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5 items from 2015

TV comedy’s top 10 jargon abusers

22 April 2015 4:11 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

To celebrate the return of W1A, we salute the top 10 comedy characters who talk absolute mother-thumping rubbish…

Yesnobrilliantverygoodverystrong. As satirical BBC mockumentary W1A returns tonight for a triumphant second series, we celebrate TV comedy’s rich lineage of jargon fans.

Drawn from across the political spectrum and from TV’s most biting depictions of the worlds of business, government, technology and the media, these guys are master obfuscators. They're neologism-coiners and proponents of the kind of abuses to the English language that, in a just world, would see them locked up and force fed copies of The Elements Of Style.

From The Thick Of It to Peep Show, Yes MinisterThe OfficeNathan BarleyThe Day Today, and Drop The Dead Donkey, across the Pond to 30 Rock and Silicon Valley, we present TV comedy's top ten full-of-it jargon-meisters.

Stewart Pearson - The Thick Of It

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- louisamellor

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Ballot Monkeys: did the first episode get your vote?

22 April 2015 2:22 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A new topical satire from the creators of Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered promises last-minute political gags from the general election campaign

Channel 4’s new election comedy Ballot Monkeys has an awful lot going for it. Its cast is rammed with talent. It’s written by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, settling back into their political roots after the cosy time-out of Outnumbered. Its subject matter could barely be any more timely. Plus it’s set entirely on four buses, so it’s probably quite cheap to make.

And yet there was only one real reason why I watched Ballot Monkeys last night. I wanted to see the join. Portions of each episode are written on the day of transmission for topicality, and then scattered throughout the existing material. And, as unkind as it sounds, I wanted to see how badly these bits stood out.

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- Stuart Heritage

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Laughing all the way to the ballot: comedy’s role in a general election

16 April 2015 5:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

There’s little in this campaign’s comedy roster to suggest comedians will forcefully express any opinions about politicians – which is a missed opportunity

What is comedy’s role in a general election? Over the last few weeks, a raft of telly events have been announced to tie in with the vote. We’re promised an election sitcom, Ballot Monkeys, by the writers of Drop the Dead Donkey. Set on the campaign buses of (what Channel 4 defines as) the main parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, plus that of Ukip – it will be filmed only a week before transmission, to maximise the cuttingness of its edge.

Elsewhere on the wee screen, we’ve got election editions of The Last Leg, Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk, Charlie Brooker’s Election Wipe, and – safely post-election and on iPlayer only – Frankie Boyle’s Election Autopsy. There is also Newzoids, the so-called new Spitting Image, »

- Brian Logan

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Channel 4 to air 'real-time' election comedy starring Ben Miller

7 April 2015 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Drop the Dead Donkey writer returns with satirical show Ballot Monkeys incorporating events and bungles on the campaign trail

Channel 4 is to air a “real-time” political comedy in the runup to the general election starring comedians Ben Miller and Hugh Dennis and created by the writers of cult hit Drop the Dead Donkey and sitcom Outnumbered.

The topical five-part series, Ballot Monkeys, will follow in the footsteps of successful political satires such as The Thick of It, focusing on the frenetic scheming and machinations of a group of managers, press officers, strategists and spin doctors on the campaign trail in the runup to polling day.

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- Mark Sweney and Tara Conlan

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New election sitcom Ballot Monkeys to air on Channel 4

7 April 2015 4:01 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Channel 4 has commissioned a new political sitcom.

The satirical Ballot Monkeys will focus on politicians campaigning for the four main parties in the run-up to the General Election.

Sky News unveils 2015 General Election coverage details

Trevor Cooper, Ben Miller, Sarah Hadland and Hattie Morahan star as candidates for Labour, Lib Dem, Ukip and the Conservatives. The show will intercut between the various campaign buses.

Drop The Dead Donkey and Outnumbered creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin will write the five-episode sitcom.

The pair said: "We're very excited about this. We don't think anyone's done anything like this before, although we may find out why."

Fiona McDermott, Channel 4's commissioning editor for comedy, added: "We haven't yet decided whether we're brave or bonkers but a real-time satirical sitcom like Ballot Monkeys could only be handled by the remarkable Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.

"We are thrilled to have them »

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