Life imitates art far more than art imitates life, Oscar Wilde once said. And he reached that conclusion without the benefit of seeing mockumentaries such as the London Olympics spoof Twenty Twelve, the US White House satire Veep or its British inspiration The Thick of It, which is about to return for a new series.
This time, the comedy's creator, Armando Iannucci, was approached by real political aides offering real political secrets. With great discretion, Iannucci declines to say whether the politicos wanted to dish the dirt on their rivals or spin the reputation of their political masters.
But in a world where Boris Johnson gets stuck on a zip wire, Jeremy Hunt breaks his hand bell ringing in the Olympics and Francis Maude advises householders to store jerry cans filled with petrol, the adage "you couldn't make it up" has been replaced by the realisation that a writer does not always need to.