News item dated:08/04/2015
Channel 4 today announce the commission of BALLOT MONKEYS, a darkly satirical look at the general election from the pens of Drop The Dead Donkey and Outnumbered creators Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.
So topical it's not written yet… Ben Miller, Hugh Dennis, Sarah Hadland and Kathleen Rose Perkins amongst cast on board
The highly topical 5 x 30 min sitcom will be broadcast during the climax of the May election and will intercut between the various campaign buses of the four main parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP.
On each bus, we follow the fortunes of a rich collection of characters; Press officers, line managers, empathy consultants, SPADs, IT wizards, social media monitors, political analysts, interns and even bus drivers – as they crisis manage the latest dramas and developments, the very same ones that viewers will be well aware of, having only recently read about them or seen the breaking news via social media.
The casting line-up features an array of incredible talent including Ben Miller (Armstrong & Miller), Hugh Dennis (Outnumbered), Sarah Hadland (Miranda), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Episodes), Hattie Morahan (Outnumbered), Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories), Esther Smith (Uncle) and Rhashan Stone (The Smoke.)
Filming for the series will begin one week before transmission and will draw on major themes and incidents of the campaign so far. As with the Drop The Dead Donkey editing process, Andy & Guy will leave gaps in which to insert the highly topical material at the very last minute.
Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin said, "We're very excited about this. We don't think anyone's done anything like this before, although we may find out why."
Fiona McDermott, Commissioning Editor for Comedy said, "We haven't yet decided whether we're brave or bonkers but a real time satirical sitcom like Ballot Monkeys could only be handled by the remarkable Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin. We are thrilled to have them and such an amazing cast on board our buses."
BALLOT MONKEYS is a Hat Trick production, written and created by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin and executive produced by Jimmy Mulville. The series was commissioned by Phil Clarke, Head of Comedy at Channel 4 and Fiona McDermott, Commissioning Editor for Comedy at Channel 4. The directors are Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin, Paul Schlesinger and Jimmy Mulville.