Time Trumpet

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Time Trumpet
Time Trumpet.jpg
Time Trumpet opening title screen
Created by Armando Iannucci, Roger Drew, Will Smith
Starring Richard Ayoade
Matthew Holness
Adam Buxton
Jo Enright
Stewart Lee
Jo Neary
Mark Watson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time approx. 30 minutes (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Original run 3 August 2006 (2006-08-03) – 7 September 2006 (2006-09-07)

Time Trumpet is a six-episode satirical television comedy series which aired on BBC Two in 2006. The series was written by Armando Iannucci, Roger Drew and Will Smith[1] in a similar manner to Iannucci's earlier one-off programmes 2004: The Stupid Version and Clinton: His Struggle with Dirt. One sketch was later spun off by Irish network RTÉ into the cult TV series Soupy Norman in 2007.

Premise[edit]

Time Trumpet is set in the year 2031 and is a retrospective documentary on the first thirty years of the 21st century. Actors and actresses played the parts of 'today's stars' thirty years on, who were interviewed as part of the show. These 'older selves' included David Beckham, Anne Robinson, David Cameron, Sebastian Coe, Charlotte Church, Ant & Dec, June Sarpong, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Charles Clarke, Noel Edmonds, Chris Moyles, Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Bob Geldof, Natasha Kaplinsky, Prince Harry, Jamie Oliver and The Woman who released the Doves at the end of the Michael Jackson trial.

The show also included interviews with comedians, billed in the show as "top cultural commentators slash TV pundits", speaking about the events of the past. These included Stewart Lee (also appearing as the baldheaded 'Stu Lee', the implication being that he was contractually obliged to shave his head and change his name), Richard Ayoade, Jo Enright, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton, Mark Watson and David Sant, who was billed as 'European Footballer of the Year 2021'.

The off-screen interviewer Iannucci is seen once per episode at an oblique angle; he seems to have had plastic surgery on his face, and is wearing a long blond wig.

Each episode had a main theme running throughout, such as The Olympics or the War in Iraq. The main running gag was the promise of a catch up with "an increasingly odd Tom Cruise" and would feature the elderly actor making bizarre claims such as to be "pound for pound the world's strongest man".

Episodes[edit]

Episode Airdate Main Theme Featured Content
Episode 1 3/8/2006 Early 21st Century Politics
Episode 2 10/8/2006 Binge Drinking in Britain
Episode 3 24 August 2006 The War on Terror
  • The War on Terror resulting in banning anything too terrifying or frightening and strip searching becoming so commonplace people start walking around naked
  • Catching up with Tim Henman
  • The Girl with the Voice of Boris Johnson
  • Cilla Black's live autopsy
Episode 4 17 August 2006 The Royal Family
  • The most popular TV show of all time, Rape an Ape
  • War between Tesco and Denmark
  • A decline in popularity for the Royal Family, which leads to no one turning up at the coronation of King Charles and a royal referendum
  • Hit polish soap opera Pierwsza miłość
Episode 5 31 August 2006 Iraq War
Episode 6 7/9/2006 The 2012 Olympics

Controversy[edit]

The third episode, which featured a jumbo jet crashing into the British Houses of Parliament and the subsequent assassination of Tony Blair, was due to be screened on 17 August 2006, but was cancelled in the wake of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot and substituted by another episode. The cancelled episode was subsequently shown a week later, without the footage of an assassinated Blair.[2] However, a related sketch was aired, involving a play on the events of 9/11, where two towers are flown into an aeroplane.

Home release[edit]

A DVD of the series was released on 27 April 2009.[3] The assassination of Tony Blair sketch was also removed from this.

Legacy[edit]

  • One sketch depicted real-life Polish soap opera Pierwsza miłość becoming a hit across Europe, which was followed by a scene dubbed into English in a humorous way, changing the setting from Poland to Ireland. This ended up forming the basis of the cult TV show Soupy Norman on RTÉ.

American remake[edit]

In December 2011, US network Comedy Central announced they would be remaking the series, with Iannucci as producer [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Time Trumpet official credits URL accessed November 2006
  2. ^ Chortle.co.uk, URL accessed 5 November 2006
  3. ^ Amazon.co.uk, URL accessed 12 February 2009
  4. ^ [1] Comedy.co.uk/

External links[edit]