‘Veep’ Creator: “We’re Living in Both the Golden Age of TV and a Global Bucket of Swill”


During his keynote address at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Armando Iannucci had some characteristically…colorful things to say about the state of television, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Alex Ritman writes.

The creator of Veep and The Thick of It dedicated his speech to defending the BBC, which currently faces a 20%, $1.2 billion budget cut. The government appointed “panel of experts” evaluating the BBC, Iannucci pointed out, was comprised entirely of business-side rather than creative professionals, a situation he compared to “a car company [that] was looking into what car it should make next, but only spoke to managers and not to any of the engineers. Or drivers.”

Iannucci compared the British system unfavorably to that of the United States, where the governor of Maryland personally visited the set of Veep “to thank us for the work we were bringing to Maryland. Our true, essential, role in the business of making good television was acknowledged.”

The BBC, Iannucci argued, is a critically important British institution, the owner of the only British-operated website in the world’s top 100 and an important bulwark of quality in an era when it’s easier than ever to create art. Here’s where it gets good:

Everyone wants to make television. The bad news is, everyone wants to make television. Cheaper, user-friendly technology means we’re living in both the Golden Age of TV, and a global bucket of swill. For every Sherlock and Breaking Bad, there’s a billion more people filming their brother squirt baked beans from his nose and anus.

Already missing Iannucci’s presence in the fifth season of Veep? Yeah, us too.