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2 items from 2016

Honk honk! All aboard the Brexit bus: the TV show that spoofs the unspoofable

7 June 2016 9:08 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Power Monkeys is an EU referendum satire from the brains behind Drop the Dead Donkey that will fly by the seat of its pants – and Archie Panjabi for one is embracing the dangers of nearly-live TV

On a private jet, a well-groomed woman is tapping busily at her phone. When her colleagues start discussing the Zika virus, she snaps: “Mr Trump wants it to be called ‘Mexican flu’.” When a colleague protests, she murmurs, “A plague coming up from Latin America to real America …”

It may sound like the latest rhetoric from the real Us presidential nominee, but thankfully this is a new comedy from the makers of Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered. Power Monkeys is a satire with an ambitious plan to beat Twitter to the best jokes: a third of its scenes will be written, performed and cut on the day it goes out.

Related: How we »

- Homa Khaleeli

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David Swift obituary

18 April 2016 7:56 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Actor who found fame as the irascible news anchor Henry Davenport in the TV newsroom satire Drop the Dead Donkey

The actor David Swift, who has died aged 85, found fame as Henry Davenport in the TV sitcom Drop the Dead Donkey, which achieved a sense of authenticity by including real-life topical events in the stories covered in the television studios of the fictional GlobeLink News. Swift revelled in the role of the irascible, vain Henry, a seasoned reporter turned news presenter who wears a toupee and constantly bickers with his fellow anchor, Sally Smedley (played by Victoria Wicks). He is contemptuous of the company’s largely unseen media tycoon owner, Sir Royston Merchant (Roger Hammond) – and away from the studio, he drinks, gambles, chases women and struggles to make alimony payments to his former wives.

Over six series of the Channel 4 newsroom satire (1990-98), written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, »

- Anthony Hayward

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