Sue Lawley's castaway this week is the satirist Armando Iannucci. He has lampooned news journalism with his creations On the Hour and The Day Today and plumbed the shallows of the chat show circuit through the vain and insecure Alan Partridge. His most recent work has been more biting: his Westminster satire The Thick of It dissects the relationship between politicians, their spin-doctors and the media they want to control. Decisions are made on the hoof, in haste and in response to media pressure - there's not a politician, civil servant or journalist who isn't compromised in the process.
A highly academic child at a Jesuit school, in his teens he harboured ambitions to become a Catholic priest. His parents thought he might become a doctor or lawyer, but after getting a first-class degree from Oxford, and spending three years writing a thesis about religious language with reference to Milton, he concentrated on comedy instead. He joined the BBC and ended up producing the radio comedy programmes he had listened to as a child.
He is currently involved in developing new comedy for the BBC and is this year's Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media at Oxford University.
This programme includes language which may offend some listeners.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: Opening of Mahler's 9th Symphony by Gustav Mahler
Book: Complete Short Stories by H G Wells
Luxury: Virtual sherry trifle
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|Interviewed Guest||Armando Iannucci|