CineTV Contest : A. B'STARD
This is my entry into the CineTV contest 38, Favorite Political Movie or Television Show. Link is here.
Name - The New Statesman
Released - 1987-1994
Director - Geoffrey Sax
When I saw this competition I knew there could be only one! I was shouting at the screen Alan B'Stard, Alan B'Stard! Probably one of the most accurate political television shows ever broadcast.
The legendary Rik Mayall from Bottom and The Young Ones fame plays one of my favorite characters of his, Alan B'Stard. (Lord Flashheart is one of my very best favorites!) Alan can only be described as a self-centered sociopath who has gone completely power crazy.
So yes, a typical politician who would sell his own grandmother in order to keep his title and position. Alan is more despicable than even your average Bullingdon Boy, Bulla Bulla Bulla!
Oh no, what am I saying? This show actually used to be satire but has become a reality with today's politicians! It is hard to believe how things have changed.
The show is also full of great cameos like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. Stephen Fry who is actually a toff in real life is really at home in his character here and pleasant to watch on screen. Almost as much as Lord Meldrum in Blackadder Goes Forth.
The show follows the highs and lows of Alan's political career and some of his escapades in Westminster as a right-wing Tory MP. The gags flow thick and fast and I find myself constantly laughing like crazy at some of the outrageous scenes Alan is involved in.
A loveable rogue is not something you could ascribe Alan to and at no point do you find yourself being in sympathy with him. He is 100% focused on just himself to the bitter end.
The arrogance, the contempt for others and particularly poorer people. Sometimes comedy is funny because it is truth that you wouldn't normally find on the BBC. There were many scandals involving Tory MPs in the 90s to bring further disrespect to politics and these things are played out well with many gags along the same lines.
Ironically, being involved in a scandal back then, meant resigning and waiting a year or two before getting a cushy job in Europe. Nowadays there is no resignation and the mockery of the public is much greater.
Being a huge Rik Mayall fan, it is really easy for me to love this show. I also know most of the insinuations, sub-themes, and gags that run through the show. There is never a dull moment and it is comedy at its finest.
One funny scene was getting rid of hospital waiting lists, Alan suggests closing down the health service as a solution. Oh, the irony of modern times!
Thanks for reading.
► Alan B'Stard's worst moments: