The Thick of It is a British comedy television series that satirises the inner workings of modern British government. It was first broadcast for two short series on BBC Four in 2005, initially with a small cast focusing on a government minister, his advisers and their party's spin-doctor. The cast was significantly expanded for two hour-long specials to coincide with Christmas and Gordon Brown's appointment as prime minister in 2007, which saw new characters forming the opposition party added to the cast. These characters continued when the show switched channels to BBC Two for its third series in 2009. A fourth series about a coalition government was broadcast in 2012, with the last episode transmitted on 27 October 2012. In a 2012 interview, series creator Armando Iannucci said the fourth series of the programme would probably be its last.
The series has been described as the 21st century's answer to Yes Minister, highlighting the struggles and conflicts between politicians, party spin doctors, advisers, civil servants and the media. As with Yes Minister, the political parties involved are never mentioned by name, although the context makes clear which is which. Iannucci describes it as "Yes Minister meets Larry Sanders". The journalist and former civil servant Martin Sixsmith is an adviser to the writing team, adding to the realism of some scenes. The series became well known for its profanity and for featuring storylines which have mirrored, or in some cases predicted real-life policies, events or scandals.
A feature film spin-off, In the Loop, was released in the UK on 17 April 2009. A pilot for a U.S. remake of the show was not successful, but Iannucci was subsequently invited to create Veep for HBO, a programme with a very similar tone and political issues, with the involvement of some The Thick of It writers and production members.