Hugh Abbot - Minister for Social Affairs (Chris
Recently parachuted in by the PM when the previous Minister was abruptly
Confused about his role in his new job. Constantly trying to figure
out, with the help of his team, the conflicting messages/agendas.
Policy Co-ordinator Malcolm Tucker tells him he has carte blanche, a
fresh slate, the chance to take the department by the scruff of the
neck and take it in a new direction. But also that he must put every
single idea he is even considering through him. He wants to know everything.
Abbot owes his position to being a malleable flack-catching yes-man.
But his vanity lets him believe he has been
ear-marked for greater things.
Malcolm Tucker - Policy Co-ordinator (Enforcer) from Number
Ten (Peter Capaldi)
Scares the hell out of the Minister.
Thinks the PM's appointment of Abbot is probably a huge mistake.
Split up from his partner - and now lives for his work. Angry and frustrated.
His scorned partner is a time-bomb - preparing her deadly diary for
Channel Four's J'accuse programme.
Glenn Cullen - Senior Special Advisor (James Smith)
The Minister regards him as 'my guy'. They go back a long way and are
even slightly homoerotic in the degree to which their careers and lives
are bound together.
Has the feeling that they're living on borrowed time - is insecure.
Contemptuous of Oliver Reeder and his easy path to power - has never
seen opposition. Never worked anywhere else. Thinks he's shit hot, but
Sees himself as the source of all good common sense. Believes he instinctively
knows how 'the man on the street' thinks. He doesn't.
Oliver Reeder - Junior Policy Advisor (Chris Addison)
Came straight out of Cambridge and into a think tank and into Government.
Never had a 'real' job.
Thinks he knows what's going on but doesn't. Too theoretical to ever
really understand the workings of PR and spin.
Thinks he's cynical when he's not - thinks he knows the game but isn't
very good at it.
The most reckless/ideas-driven/enthusiastic of the group. 'Who cares
what they print?'
Terri Coverley - Civil Service Press Secretary (Jo
Was appointed by Number Ten in a new drive to make Government operate
more like a business. But now Tucker has decided she's shit - and she's
on borrowed time.
Has authority and nous but has to cave in to the Minister. 'If that's
what you want to do, who am I to stop you?'.
She was the 'anti-spin' appointment. Part of a 'new' thrust from Tucker
for transparency and trust. Her brief was to 'think the unthinkable.'
In media terms, now: 'She's thinking the unthinkable - stop her!'. They
ask her to break difficult stories to the papers: 'They'll believe you.'
Ex-press officer from Waitrose. People defer to her sometimes because
of this business background. (Even though maybe she oversaw a PR disaster?)
Angela Heaney - Sympathetic Journalist (Lucinda
Career relies upon her good relationship with the party and the Department.
Has sold out any interest in digging beyond 'the line' she is fed from
Has had/is having romantic relationship with junior policy advisor?