The Thick of It S3E2 Script

Episode #3.2 (2009)

I'm very sorry I woke everybody up, James.

Well, we could always give the kids earplugs, you know.

Or sedate them.

Maybe a bit of friendly heavy sedation.

Oh, bollocks!

First in the SACK race.

And they capitalised SACK, just in case anybody thought it was a piece about what a good sack racer I am.

Gotta go, I am being car-jacked.

(I'm actually very happy with my broadband provider, yeah.)

There were other meetings right about that time and I need to see all of those.

Glenn - can you put stuff with staples through a shredder?

No! Yes you can, it does credit cards.

Who is gonna break the news to Nicola?

I'm gonna do that and I'm gonna do it alone.

I'm just gonna give her the pre-briefing, right?

I'm just gonna blind her with bad press.

A bumpf. You do the...

Yes. Back in the neck.

You've seen the sack race thing, I suppose.

Yeah, there it is.

It's not funny! It's not even accurate because technically I was fourth.

So really they should have said "Fourth in the SACK race"

I think we should complain to the PCC.

Look - stop worrying.

The PM is not going to sack you after a week.

Sacked after 12 months - looks live you've fucked up.

Sacked after a week looks like he has fucked up.

And I'm not doing terribly - am I?

I love the way they've sandblasted everything around here.

So clean!

Robin, you've got no time to shred those.

Please take them to the lavatory or something.

Did she just say take them to the lavatory?

Are you going to stand there like that?

(both) Yes!

You look the end of a wedding.

You're gonna give her an arch?

Just go and get her!

She'll never guess there's anything wrong.

Fucking idiot.

I'd just like people to get to know the real me.

You know I feel like I'm coming across as a bit...

Oh, I don't know.

Glum. Smug?


Yeah, you're coming across more smug than glum.

Cause I am actually quite a fun person - underneath all of this I've got loads of friends.

Well, I'm sure you have, but the trouble is when you say something like that it sounds a wee bit smug.

Could you just pull in over here?

And you could take out that cyclist as you're going I think he's shadow cabinet.

Could you meet me at the door tomorrow?

Sorry. I'm carrying two fridges in.

Yes, of course.

Yes ...

Right - so the lunch, I've been with the Guardian and and in the end I thought maybe not the Mail - they might be nice to your face but then brand you a a men-hating euro slag.

Ollie - if you had to choose three nasty adjectives that describe me, what would they be?

I'm sorry?

Well I was just talking to Malcolm and he mentioned a pejorative word which I hadn't thought of before so I'm just keen to get your take.

Okay, top three? Yep.




Frumpy and ...


Yeah, okay.

Why not egg and spoon?

Egg and spoon would have been better than sack.

Yeah but, you know. Egg on face?

She must go spooner rather then later ...

If you dropped it - Yolk-o Ono. You know...

Morning... Secretary of State!

Something terrible has happened.

Oh, lovely Terri. Beautifully finessed.

What? It's my duty to advise you of appendix 4 of a Data Protection Acts advisory note to government departments.

Sounds like you're arresting me.

Appendix what?

Shut it, we lost the questions here, mum.

I was being a police-woman?

Look - somebody explain to mein simple terms what has happened, cause at the moment I feel a bit like I've wandered into a cryptic crossword compiled by Rumpel-fucking-stiltskin.

Basically - every British citizen, who's arrived here in the last 7 and a half months, uhm ...

Their names have been wiped.

The immigration database is blank.

Oh, fuck.

Oh fuck - this is a fucking disaster.

Well the last hope was that Ollie had it that thing ...

What... a memory ... Stick.

Well I only said it just cause you looked like you were gonna self-harm.

I mean they've gotta be somewhere - surely.

Yeah, well they're not actually in that drawer.

I'm getting Nurofen, Terri.

Do you not backup, you people?

I backup! I barely even know what backingup means.

I really thought that today we were gonna start to fight back, you know.

And it looks like we have started to fight back by beating ourselves up and poking out our eyeballs with our own fucking teeth.


Right - who primarily should I be shouting at?


Oh, thank you very much!

I have here the minutes which are a record and ...

You know what? You don't just over-write minute You specifically can't do it, cause you can't unlock a pdf file.

Somebody has just done a huge poo on my desk and I want it cleared up.

My bum is clean - it's clean as a whistle and I'm gonna tell you something interesting unless you take the hard-drive, smash it up with a hammer or you drop it in acid, that data is gonna be retrievable it says so on the BBC website.

I need a shortlist of people who are responsible Glenn - will you bring me a shortlist?

... with your own name on it.

Malcolm's on his way over.

Does he know?

I don't think so, do you want me to go and ask?

(everybody) No! -What?!

Right, we need to cancel the Guardian lunch.


That would be a ridiculous signal to do.

That's the kind of signal that a dying whale sends out

♪Wooo, we've lost the immigration figures.♪

... sort of a signal. Would you all please just fuck out of my office... For a long time.

Very good. Got you a croissant.

Morning desk-jockeys.

Is glummy-mummy in?

I think she's on the phone.

All right. Why don't I just cool my heels here?

Good morning, Malcolm.

Do you know, Malcolm?

The best way to clear a paper jam?

I don't know.

Kill a kid an hour until it sorts itself out?

Excelent time, Malcolm.

Uh, great. So if you could just sort out the sack race situation for me that would be terrific.

Yeah, what would you like me to do on that?

Uhm, ideally - build a time machine so that we can go back and not invite the photographers to the sports day.

If I fail to build the time machine?

Just sit on it really, Terri. You know - stop it growing.

Stop it like a tumor.

Thank you, yes.

So, Malcolm.

Oh oh oh - incoming body parts excuse me.

Look - if this is getting any bigger, you're gonna feel the thump of a fucking harpoon in your thorax.

Does he know?

Well, follow him.

... I hope that you like shitting toenails, because that's what you're gonna be doing all of the next week.

And don't worry - I've painted them yellow so they'll look like fucking sweet corn.

The guy's a fucking liability. Jesus Christ.

Listen, I will ...

Look, I couldn't hear everything he takes very long strides...

Are you a fucking penguin? Just run.

Look, I'm a civil servant not a fucking olympic athlete!

Right - what's ocurring Herman GÃ♪ring?


You're fucking kidding me.

Excuse me.

Two minutes and I will be back.

I'm fucking okay footballer ...

That's it - he knows.

Do you want me to follow him again?

Yes, no. Yes - I'm Secretary of State. Yes!

Do as I say.

How that list going on?

Glenn, who's on the list?

It's not a big list.

Well get going on the bloody list!

Hi, Robin!

Hey, look. Uhm, you know Phil Davis?

Is he a Davies or a Davis?

I know you don't like me, Glenn, but you're not sacking me...



I'm protecting you.

Okay, well - you know, I've got you back as well.

Even though I know you are the guy who authorised the wiping of the back-up.

Well that may or may not be true.

Well - it is true.

It may or it may not be true.

Well, that is true.


Then if it was a short term stategy it allows you to develop a long term strategy ...

Explain it to them.

We've just been discussing the data loss incident and...

Could we not call it "the incident"?

Just sounds like a toxic spillage.


How's the time machine coming on, Terri?

Have you managed to find a flux capacity yet?

Well I had to come fetch Glenn...

It was a joke, it doesn't matter.

I was thinking one possible strategy might be not to tell anybody.

What - we keep it a secret?

Sorry - Malcolm's coming back.

Tell me more about not saying anything.

Well it's pretty self-explanatory.

Or not? Robin.

Maybe you could get us some teas.

Okay - what does everybody want?

I'll make a little list - shall I Glenn?

A cappuccino - please. A herbal, please.

A Lemon zinger. Really?

Yes please.

Lil' pigs... Little pigs.

Let me come in. Don't worry about the hair on the chiny-chin-chin.

So what was your call?

What was my call?

Did you - You want to know what my call was ?

Was it important?

I'm sorry I didn't realise that I had to run all my calls through your bed-wetters switchboard here.

I usually just dial 118.

Malcolm, do you know?

Obviously he knows... No, he doesn't know.

There has been a massive irretrievable data loss.

The last 7 months worth of new immigrant details have gone - apparently lost in the computer.


Do you know what's really fucking sad here - is that I don't have the energy to pretend I already knew.

Which is for the best - because I'm gonna need all of my fucking energy to fucking rip all of your bodies to bits with my bare hands and sell off - yes - sell off your fucking flailed skin as a sleeping bag to a fucking normal person.

Can I just say that getting angry isn't gonna help anything I've done anger, I'm currently at grief I'm working my way towards bargaining - whatever you know - you're behind me.

So - what is your great strategy for dealing with this?

Come on - I'm fucking all ears I'm fucking Andrew Marr here.

So let's - Terri let's hear what you Let's go, let's get going high-level technical discussion, I'm up for it.

Right - blaming the departmenet, minister - might be a high-risk strategy Oh, high-risk. Saucy. Pass F.

My pitch would be - this departement is fatally flawed.

It's out of condition, it's obese it's astmatic.

That's it girl - back over the net.

You need to be really sure about that, Nicola.

Yes, wise words from the distinguished elderly gay fucking tennis couch here.

Seriously I think we should talk about my strategy futher because I really think that's the way...

Yeah, the fucking wee boy is having a go now with his fucking tiny shorts on.

What about Sue Barker's little sister here.

What's she got to say?

You've got something to say to add to the conversation?

No, just that there was no Lemon zinger so uhm... This is coffee, is that alright?

Do the Guardian know about this?

Oh for ... Of fucking Guardian - I don't know.

Have this refer to my departement.

Should I find out? Get some feelers?

Yeah you go and get your feelers out for the lads.

What do you think, Malcolm?

Shitting on the departement, will that work?

Yes, let's cause a little bit of friction.

Let's fire someone.

What about Glenn?

Well you can't just fire Glenn like that.

We could fire Glenn. Should I get his file?

No. I've got a list!

See there you are, he's got a list.

You're a new broom you're sweeping up trouble with one end broom handling incompetent staff up the tunnel with the other.

So - Malcolm - how do we play it to the Guardian?

Smile. Be gay.

Smile smile smile.

So, uh... Who's gonna be there?

Oh, plenty. There's gonna be all the hacks.

There's the editor, the leader writer, all the political staff and actually - unfortunately I heard that the so-called cartoonist is going to be there you know the one drew the picture of you smothering the dove of peace with your breasts?

For no apparent reason.

Do you want to run any policy stuff - any lines?

You know - things you might like to say?

Look - what about the "plastic vs wooden toy" thing?

Oh God - no no no. That was absolute 4am stuff that was to be filed away with community support park keepers completely top-of-the-head stuff - no no.

No I think this is just about showing the real Nicola...

Operation "Not smug, not glum."

Well I'm told this lunch is on the 5th floor, so.

It's taking a while, I mean, maybe we should - we should just walk.

I'm not walking to the fifth floor.

I would actually like to be able to speak by the time we get up there.

No look - if I come into the lift, I become convinced I'm gonna die so I'm gonna walk. I'm sorry - claustrophobic, sorry.

I'll just check that for the duration of the lunch we are all we are all off the record, yes?

I mean - but we're happy to be on.

No, off is best.

It's a bit like when the snooker comes on on the telly you know, you just - off. Off.

Uhm, how's it going with her?

How are you finding her?

Uhm, Nicola?




Hello, Nicola Murray. Hello...

... very formal, isn't it? I need to lighten up.

Yeah I like to use the stairs sometimes, to - you know just a bit of a laugh.

Right, so uhm - wll done, bit of a baptism of fire first week - the whole "I'm bent" thing, the sack race stuff Oh God yeah - that was annoying.

And hilarious.

Annoying and hilarious?

Yeah, you know, like Russel Brand - you wanna hate him, but he's just funny.

Well - what about the current problems?

Which - which problems in particular?

Just asking, we're off the record.

I'm not playing any games with you I'm not tobogganing you, anything like that.

Well, it's only been a week.

A lot of data to keep on top of I imagine?

Oh, there really is, or are -

Is? Are? Data.

Don't know. Plural?

Come on - you're the Guardian.

I don't know, it's a minefield.

We do - very much keep on top of it.

Or them. The datas.

That's a very important part of what we do.

And we back up everything. *Don't talk with mouth full!*

All the time.

Afternoon, ladies.

I heard there were sandwiches and I'm a fucker for crest.

No no no, please don't get up, I'm not Viagra.

Jeffrey. Always a pleasure.

John, how you doing - I just want to tell you I really enjoyed your novel.

Oh, thank you very much.

Way of writing a fucking awful story.

Joking, joking!


Ay? She's not smug.

She's not sour, is she?

Thanks, Malcolm.

See what it is is these bastards the other bastards - they are selling her as smug and sour.

You know why that is?

Cause she's a proper person.

With dyed roots and stretch marks.

She's not not one of these assholes that goes on the One Show - fucking laughing their heads off about the fucking Apprentice offers.

She's ordinary.

And they can't handle that. Yeah?

But that's why we need you guys - the good guys on site.

I mean we certainly gotta get through you, you couldn't be any closer.

I'll tuck a bit closer to you.

No no - that's enough, thanks.

Yeah, I don't wanna do that - you know.

Not with your little - wandering hands syndrome you've got.

You managed to patch it up with her?

Not now. No, Malcolm, thanks.

You're still sleeping in the car, yeah?

Sorry - Nicola. We talked about immigration what's gonna happen when there is the next inevitable immigration foul-up how is that gonna work?

Look - she's been in the job a week.

The departement shit the fucking shit.

She's working her fucking lady bollocks off trying to get things done in there she's really doing alright alright?

Fuck's sake.

Well - a week is a short term in politics.

I think as a rule, I will be very happy to come and talk policy.

Fantastic. That's great.

What's a trademark Nicola Murray policy?

Well - there's the - the wooden toys.

... Thing. Brilliant.

Yeah, I mean it really is. We're knocking about some ideas about plastics. I'm aware that my kids' toybox is full of plastic and they have very few of the little wooden toys you know, that would have been traditionally played with by their forefathers and four.... mothers - it's a big family.

And plastics sometimes contain carcinogens, so ... the first step I think is going to be probably trying to decarcinegenosize ... toys. You know - mass decarcine-genocide.

The simple message here would be -

Let's get back to wood, simple wooden toys uhm, for simple people.

Children - it's very early days.

And obviously we will tighten that up a bit.



Good. Good.

Good. Fine.

Good, good.

Funny old departement to come into, isn't it?

You know, obviusly you've shied away from talking about it in there but immigration - is there all sorted there ?

Right - we weren't sure whether you knew or not.

Yeah - that's DoSAC.

You say that - I had no idea when I came in that we were just hemorrhaging citizenship data.

Hemorrhaging? Yeah, it's the last 6 months worth.

God! Did you - how did you ...

Did you know?

Well we do now.

Well - thank God we're off the record.

Bye bye John, lovely to meet you.

Sorry, bye bye - it was nice to - I didn't catch you name Oh, it's Marianne, actually.

Marianne. Right. Yeah.

So you weren't at the lunch - weren't you?

Uhm, no actually I'm freelance, I'm just doing some feature shifts.

Sorry - Marianne - you were behind us just now coming down the stairs weren't you - so.

You heard what we were talking about.

Yeah. But we were off the record, so.

That's... Well. It's very nice to meet you anyway.



We're over here.

Come on! What are you doing marking out you territory.

Welcome to the mothership.

I just need some air. Ollie.

Can you - come with me? Open the door!

Come with me now.

A post-match puker is she?

Come on! What is it?

Look over there- there's a woman red hair - young woman on the phone.

She was behind me on the stairs, I though she was off the record she was actually on the record so I need you to go over there now take whatever was on the record off the record.

It doesn't matter - don't be thick for once just go over there and just say it's off say whatever it was was off the record, go.

Now, run, run, run. Marianne...

I don't know what she said.


I'm gonna miss my winetasting again tonight.

I expect you're probably a single-malt man.

I mean I quite like ...

Look for fuck's sake we both know I've got blackberries to check.

Marianne - I'm not threatening you, but -

What? Well like I said I'm not threatening you.

Well usually the phrase "I'm not threatening you, but ... " is followed by a threat.

I'm sorry Malcolm, I'm really sorry.



We'll never get another fucking adjective til I get to fucking smug and glum.

... haven't we - FUCKING RETARDED!

Jesus Chr - Do you not think it would have been germane to check who you're talking to - it's a fucking newspaper office it's not a fucking sanatorium for the fucking deaf - is it?!

Are you so dense ?

Am I gonna have to run around slapping badges on people with a big tick on it with a big cross on others so you know when to shut your gob and when to open it?!

Jesus Christ...

Oh but that would probably confuse you as well - won't it that'd be too confusing - you'd see the cross and go - oh - X marks the spot - better tell this little person all about the Prime Minister's fucking catastrophic erectile dysfunction.

Oh but - not to worry. Not to worry you've sent fucking Ollie over there to deal with it -


He's a fucking knitted scarf ... fucking balaclava!

Well, you're on a very shaky legal groud there.

No, I'm really not.

Look - the departement is not fit for purpose, really I mean - Terri's quite bad and...

Not just Terri - I mean - I'm not gonna name names but Robin Robin's shit.

Alright, moth. Fuck off.

I'm sure that we can settle this matter of of you - eavesdropping on a private conversation.

It was a public conversation.

No - you are - you think you're so clever.

You are so totally wanking with the wrong crowd here because this man - right? This man IS the press I mis-spoke and I mis-saw you ...

Nicola! Fuck... What have I done?

So do you think this is gonna advance your career?

Is this you moving forward?

At least my career has got a trajectory whereas yours is about to crash head-on into a change of governement.

Don't you worry - girl, because I can still fucking steer some fucking flaming wreckage right in your fucking direction. Yeah, I tell you what -

Once it's printed I promise I come'll back to you for a reaction quote - how's that?

Darlin' - I wouldn't fucking piss on you if you were fucking allergic to piss - right?

On you go - walk the walk. Quite enough for one day - thank you.

Walk the walk - fuck right off - go on.

We'll live though this - won't we?

Nicola - I've got the list ready whenever you're ready.

I'm ready now - actually.

I can do it in a reversed order if you like - like the pop charts.

Oh, how was meet the press?

It was not great.

They didn't know about the data loss - they do now.

Okay - well that's not too bad though off the record - they can't use any of it.

No - I was ambushed by a not-off-the-record journalist.


Oh - fuck!

Alright - from now on - none of us let her out of our sight.

She's not to be trusted. Sorry - minister.

Terri - Yes?

Where in the civil service guidelines does it say it's absolutely fine to leave your minister alone with a hostile journalist, if you just can't be asked to walk down the stairs?

Now I'd already pressed the buton. Absolutely.

However, it was supposed to be on Ollie's stick - so he is the last man standing.

Hey hey hey! At least I know how to use a stick

... mister Floppy.

Have you finished?

Well no - I imagine I'm gonna have to do it over and over again until you go on the fucking course.

Okay - let's call a truce.

Let's agree that nobody in this room is gonna be sacked okay?

For now.

I've still got the original list here.

Okay, let's start with that.

Top of the list is - Kelly Peters.

No. Why not?

She's a very nice girl, Kelly Peters.

I mean, she's very kind. She often lends me hard bucks.

Terri - The Mail is on the phone.

Christ. Don't worry - I'll deal with it. I'll deal with it.


Yeah. No no no. Absolutely - I mean.

There are too many implications, just simply cannot go with the idea of sacking Robin, okay?

Are you sleeping with her?

What? No!

Although everytime he does see her in his head he just hears *bow chiki-bow bow chiki*


It just seems to me that all we'd be losing if we got rid of Robin is somebody makes a wee cup of tea, you know.

Shit, Malcolm.


Get over here. Now.

Might be advisable to wear brown trousers and a shirt the colour of blood.


Has he run of? He does that.

Yeah - he just gone really HBO.

I've gotta go to Number 10 now.


Need my coat - and a one of you - Terri.

What? I need my - right.

Oh, fuck - shoes.

Do you want me to go with you?



Okay. Right - we're off.

I'm actually wondering whether to take a Narcan and a lift.

I just wanted to say to you by the way of introductory remarks that I'm extremely miffed about today's events and in my quest to try to make you understand the level - of my uhm - unhappines - I'm likely to use an awful lot of - what we would call - violent sexual imagery and I just wanted to check that neither of you would be terribly offended by that.

I could actually do without the theatricks I think, Malcolm.



You need to learn to shut your fucking cave.

Right? Today, you have laid your first big fat egg of solid fuck.

You took the data loss media strategy and you ate with a lump of E. coli.

And then you sprayed it our of your arse at 300 mph.

I simply made a mistake.

You got on the record and off the record fucking mixed up!

What would have happened if like George Martin would have done that?

They wouldn't be no fucking Beatles that's what.

Now - I don't give a fuck about that.

I've got to fucking sit next to Paul McCartney in fucking checkers.

The data loss wasn't my fault.

Fine, yeah - but I tell you what.

It came out fucking pretty fast once you were in there, didn't it?

Whick make me wonder - whould I just go and talk to the boss, should I go and tell him -

"I don't think she's up to the job."

You said yourself if he sacks me after a week that looks like HE's fucked up.

Yeah - but that was before- when your only problem was a fucking shit pun in a newspaper and a face like a dog caught in lick and piss of a nettle.

Okay - I messed up - Right?

I messed up, but -

I will from now on listen to every bit of advice you give me.

I'll go on Question Time wearing a push up bra and a fez.

I'll do the hustings on stilts if that's what you tell me the strategy is because you know about that stuff, Malcolm I know that. It's just that I've got things that I want to do, alright?

Of course you do like Montessori fucking rocking horses I suppose.

No no no. The Mail have the motherload on this - right?

So that means there's a way through this for us but it entails you Medea eating a complete concrete mixer full of humble pie.

Right - what's the strategy?

The Kraken awakes...

No no - it's just that this is the first bit of the meeting that hasn't been about expletives and feses and stilts and teabagging - I mean - this is the bit that relates to media management.

I didn't say anything about teabagging.

Do you even know what teabagging is?

Not really - no.

I'm told it's unpleasant.

Who'd you want me to call?

The Mail. Get The Mail in.

Okay, come on - The Cheeky Girls that's it back on tour.

Yeah, love you work. Teabagging?

Yes, this is Marianne from The Mail.

Glenn - I've told you who I want you to fire.

I need you to do it, not me, because because I'm relatively popular around here and frankly - you've got nothing to lose.

Well, this is it, Robin, this is me - true to my word.

Andrew, mate - sorry, nothing personal - you've gotta clear your desk and go.

What? Please don't hit me I'm wearing glasses.

What I'd like to say to your readers is that the person responsible is being fast-tracked to the dole queue as fast as her kitten heels will carry her.

You need to leave your badge, obviously Security ... Stick it!

Andrew please, don't take it like this - please.

Is everything right out there? It seems a ...

That was uhm - the person responsible.

Didn't you say something about kitten heels?

It's never a pretty bussiness, but you know -

... he made mistakes and - And he had to go.

Ollie perhaps you could show Marianne to the lifts Actually I thought I might take the stairs - see what else I can pick up on my way out.

Very funny.

Hi Nicola.

You're alright?


Robin, could you get me some tea?


Uhm... Bad moment?

You sacked the wrong person, Glenn.

They're all bad moments.

Glenn. How's Nicola?

She look so...


She looks like I feel when I visit Sheffield.

Well I don't think The Guardian liked us going on the record with Mail.

I did and spin it - I got them to take "frowny" out No you didn't - frowny's the second adjective.

Oh. Well - I did do something.

"Nicola Murray looking glum, frowny and tired was overheard moaning about ... " Glenn, mate... what would you do if you found that a dongle that everyone had thought was lost was right at the bottom of your second best bag?

I don't think, we'd want it back.

"One of her gems is a plan to outlaw plastic toys."

Right now, Ollie, Nicola hates us but if she knew we'd found it - she'd start laughing.

Hating - is better than laughing.

Trust me.

"Why anyone would like to brand her a kill-joy our a sourpuss is beyond us. "

That was it - it was sourpuss.

They wanted to put "sour" - I suggested the "puss".

Morning. Morning.

I'll see if I can find a hammer and some acid.

/subs by .knotie/