Previously described by creator Armando Iannucci as a cross between Yes Minister and The Larry Sanders Show, the satire, starring Peter Capaldi as foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (pictured), will be on BBC Two at 9.45pm for the start of its fourth series.
The show is set to feature government embarrassments, ministerial mistakes, Coalition rows, backroom deals, policy U-turns, spin-doctoring, political back-stabbing, wild media speculation - and more time spent with one's family.
Roger Allam is back as MP Peter Mannion, the new Secretary of State for The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC), supported by his team of special advisers who are headed by Number 10's Director of Communications Stewart Pearson (Vincent Franklin), and thwarted by his new Coalition partner, DOSAC's Junior Minister Fergus Williams MP (Geoffrey Streatfeild).
Also returning is MP Nicola Murray, played by Rebecca Front. Both she and Tucker are now consigned to Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition but are still desperately hoping for a return to power. Front and Capaldi won BAFTAs for their roles at the 2010 awards, with the show also being named Best Situation Comedy.
The ensemble cast is completed by Chris Addison, Joanna Scanlan, James Smith, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Ben Willbond, and Rebecca Gethings.
Tensions are running high in DoSAC. It is launch day for "Silicon Playgrounds", the Coalition's new digital youth policy masterminded by Junior Minister Fergus Williams. Number 10's spin doctor Stewart Pearson delivers the bombshell that the PM wants digital-illiterate Peter Mannion to launch the policy, rather than Fergus. What could possibly go wrong with that? All Fergus gets left with is drawing up the list of staff redundancies, and Terri Coverley [Joanna Scanlan] is pretty sure she can make his hit list if she plays her cards right, finding help from an unexpected direction.
The Thick Of It began life on BBC Four in 2005, and a feature film spin-off, In The Loop, was released in the UK in April 2009. As well as the four series there have also been two TV specials, which aired in 2007.
A US remake of The Thick Of It, announced in October 2006, didn't get beyond a pilot episode, despite networks such as ABC, HBO, Showtime, and NBC having originally expressed an interest in the series. In 2009, Iannucci entered into fresh talks with HBO over the possibility of an American adaptation and since then the series Veep, although not a direct spin-off, has been written, directed, and produced by Iannucci for HBO.