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6 February 2007updated 03 Aug 2021 8:19am

How Party Animals went down

A new TV series about life in Westminster has hit the airwaves prompting much comment in the blogosp

By Martin Bright

The response to Party Animals, the new BBC2 drama about researchers in Westminster has been “mixed” as they say. The Guardian did a useful round-up of responses from people who have worked in Westminster, which ranged from those who thought it was uncannily accurate to others who found it moronically wide of the mark.

The general consensus is that it’s perfectly diverting, but not quite The Thick of It. But then perhaps if the programme makers had intended it to be The Think of It, they would not have called it Party Animals but something else. The Thick of It, perhaps.

The most balanced account is an anonymous critique on the Guardian’s Comment is Free site. Recess Monkey is also in on the act and links to some other good researcher sites.

As the programme’s political consultant I can confirm that every inaccuracy in the programme was identified in advance by me and ignored by the programmme makers for artistic reasons.

The comments from Lib Dem reseracher Joshua Green made me giggle “I objected to the cynicism of it all, and the way we were all portrayed as being so ruthless. Mind you, I do work for the Liberal Democrats. We don’t drink that much or do all those class A drugs either”. But Joshua’s life is pure rock ‘n’ roll compared to that of Murad Ahjmed, another Lib Dem researcher who in the Sunday Times: “Party Animals fails to capture my abiding memory of parliamentary life — the overwhelming boredom. And geeks, when bored, fall into a dangerous spiral of geekery. I remember fighting off another intern for the best part of an hour to sit at the researcher’s desk when he wasn’t in (it had the best view of the TV).”

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I must tell the writers to try and capture that overwhelming sense of boredom for the second series.
However, for geekishness nothing beats this insane minute-by-minute commentary from Hamer Shawcross.

Meanwhile, Kerron Cross, who describes himself as “The Voice of the Delectable Left” seems to think the character of Danny (moody, idealistic, Labour to the bone) is based on him. My lips are sealed.

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