MPs can no longer employ family members – and SpAds are delighted

It wasn’t quite our answer to the West Wing — too young, too cynical — but it filled a Bartlet-shaped hole in the TV schedule. 

Party Animals followed a clique of sexually bipartisan political advisers at Westminster in the dying days of New Labour. Matt Smith and Andrea Riseborough played researchers to a Caroline Flintish Home Office minister, pragmatic and idealistic in the right measure, while Shelley Conn and Pip Carter worked for her shadow number, a sort of dishy Ed Vaizey eager to modernise the Tories one decriminalised spliff at a time.

There was little in the way of Sam Seaborn idealism and the implausibly attractive leads seemed to switch romantic allegiances in the time it took to power-walk down a corridor in Portcullis House. But the 2007 BBC Two drama was a guilty pleasure for politicos and anoraks. It was smart. It was funny. It was sexy. The BBC cancelled it after eight episodes.

Continue reading on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog

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