Political Animals is a four-part series by Tony Bagley, broadcast by BBC Radio 4
in August/September 2012. Each episode is a fifteen-minute monologue from the perspective of a Downing Street cat: Wilberforce (1973-87), Humphrey (1989-97), Sybil (2007-08), and Larry (2011-present).NB:
Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office is a real-life official title, and all the cats in the series have really held the position. There has always been a mouser at 10 Downing Street (the British Prime Minister's office and home) since the 16th Century.
Political Animals contains examples of:
- Cats Are Mean / Cats Are Snarkers: Especially Humphrey.
- Cluster F-Bomb: See T-Word Euphemism.
- Double Entendre
- Foe Romance Subtext: Humphrey's probably joking when he talks about his forbidden love for Cherie Blair.
Humphrey: Cherie, darling, I'm being horrid to you only because deep down... I'm crazy about you. Ours is a love that dare not speak its name.
- Hate at First Sight: Name-checked verbatim by Humphrey, describing his relationship with Cherie.
- The Ingenue: Sibyl, who is shocked by the pace of life in London and the loose morals of cats living there.
- Intellectual Animal: Not all the cats would be considered intelligent by human standards, but they are portrayed as bright enough for autobiographical monologues. Other animals, such as dogs, are just normal animals.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Humphrey: Humphrey the Lothario
uses transient sexual gratification as a balm to help him forget the deep well of loneliness inside him. What he's really looking for is love.
- Mean Boss: Gordon Brown, as overheard by Sibyl.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: See T-Word Euphemism.
- Nearly Normal Animal: All the cats are of the Largely Normal Animal subtype, having human thought processes that they can express to the audience but not to in-universe humans.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Wilberforce under Margaret Thatcher's austere regime.
- T-Word Euphemism: Humphrey substitutes 'effing' into Alastair Campbell's Cluster F-Bomb rants.
"Alastair calls the hack an effing c-word, ending in 'ing' and followed by the c-word without the 'ing,' and tells him he's banned from his next two effing c-word - with the 'ing' - press briefings."
- Unreliable Narrator: Sometimes the cats misunderstand human affairs, and sometimes they just couldn't care less.
- Windbag Politician: Tony Blair. Humphrey goes into some detail about his contempt for Tony's oratory.
- Vice City: London, according to Sybil.