Pandora: Time to give our MPs a break, says Iannucci

Quick! Call Malcolm Tucker – we've got someone going seriously off-message.

As creator of the cult Westminster-based satirical comedy The Thick Of It, Armando Iannucci has spent the past few years making the lives of our Honourable Members uncomfortable. Now, however, he appears to be having a change of heart.

The Scottish screenwriter, who won the best screenplay gong at Sunday's British Independent Film Awards, claims he has started to feel a little sorry for MPs, who are top of everyone's hitlists following the summer's expenses revelations.

"We expect them to work 24 hours a day," Iannucci pleads. "They should run the country from nine until five, five days a week. There should be a half-day closing on a Saturday and all day Sunday.

"The problem is that they can't function any more because they haven't had time to think. It's the Government advisers and the Treasury that run the country now."

Still, his newfound remorse isn't enough to deter him from further mischief. "Oh, I'd like to do some more [of The Thick Of It]," he insists. "I've got thoughts about where it could go next year."

No sighs of relief from the Westminster village just yet, then.

Obama reveals an iPod favourite

*Perhaps Barack Obama isn't quite the pop-culture savvy young hipster we had him down to be.

The Beyoncé-loving commander-in-chief appears to have an unlikely soft spot for middle-of-the road dad rocker Sting. The pair met earlier this year, when the former Police frontman played at Obama's inauguration ball. "He said to me, 'You're on my iPod'," gushes Sting in this month's Mojo magazine. "I said, 'I bet you say that to everybody!' He said, 'No, really – you are'." Oh, say it isn't so!

Caine's World Cup mutiny

Possibly the only football fan in Britain not to celebrate England's place in the World Cup draw is Sir Michael Caine. "They're playing a match up in the mountains where there's no air," the veteran actor grumbles. "They've all got to sleep in a oxygen tent so they can go out on the field. I mean, we thought we had a great thing – but suddenly they're up a mountain playing football."

Not that he will be in attendance. "Actually I went to the final in Berlin and everybody said to me afterwards, 'What did you think about that thing with Zidane?' We never knew anything about it because he hit the guy up the other end. So I'm staying at home with the television in the future."

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...

*Congratulations to Vic Matcham, Ukip's new election candidate for Dover. Matcham, an ex-boxer who once fought Frank Bruno, is sure to keep local wags amused. As a Dover town councillor, he once had the dubious honour of being duped by a fake Francis Rossi. Matcham was persuaded to lay on a lavish display of hospitality for a conman imitating the Status Quo star, who explained his lack of trademark ponytail by saying "a fake one is stuck on three hours before a gig". Just the sort of safe hands we need to run the country.

Silverton's got the X Factor

*The festive season is upon us, and it is time for Pandora's very own Christmas appeal – namely, to get Kate Silverton a record deal. The well-groomed BBC newsreader stunned us with her tuneful renditions at Children In Need (we thought only Fiona Bruce could sing).

"I always love singing," Silverton tells us. "That performance was the product of many years' singing into a hairbrush. I was constantly trying to prove to my sisters that I could do it." Hottest unsigned act in Britain, we say.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home