Ballot Monkeys: New comedy series to air from creators of Drop The Dead Donkey

Ballot Monkeys will air as the election campaign reaches its May climax, with each of the five episodes written and shot in the days before transmission

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The Independent Culture

Life on the election battlebuses will be satirised in a topical Channel 4 comedy series from the creators of Drop The Dead Donkey.

Ballot Monkeys, penned by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, will air as the campaign reaches its May climax, with each of the five episodes written and shot in the days before transmission.

Drawing on major themes and incidents of the campaign so far, each episode will cut between what Channel 4 calls “the various campaign buses of the four main parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Ukip.” The modified Routemaster running on chip fat and vegetable oil operated by the Greens has been excluded.

Channel 4 said: “On each bus, we follow the fortunes of a rich collection of characters; Press officers, line managers, empathy consultants, SPADs, IT wizards, social media monitors, political analysts, interns and even bus drivers – as they crisis manage the latest dramas and developments, the very same ones that viewers will be well aware of, having only recently read about them or seen the breaking news via social media.”

 

Ben Miller plays Kevin Sturridge, the Lib Dem campaign co-ordinator, a “lifelong Liberal who’s ground down by the humiliation of the coalition.”

Hugh Dennis appears as Martin Frost, the Conservative Deputy Campaign Manager, who is “heavily overworked and can be very caustic.”

Sarah Hadland is Kate Standen (Ukip) – “Office support manager, ex TV presenter with an inflated notion of her abilities” while the head of Labour’s front line team Jack Pardew, played by Trevor Cooper, is a John Prescott-style old Labour stalwart.

As with the editing process for the newspaper satire Drop The Dead Donkey editing, the writers will leave gaps in which to insert topical material at the very last minute.

Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin said, “We’re very excited about this. We don't think anyone's done anything like this before, although we may find out why.”

Channel 4’s election coverage also features The Vote, a drama broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse, set in a fictional London polling station and which will air on More4 between 8.30pm and 10pm, on May 7. The play by James Graham, explores the act of voting in Britain, and stars Dame Judi Dench and Mark Gatiss.

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