Political satire about a television news company.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Dave Charnley 66 episodes, 1990-2008
...  George Dent 66 episodes, 1990-2008
David Swift ...  Henry Davenport 66 episodes, 1990-2008
...  Damien Day 66 episodes, 1990-2008
...  Sally Smedley 65 episodes, 1990-2008
Robert Duncan ...  Gus Hedges 64 episodes, 1990-2008
Susannah Doyle ...  Joy Merryweather 55 episodes, 1991-1998
Ingrid Lacey ...  Helen Cooper 42 episodes, 1993-1998
...  Alex Pates 24 episodes, 1990-2008
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Storyline

Political satire about a television news company.

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Comedy

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Release Date:

9 August 1990 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the BBC documentary show, Comedy Connections (2003), screened in March 2006, the cast members confessed that most of their lines were actually written on the pieces of paper and clipboards that they were forever looking at during each episode. This was because scripts were written so close to transmission in order to keep it topical, that they often didn't have time to learn all their lines before shooting began. See more »

Quotes

Gus Hedges: Coach, if I could input into your mental mainframe for a moment...
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Crazy Credits

For the first four series, the end credits invariably featured two characters discussing a recent news item in voiceover. This was changed to a more conventional final scene each week for the last two series due the pressure of filming so close to broadcast. See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #7.114 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

I hope they don't really make the news this way
9 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

"Drop the Dead Donkey" ran in six series from 1990 to 1996. The bulk of the humour deals with then-topical British news, so the program doesn't really travel well, or last more than a week (a long time in politics). Best of all the episodes released on video was the award-winning "The Christmas Party", which had hardly any up-to-date content.

The central characters are all exaggerated caricatures of office and media stereotypes. Robert Duncan was good as jargon-spouting executive Gus Hedges, and Jeff Rawle as ineffectual editor George Dent. Haydn Gwynne played the cool, competent editor with a messy private life almost too well, so that the lighter Ingrid Lacey didn't have the same impact when she later filled the same role.

Stephen Tompkinson's acting was probably the best although he was mainly used for the slapstick scenes. (Listen for the inimitable voice of Andy Hamilton playing luckless cameraman Jerry, screaming "Damien!!!" as Tompkinson's suicidally reckless reporter leads them into imminent danger, in almost every episode.)

Susannah Doyle was a good "PA from Hell", but Sara Stewart's portrayal of a vapid blonde in the same slot in series 1 was also a delight.

David Swift's portrayal of a vain newsreader must have been uncomfortably close to some real life newsreaders, with his booming delivery, ruined liver, and his obvious "syrup of figs".

The series may have been killed off, but some of its highlights deserve to be remembered for a long time. Well done everybody, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin in particular.


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