Now Cameron to be subject of sitcom that scandalised Australia

 

The domestic dust-ups and amorous exploits of David and Samantha Cameron are set to be the subject of a sitcom from the producers of a comedy about Australia's Prime Minister which has provoked outrage.

At Home With Julia, which mocked Julia Gillard and her "first bloke" Tim Mathieson, provoked calls for a cut in state broadcaster ABC's funding following a scene in which the couple had sex in the Prime Minister's office using the Australian flag as a sheet.

The producers plan to relocate the series, satirising the domestic disharmony suffered by a leader struggling with a fragile majority, to Downing Street. The format is being sold at the Mipcom television market held this week in Cannes and producers Quail Television are holding talks with UK producers and broadcasters. The series would be the first sitcom based around a real incumbent PM.

Rick Kalowski, creative director of Quail Television, said: "The format is about the balancing of professional and personal life and that applies to different leaders and circumstances.

"In the English version you have Cameron's wife, Samantha, who comes from a very affluent background but has to live in this pokey accommodation. The comedy also comes from the tensions between Cameron and Clegg power-sharing in No 10."

At Home With Dave could find a berth at Channel 4 or even BSkyB but Mr Kalowski hopes that the BBC will commit to the series. The Australian show depicted a hapless Ms Gillard trying to balance a shaky home life in The Lodge, the PM's residence, with the irritating independent MPs she relies upon to stay in office and an ungrateful electorate. After saying she had taped the show, Ms Gillard has claimed to be "too busy" to watch the series, which attracted one million viewers.

But it has been credited with boosting a politician with an image problem by humanising her. Mr Kalowski said: "Julia is a funny, interesting character. People like Julia more since the show's been on air. They prefer the fake Julia to the real one." The series was attacked by Australian MPs for being disrespectful to the office of the premier. ABC has decided not to commission a second series, so Quail is seeking to create an international network of At Home With... shows.

"We would work with producers and satirical writers in Britain who know about Downing Street life," Mr Kalowski said. "We turn around episodes quickly and we put in jokes right up to the last minute, like a Murdoch phone-hacking gag which we added."

The BBC, which in the 1980s screened Yes, Prime Minister, attempted a more domestic Downing Street comedy in 2003 with My Dad's The Prime Minister, a series aimed at children, co-written by Ian Hislop, also featuring a fictional leader.

Channel 4 is to screen a Comic Strip film, The Hunt For Tony Blair, a noir-style spoof in which the former PM, played by Stephen Mangan, is sought by police over the mysterious deaths of Cabinet colleagues.

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