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The Government[edit]

# Name Actor Role(s) Duration
Malcolm Tucker
Peter Capaldi General Election Advisor, Former Director of Communications, Number 10 Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials
Tucker is the aggressive, profane and feared Director of Communications for the Government. He serves two main roles: acting as the Prime Minister's enforcer to ensure the cabinet ministers all follow the party line, and managing the government's crisis management PR - usually in the form of spin. He regularly uses rumours, smears or extreme threats of violence to achieve his ends. Tucker also appears in In the Loop. He has a long-standing rivalry with fellow spin-doctor Steve Fleming, who forces him to resign in Series 3, but Tucker regains his position, giving a foulmouthed battle speech to the Ministers at the end of the episode.
Hugh Abbot MP
Chris Langham Secretary of State for Social Affairs (later Social Affairs and Citizenship) Series 1 and 2
Abbot is an inept Cabinet Minister who is out-of-touch with his electorate. While he believes he has some influence, he often finds himself at the mercy of events and bearing the brunt of Tucker's vitriol. He reads the New Statesman and has two children, Alicia and Charlie. Replaced by Nicola Murray in a reshuffle at the beginning of series 3, without appearing on-screen.
Nicola Murray MP
Rebecca Front Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Citizenship Series 3
Murray is promoted to Social Affairs and Citizenship Secretary in a government reshuffle in the run up to a general election. She is compromised by Tucker when he demands that she either tell her husband to resign from his job or send her daughter to a comprehensive school, rather than her preferred choice of an independent school. Her husband works for a company called Albany who were heavily involved in the government's prison rebuilding policy.
Glenn Cullen
James Smith Senior Special Adviser to the Secretary of State, DoSAC Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials
Cullen is Hugh's chief adviser and friend. He appears on ITN after swearing at a member of the public who confronts Abbot. He manages the transition to remain as Senior Advisor when Nicola Murray becomes Secretary of State and even attempts to be selected as a PPC in the looming general election of series 3.[1]
Oliver "Ollie" Reeder
Chris Addison Special Adviser to the Secretary of State, DoSAC
(formerly Junior Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State, DSA)
Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials
Reeder is a special adviser to Hugh Abbot and his replacement, Nicola Murray. An Oxbridge graduate, he is arrogant but inexperienced, and is often inadvertently the cause of departmental mistakes. However, the minister often takes his ideas believing them to be vote-winners. In the specials Glenn makes a reference to having originally found Ollie working in Millbank (real life New Labour HQ). Olly was seconded to 10 Downing Street after he slept with an opposition party worker and was told to use his relationship to gather information on opposition party policy.[2]
Cliff Lawton MP
Tim Bentinck Former Secretary of State for Social Affairs Series 1 & Specials
Cliff Lawton is forced to resign as the Secretary of State by Malcolm Tucker in episode 1 of the series, and is later referenced as bearing a grudge against Abbot, although it is unclear if this is simply Malcolm's spin. Bitter about his treatment, he later appears in the specials as Jamie's stalking horse during the leadership contest. Jamie unceremoniously ditches him after Cliff's identity is leaked to Malcolm.
Dan Miller MP
Tony Gardner Former Junior Minister, DoSA Series 1 & Specials
Miller managed to perfect the art of the strategic resignation in Episode 1.3. He was thought to be standing as a candidate for party leadership but instead supported Tom Davis. He remains unseen in Series 3, but Miller's "Cabal" was said to be gathering momentum against the Prime Minister.
Geoff Holhurst MP
Rob Edwards Backbench MP, Previously Minister in the MOD Series 2 & Specials
First seen as a Minister in Episode 4, he resigns following an IT overspend after awarding the department's contract to his son's firm. He reappears during the leadership race where Malcolm refers to him as being "So backbench you've actually fucking fallen off". Holhurst is noted for his small head.
Nick Hanway MP
Martin Savage Backbench MP, Spin Doctor for Tom Davis[3] Series 2 & Specials
Hanway was the equivalent of Malcolm Tucker for Prime Minister-in-waiting Tom. However, he was made to look disloyal to Tom via a series of schemes implemented by Malcolm in Spinners and Losers. Hanway had considered himself a candidate for the Prime Minister's Director of Communications, but lost out when the job was given to Malcolm again.
Clare Ballentine MP
Eve Matheson Chair, Select Committee for Education Series 2 & Specials
Ballentine is the hard-hitting and well respected Chairwoman of the House of Commons Education Select Committee; she questions the department on their SEN schools policy. She was proposed as a candidate for party Leader and Prime Minister in Special Two but declined to stand, owing to a previously-unknown online gambling addiction in which she registered with her own name.
Julius, Lord Nicholson of Arnage
Alex MacQueen Life Peer, former 'Blue Skies' Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Series 2, 3 & Specials
Julius Nicholson is a softly-spoken adviser to the Prime Minister. His close relationship with the PM and blue-sky thinking means he is often in conflict with Tucker. In the Specials, he was in charge of the Prime Minister's Legacy project.[4] Later in the series he was given his own department- the Advanced Implementation Unit. He follows cricket and has a nephew who is a day-pupil at Charterhouse School and is particularly fond of expensive biscuits. He reappears in Series 3 with a peerage.[5]
Ben Swain MP
Justin Edwards Minister in the Department of Education (formerly Junior Minister for Immigration, DoSAC) Series 3 & Specials
Swain is a supporter of leadership candidate Tom Davis[3] (a "nutter") and is therefore viewed with suspicion by other characters supportive of the current party faction heading the government. He was proven to be an embarrassment on television when faced with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, where he blinked excessively and failed to answer any questions coherently. He has written a book about "getting ahead in politics" called "It's The Everything, Stupid". In 'Spinners and Losers' he was briefly a candidate for party leadership. He was made a Minister at some level in the Department of Education in Davis' government, and has an adversarial relationship with Nicola Murray, who sacked him as a junior minister from DoSaC in an off-screen incident.
Steve Fleming MP
David Haig Former Minister without Portfolio & Former Acting Director of Communications, Number 10. Series 3
Appears late in series 3 as the PM's new passive-aggressive, creepy enforcer while Malcolm is "on holiday". Fleming manages to force Malcolm's resignation over an attempt to fix a crime statistics enquiry and, by the following episode, has taken over Malcolm's role at Number 10. However, Malcolm's machinations eventually lead to Julius Nicholson clearing Malcolm of wrongdoing in the crime statistics enquiry, while blaming it all on Fleming, forcing Fleming to resign after less than a week in office. We last hear that he has attempted to join Dan Miller's cabal.
Jamie MacDonald
Paul Higgins Press Officer, Number 10 Series 2 & Specials
Jamie is Tucker's unofficial second-in-command. He performs a similar role with an even higher level of aggression. He apparently spent five years training to be a priest and is an avid fan of Al Jolson. In the series he was only known by his first name, but he was given the surname "MacDonald" for his reappearance in In the Loop.[6]
Ed Atkins
Rory Kinnear Press Officer, Number 10 Series 3
Ed appears in Series Three, Episode One. He works in Downing Street, often reporting to Malcolm.
John Duggan
Miles Jupp Party Press Officer Series 3
An inept press officer prone to making inappropriate comments whose big fringe is supposedly there to "hide the lobotomy scars"

Her Majesty's Civil Service[edit]

|- |Terri Coverley |Joanna Scanlan |Director of Communications, DoSAC |Notionally responsible for press relations at DoSAC, Coverley was headhunted from supermarket chain Sainsbury's where she was once Head of Press.[7]. Professional but prudish, she is often left to "mop up" the bad press garnered by the department. She is reluctant to do anything outside of the remit of her job, and resents staying late.[8] |Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials |- |Robyn Murdoch |Polly Kemp |Senior Press Officer, DoSAC |Despite her job title, Robyn is Terri's secretary, and during Terri's absence is largely ignored by the minister, Hugh Abbot who was initially under the mistaken belief that she was an unknown secretary to a man called "Robin". Invited to attend Malcolm Tucker's 8.30am briefings, Julius Nicholson has her dis-invited, and she ends up killing time in St James' Park in order that Abbott doesn't realise they are no longer represented at the 8.30 meetings. Well-meaning, but politically naive, she is often sent to do menial tasks such as photocopying and tea-making especially when Terri returns in the last episode of Series Two. She finds both Malcolm and his understudy, Jamie MacDonald, partiularly terrifying. |Series 2, 3 & Specials |- |Sam Cassidy |Samantha Harrington |Personal Assistant to Malcolm Tucker |Malcolm Tucker's personal assistant and secretary, and often witness to many of his profanity-laden rants. Mostly appears in the backgrounds of episodes, but occasionally interacts with the main cast. Seems to be one of the few people who actually likes Tucker and is visibly upset when he gets the sack. As with Tucker, Sam also appears in In the Loop. |Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials |- |colspan="5" style="background: #007FFF;"|

Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition[edit]

|- |Peter Mannion MP |Roger Allam |Shadow Secretary of State for Social Affairs and Citizenship |One of the "old guard" of Opposition MPs, Peter was "around in the 80's" and is thus very resistant to spin doctor Stewart Pearson's new management jargon style of public relations. He antagonises Pearson by refusing to accept his advice and his "no tie" policy. Mannion challenged the modernising party leader, JB, in his party's leadership election, which Mannion believes is the reason for Stewart's poor treatment of him. Mannion was dubbed "Cheater Mannion" by the press during a sex scandal in the mid-1990s and once served as a Junior Minister at DEFRA. He is believed by some to be analogous to Kenneth Clarke. |Series 3 & Specials |- |Stewart Pearson |Vincent Franklin |Opposition Director of Communications |The eco-friendly, media-savvy, new-school spin man for the opposition. While Stewart is forceful and manipulative, his style is very different to Tucker, and he struggles to exert control and influence over Mannion, who refuses to take him seriously. |Series 3 & Specials |- |Emma Messinger |Olivia Poulet |Policy Adviser to the Shadow Secretary of State |Emma was Ollie's girlfriend, shamelessly used by him for Tucker's ends, but she also often steals ideas and policies from him and takes the credit. Peter is somewhat averse to her presence in his department, but she is a key ally to Stewart. |Series 3 & Specials |- |Phil Smith |Will Smith |Researcher for the Shadow Secretary of State |In the department, Phil is very much Peter's man, to the point where he even writes the former's blog. Phil shares a flat with Emma, although they are not great friends, and he and Ollie are immensely antagonistic towards each other. He often makes analogies to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books. |Series 3 & Specials |- |Cal Richards |Tom Hollander |Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition |Stewart's fearsome boss, nicknamed "The Fucker" by his colleagues, is much more like Tucker in his style. In his brief appearance he appears uncouth and possibly psychotic, screaming wanton abuse at the policy team and threatening to sack Stewart. Possibly a reference to Andy Coulson. |Series 3 - Episode 8 |- | colspan="5" style="background:#ddd;"|

The media[edit]

|- |Angela Heaney |Lucinda Raikes |Junior Political Correspondent, Daily Mail
formerly Evening Standard |As Ollie Reader's ex-girlfriend, Angela Heaney is often called in when the department wants to leak a story. However, due to Ollie's comparative lack of influence, she often ends up being misinformed. Initially working for the Evening Standard, she becomes less of a soft-touch when she moves to the Daily Mail. A journalist played by Raikes, presumably Angela Heaney, also appears in In the Loop, and Tucker mentions an incident involving Heaney near the beginning of the film. |Series 1, 2, 3 & Specials |- |Adam Kenyon |Ben Willbond |Night Editor, Daily Mail |The put-upon night editor is seen in Special Two desperately attempting to write a coherent editorial from the conflicting stories leaking from Westminster. He eventually decides to write a piece about the "Night of Spin", naming those who have annoyed him as the night's "losers". |Specials |- |Marianne Swift |Zoe Telford |Freelance Journalist |Marianne overhears Nicola telling journalists "off the record" about deleted immigration figures at The Guardian offices after a lunch. She works occasionally for the Daily Mail and appeared in Malcolm's flat as a dinner guest with Geoffrey. |Series 3 |- |Geoffrey |Peter Sullivan |Editor, The Guardian |Geoffrey is the Editor of The Guardian and present at a lunch attended by Nicola and Malcolm. He later appears at the party conference and then at Malcolm's home when he holds a meal for journalists. |Series 3 |- | colspan="5" style="background:#FF9933;"|

Unseen characters[edit]

|- |The PM |Unseen |Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. |The first unseen Prime Minister of the series, we learn that he is obsessed with leaving a "legacy" from his time in office. We also learn from Julius Nicholson that he once tried to have the chief examiner sacked over his son's retake marks. On the basis of Tom Davis's succession, it is inferred that the character was probably based on then-PM Tony Blair. |Series 1 & Specials |- |Tom Davis MP |Unseen |Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. |Tom succeeds to the premiership in the series 2 specials, having been the likely successor to the previous PM for some time, gathering a large following in the party referred to as the "Nutters". His succession is nearly derailed when rumours about his bouts of depression begin to spread. His premiership witnesses the slow decline of this government. Appears to be loosely based on Gordon Brown. |Series 3 & Specials |- |JB |Unseen |Leader of the Opposition |JB, who is only ever referred to by his initials, is the upper-class Leader of the Opposition. JB is modernising his party in order to broaden the appeal, irritating members of the party old guard. Reluctant to commit to firm policies before the election, according to Mannion he and his "Eton clique" like texting each other racist jokes, something Stewart Pearson describes as JB's progressive views. A thinly-veiled satire of David Cameron. |Series 3 & Specials


  1. ^ Character profile at, URL accessed 7/12/09
  2. ^ Character profile at, URL accessed 7/12/09
  3. ^ a b The new PM is variously called Davies and Davis in reasonably authoritative sources. A newspaper draft in the second special clearly reads Davis, however.
  4. ^ "Four - The Thick of It | Julius Nicholson". BBC. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  5. ^ "LocateTV - The Thick of It S3 E7". LocateTV. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  6. ^ "Four - The Thick of It | Jamie". BBC. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  7. ^ Series One, Episode Two
  8. ^ Character profile at, URL accessed 7/12/09