Martin Bright

Bring Back Party Animals

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Apart from the odd terrorist plot and the beginning of an already very nasty election campaign, nothing much has happened in my absence!

Yes I had a nice Christmas and New Year, thanks. It certainly made a change from being threatened with a libel action by an Iraqi billionaire as I was last year. And yes, I was not entirely serious when I described the festive break as Winterval in my last post. I even attended a very traditional village nativity play and loved it. 

The telly was traditionally dreadful. But one of the highlights of my Christmas was watching Matt Smith regenerate as the new Dr Who, which confirmed beyond any doubt the genius of the producers of the cruelly discontinued BBC poiitical drama Party Animals. 

Fans of the series, which has taken on cult status in Australia (I know, strange isn't it?) will remember Matt as the tortured Labour researcher, Danny Foster. Andy Buchan, who played his brother Scott, has gone on to star in the latest series of Cranford and take the lead in the historical legal drama Garrow's Law. Andrea Riseborough, (the intern Kirsty in Party Animals) has since played the young Margaret Thatcher and the title role in the Civil War drama The Devil's Whore, while Shelley Conn (Tory candidate Ashika Chandiramani) raunched it up in Mistresses. And that's not to mention The Spectator's own Clemency Burton-Hill, who played a journalist in the series. The older generation were also well-represented by Raquel Cassidy and Patrick Baladi.

No one ever pretended Party Animals was the West Wing (or Yes, Minister or The Thick of It come to that) but the BBC didn't allowed it to get into its stride with a second series. Now the young actors are almost certainly too famous and too expensive to ever consider it. But you never know. An election campaign special? I dare the BBC to be bold.