me so I'm going to do it," he said.

At the 'In The Loop' press conference, also held today, Iannucci and the film's stars made reference to MP Jacqui Smith, who claimed the price of two pornographic films watched by her husband on government expenses.

In the film, Hollander's minister refrains from watching porn in his hotel room for fear of it turning up on his expenses.

On life imitating art, Iannucci said: "You write all these things in advance and sometimes you think 'is this too silly and are people going to believe this?' ... sometimes you think 'this isn't silly enough' so you have to make a judgment on what you think is believable, then these events happen!"

But both he and Chris Addison, who plays a political aide in the film criticised the way the press and Mrs Smith herself had dealt with the incident.

Addison said: "You don't get angry that a man might have watched a couple of porn films. You get annoyed by what the emphasis on that represents about the culture of how we receive politics in this country."

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