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Hugh Laurie, Rory Bremner and Morwenna Banks star in this six-part comedy series that sends up both politics and traditional sitcom conventions.

1993, and the party of the loony right and centre sweeps to power, changing the face of politics forever and drastically disrupting the very normal, very predictable, very sitcom lives of the actor-residents of Microcosm.

When the newly appointed prime minister, the Rt Hon Action Man, MP, moves into No. 10, his first priority is to change the curtains. But next he must appoint a cabinet - starting with the minister for honesty, Sir Lord Knight - and try to uncover the mystery behind the clandestine Department of Secrets.... With the country getting bored, the government stirs up a convenient crisis; and a new event, 'No War' Anniversary Day, is added to the PM's diary (to rank alongside 'No Horse' Ascot Week and 'No Balls' Wimbledon).

Meanwhile in Microcosm, the villagers are sitting around being stereotypes, experimenting with character development, taking lessons in scene-changing technique from the mysterious Mr Mann (including a lecture on fading footsteps) and finding out what radio feels like from inside a hi-fi. Will they emerge as the lead characters in a sitcom of their own? Only the narrator knows - but when he goes AWOL, and the sound effects go missing, it spells trouble for Microcosm. It'll end in tears - not to mention resentment, revenge, malice and attempted murder....

Written by Moray Hunter (Spitting Image, Absolutely), and first broadcast in 1987, this surreal, satirical, marvellously meta comedy features Hugh Laurie, Morwenna Banks, Robin Driscoll, Robert Glenister and Clive Mantle, with guest appearances by Rory Bremner.

Production credits

Written by Moray Hunter

Produced by Jamie Rix


Starring Morwenna Banks, Robin Driscoll, Robert Glenister, Hugh Laurie and Clive Mantle, with Rory Bremner

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 16 May-20 June 1987

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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