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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor