Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Londoner's Diary; Armando Iannucci Reveals a Recipe for Keeping Politicians Healthy and Finds Himself Spinning out of Control

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Londoner's Diary; Armando Iannucci Reveals a Recipe for Keeping Politicians Healthy and Finds Himself Spinning out of Control

Article excerpt

I seem to have spent most of the past few weeks talking endlessly about my film, In The Loop. This is the counter-punch to the enormous high you get if you're lucky enough to be given lots of other people's money to make a film: namely, the obligation to go out and sell it. I feel like a man with a suitcase full of brushes wandering round local hardware stores.

At one point, I sat in a hotel room and spoke on camera to 25 interviewers, each one for eight minutes. As the afternoon went on, and each journo's face blurred into another, I started to worry that an anecdote I was telling one of them was the same as an anecdote I told someone else four minutes earlier. And then my stomach dropped when I realised the journalist I was with had been speaking to me for about seven minutes. This meant that in those precious few moments I had with her, I'd possibly told her the same story twice. I tried not to look nervous at this point, in case she took the rictus grin on my face to mean I was having a massive stroke alongside a serious mental condition. Instead, I changed the anecdote mid-course, and brought it safely home to another conclusion. As the journalist left, I was satisfied I'd knocked on the head any suspicions of senility. Alas, I couldn't tell whether this outweighed the disadvantages of leaving her with the impression that, as a wit and raconteur, I was no more dexterous than a blabbering gibbon.

At times, doing a publicity campaign gave me an inkling of what it must be like being a politician on the eve of an election. You work hard getting your message across, you smile at a lot of people you've never met, and, in the end, your fate is determined by the public. That last realisation is frightening but also humbling. There's something proper in the fact that someone like me can shout all he wants but no amount of publicity is going to stop you doing what you want, even if what you want is just to turn me off.

One other political parallel is that I ended up canvassing for In The Loop in places I wouldn't normally go. On Kerrang! Radio, for example.

I did at one point come dangerously close to appearing on Loose Women and I did a stint on The Wright Stuff discussing corporal punishment with Terry Christian. …

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