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Starting off on radio in 2000, this impression-based sketch show became a TV series in 2002. Jon Culshaw is its main star. The radio series originally ended in 2005 (barring a one-off special in 2007 to mark the resignation of Tony Blair), and the TV version was quietly cancelled in 2007. After a long absence it returned to radio in July 2014.
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Not related to the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers.

Common parodies:

  • George W. Bush — "My fellow Animaniacs." Bush mangles the English language like no-one's business.
  • Tony Blair — Prone to over-pausing and (especially on the radio) describing his mannerisms. There was an interesting scene in one Children in Need where Jon Culshaw was doing his impression. Then the real Tony Blair arrived...
  • Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark — Announcing popular song lyrics as if they were headlines, and usually ending with "More on that story later.".
  • Fiona Bruce — Sex-obsessed. For a clean quote: "I'm Fiona Bruce. Breaking news, breaking hearts." On the radio this role was taken by the popular Radio 4 newsreader and continuity announcer Charlotte Green.
  • The Fourth Doctor — One of Culshaw's best-known impressions. He's also done a few of the other Doctors as well.
    • In one sketch, he rang various actors who had played the Doctor over the years. This lead to some very amusing quotes, including:
      Culshaw: Hello, this is The Doctor.
      Tom Baker: That's odd... Oh no, no, there must be a mistake, I'm the Doctor.

      Culshaw: I'm in a situation of extreme peril! I have had to leave my timestream, go forward to the future, join you in your time stream — and have you help me.
      Sylvester McCoy: Have you been at the pub?
      Culshaw: For several millennia!
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    • In fact, he's impersonated almost every Doctor, as seen when he appeared on one of the BBC's Doctor Who retrospectives. He's not done John Hurt and Peter Capaldi yet, but give him time.
    • He has also impersonated Tom Baker in an official capacity in the Doctor Who – Expanded Universe, voicing the Fourth Doctor in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio play "The Kingmaker" and Fake Shemping Tom's voice in the 50th anniversary parody Reunion Show The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (both of these starred Tom's successor Peter Davison).
  • David Cameron — as a vote-grabbing populist who prefers to avoid controversy.
  • Sir Menzies Campbell (at the time, leader of the Liberal Democrats) — a doddering old man who liked to sleep a lot. Needless to say, this one was a bit on the controversial side. This impression was retired after he stepped down.
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  • The BBC Radio 4 continuity announcers (back when the show was on the radio), particularly Brian Perkins, portrayed as a gangland boss fond of torturing and dispatching those who upset him. In the TV series, Michael Buerk took over this role.
  • Theresa May — alternatively spineless and halfway over the brink of despair, or stubbornly hell-bent on a Brexit deal in the face of all reality.
  • Michael Gove — backstabbing weasel who speaks like a teenaged girl.

The show has also parodied other British TV and radio series such as Torchwood, Robin Hood, Hustle, You Are What You Eat, Bleak House, The Apprentice (the British version), The Weakest Link, The Archers, and more. American shows popular in Britain also featured, such as House.

The TV show was quietly cancelled in 2007, but in 2009 a new sketch show, The Impressions Show, was released along the same premise, primarily featuring Culshaw alongside Debra Stephenson.


This series has examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • Iain Duncan Smith, leader of Britain's Conservative Party in the early oughts, is so unpopular, that Saddam Hussein reasons he could probably make a good bid for the leadership himself. Duncan Smith, for his part, isn't too concerned, but he notes if he was up against Genghis Khan or Adolph Hitler, then it'd be a serious problem.
    • After May's leadership challenge, Jeremy Corbyn hosts a press conference to brag about how 60% support is nothing, when he couldn't even get 20% from his party.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Faced with an imminent nuking of Britain, Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott plan to produce Jeremy-spawn to repopulate Britain with a more socialist-friendly clime. Then Abbott finds out Corbyn was actually hoping to reproduce with John MacDonald...
  • Ambiguously Gay: Tony Blair, who dumps Cherie as his wife in favour of Robin Cook (who is a guy), and in one speech indicates he's trying desperately to get George Bush's attention.
  • Anachronism Stew: The radio version had a sketch supposedly celebrating the 700th anniversary of The Today Programme, with a look back at the first, which was set in the Hundred Years' War but nonetheless had expies of modern presenters and politicians talking in Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe. This proved popular enough to get a TV adaptation (which used Newsnight instead).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A Running Gag on the radio version has Andrew Neil introducing his three guests, which run something like "A jellyfish with an arts degree; Davros, creator of the Daleks... and DIANE ABBOTT!". Abbott is introduced with a greater degree of incredulity each time.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Andrew Marr inadvertently and suddenly evolves into a ball of light mid-newscast.
  • Audience Participation: During a live show in Cardiff, Jon Culshaw was doing an impression of Tony Blair referring to a controversial incident during a Labour Party conference in which a protester was thrown out. A few members of the audience made an unpredicted contribution, to which he responded fully in character.
    Tony Blair (Culshaw): The stewards involved were working on the advice of the security services.
    Audience members: Bullshit!
    Tony Blair (Culshaw): We live in a society where you are free to say that and I welcome it.
  • Badass Baritone: The BBC Radio 4 announcer, who routinely gets applause from the audience just for saying "BBC Radio 4". He eventually manages to drive off a Hostile Show Takeover on The Today Program by John Bercow by pointing out how "deep and booming" his voice is, then demonstrating it.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A recurring joke in the first radio series was situations going contrary to what usually happened in real life (The British football team playing well, Irish politicians politely agreeing with one another), only for it to turn out to be a Heineken advert.
  • Bald of Awesome: Ross Kemp's is noted, with him defining each of his roles as "Angry Bald X". It gets very strange when he decides "Angry Bald Queen Mother" and "Angry Bald Australian Feminist" are the next logical steps in his career.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Tetchy Jeremy uses his powers to turn Andrew Neil into a toad, after he asks Jeremy about his Brexit strategy too many times. DIANE ABBOTT simply remarks how she thought it would make more of a difference.
  • Black Comedy: The 2017 special, as one might imagine of a special revolving entirely around the subject of Britain being nuked.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • "Yet Another History Program", presented by Simon Sharma.
    • "Yet Another Historical Drama", which is no way resembles Pride & Prejudice.
    • Ceebeebies The Brightly Coloured Blobs, who resemble kids shows such as the Tweenies, but in a way that "doesn't infringe copyright".
  • Blatant Lies: The Speaker for the House of Commons, John Bercow, assuring all that rumours of bullying in the House are lies. They aren't wedgies, or swirlies, but time-honoured institutional ceremonies.
  • Boxed Crook: Delia Smith gets arrested after it turns out she's a serial-killer, but the police release her to help track down another serial-killer, who drains men of their bodily fluids. Or Nigella, as she's otherwise known.
  • Bowdlerise: Thora Hird's Nice History, "where we refuse to dwell on the unpleasant side of life". Including examples of Henry VIII actually being married to the same wife for his entire life, or a contingent of Roundheads and Royalists meeting atop a hill to have a lovely picnic.
  • Catch-Phrase: Many, e.g.:
    Tony Blair: PEO-PLE...... of Britain... (begins running commentary describing his hand movements). Later changes to "[derogatory remark] of Britain", after Blair's popularity sunk.
    Linda Barker: Which we think works really really well!
    Matt Smith of Go 4 It (not that one): Ace!
    George W. Bush: My fellow... ("Invertebrates", "Umbrellastands", anything but "Americans".)
    John Humphries: And the time is coming up to... (some bizarre number or concept like 'eleventy-umpteen past banana' - referring to how Humphries famously would read the time out incorrectly and convince millions of drivers they were late for work)
    Greg Dyke: My name is Greg Dyke! And I am director general of the BBC!
    Nigel Farage: No no no, let me speak!
    Donald Trump: 'Losers!' or 'Bigly big!' or 'Fake news!'
    Theresa May: I can't come to the phone right now, because [comment based on her recent activities]
    David Davis: 'Brexit Bulldog here' and 'they didn't reckon with the master negotiator!'
    John Bercow: ORDER ORDAH-ORDAH-ORDAAAAAAAH!!!
    Jean-Claude Junker: [word that rhymes with] Hue!
  • Character Filibuster: John MacDonald has to repeatedly restrain himself from launching into socialist rants at the drop of a hat, to no real success no matter how hard he tries.
  • Characterization Marches On: The first episodes of the TV series portray Deliah Smith as being boring and out of touch. A few episodes later, she's an Ax-Crazy murderer who kills other TV chefs so as to free up the TV schedules for her own show.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: When Jeremy Corbyn asks DIANE ABBOTT what there is about the tories he can talk about that will not get slammed as hypocritical, she immediately declares the podcast over for the week.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • The Doctor, at least in how he is perceived by all the people he rings up.
    • Former England football team manager Sven Erikson, who's so bizarre Kirsty Wark is momentarily taken aback.
    • The first series of the TV show portrays Queen Elizabeth II as a scatter-brained old lady "who holds all the great answers without realising it", after the Paul Burrell affair.
  • The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: One of David Davis' zany schemes actually works, namely his idea of putting a DeLorean on the M25 and getting it up to 88 MPH to go back in time and prevent Britain joining the EU in the first place... because it turns out if you drive like crazy, you can achieve 88 MPH on the M25. Also, he does manage to time-travel.
  • Completely Missing the Point:
    • When BBC Radio 4 burns down, a fireman tries to save some of the workers, only for them to miss the point of his trying to do his job, and try and psychoanalyse him instead.
    • One of Tony Blair's schemes is to replace fire engines with clown cars, despite Kirsty Wark pointing out that clown cars can only go a few feet before exploding in a hilarious bang. Blair confidently states that this will make them better than the Green Goddesses note .
  • Counting Sheep: Sarah Sanders tries getting rid of Donald Trump this way. Unfortunately for her need to sleep, he becomes horrified by how many sheep there are.
  • Cozy Voice for Catastrophes:
    • "Penelope Wilton Talks You Through the Apocalypse", wherein Penelope Wilton convinces the listeners that horrific nuclear bombardment is nicer than it seems.
    • "I'm Hue Edwards, comfort blanket for the news."
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Queen Elizabeth the II, faced with the destruction of all Great Britain, says to them that in the end, Earth was her third favourite planet.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mark Lawson, during his time as host of Newsnight Review. Given the personalities he's stuck with, it's not hard to see why.
    Mark Lawson: (after a particular bout of nonsense from Germaine Greer) Right, we're knocking on Broadmore's door but they won't let us in...
  • Delayed Reaction: David Davis crows to Theresa May over the phone about finally having secured all the Brexit conditions he ever wanted and more, having not gathered that the French PM's nervous and hurried responses were more because he was trying to get to a nuclear bunker, and that in short order those demands were very much about to be null and void. Then what he's caused sinks in.
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host:
    • The BBC's desperate attempts to find a replacement for Angus Deayton fail when it turns out that their last hope, Pudsey the Bear, is also a coke-snorting fiend.
    • One of the Brightly Coloured Blobs turns out to also being doing drugs.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Could describe any one of David Davis' "ideas", but his resignation brings it to new heights - resign, wait for Theresa May to miss him, and get abducted to work for the government again a la The Prisoner. May doesn't miss a beat before replacing Davis, who locks himself in his car trunk while waiting, and is still inside when it's dragged off, because he parked on a double red line.
  • Disguised in Drag: A ludicrous scheme of David Davis' has him disguising himself as a woman to marry the French president and get half of Europe's money in a divorce settlement. Things start going wrong when his taxi driver mistakes Davis for a stripper...
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Why is Theresa May so hell bent on Brexit? As she reveals, when she was a child, she tried running through a corn field, only to be caught and admonished by the field's owner. So, she devised a plan to get Britain out of the EU, destroying British agriculture, solely to get back at him, which she regards as entirely worth it.
    • Jean-Claude Junker swears that if he hears the word "backstop" one time too many, after discussion on the Irish Backstop, he'll sink Finland.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Invoked on commentary for the England team's performance in the 2018 world cup, where one of the commentators asks his fellows to repeat each other, "just a little bit differently". Including special guest commentators Jedi Master Yoda.
  • The Ditz: Transport Minister for the May government Chris Grayling, who actually seems unable to tell when people are speaking to him, and makes increasingly idiotic decisions regarding transport to cover up his previous cock-ups.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Nigella Lawson's habit of "sexing up" her cooking is parodied, when she gets bored and decides to sex up doing her taxes, or cleaning the toilet.
    • Fiona Bruce tends to introduce herself with one.
  • Downer Ending: The 2017 special ends with Great Britain being nuked into oblivion, and worse, Michael Gove survives.
  • Dreadful Musician: The Sing Something Simple Singers were regularly featured on the show's version of Crimewatch for "murdering hundreds of innocent songs".
    • Musical Assassin: After being dropped by The BBC, they were turfed out onto the streets and got tough to survive, as illustrated by some Lyrical Dissonance-
      Fill this holdall with money
      Or we'll blow you and the customers away!
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: When Matt Smith (not that one) left Go 4 It, the radio version interpreted this by having him told by his producer to "investigate what it's like inside a sack", after which he was bundled into a van and thrown into a river.
    I'm drowning! Only joking. No, I'm not. (Glub, glub, glub.) ... ... ...Ace.
  • Epic Fail: David Davis and a team of supporters try to survive on purely British goods on the wild streets of Solihull. They fail miserably.
  • Evil Brit: Spoofed with "Alan Rickman Plays The Bad Guy In Every American Film".
  • Extreme Doormat:
    • Jeremy Corbyn is portrayed as one, even in the face of total nuclear annihilation, wanting to try and get the missiles to engage in talks.
    • Theresa May, who complies with every decision Arlene Foster hands down, regardless of how potentially provocative it might be.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The senior Tory leadership decide that in a choice between nuclear fire or being locked in a bunker forever with Michael Gove, they'd rather take their chances with the nuke.
  • Faux Horrific: One sketch has a show revolving around Directory Inquiries, and their desperate quest to prevent people being mildly inconvenienced.
  • Fetch Quest: Gandalf keeps sending Frodo on epic quests... to fetch things like milk and cigarettes ("But don't tell Bilbo! He thinks I've given up.")
  • Film at 11: "I've got something to put in you, I've got something to put in you, at the gay bar, gay bar. More on that story later."
  • Follow the Leader:
    • An in-universe version has a bored Gil Grissom decide to imitate Sam Tyler and get hit by a car in the hopes it takes him to a simpler time. Which it does. But it also takes him into the world of Miss Marple instead.
    • Another in-universe one, when the BBC outright admit that they'll do what they always do when another network comes up with a popular idea: "nick it!"
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: President Trump tries to tell children about Hansel and Gretel, recast as immigrant children arrested by the "wise" king ("with huuuuge hands!"). The story doesn't have an ending, because he hadn't thought of one, and has gone waaay off-story long before then.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Nigella Lawson can't even use a pen, or clean her toilet without them "exploding" at her touch.
  • Global Ignorance: Press secretaries at the White House have to deal with Trump thinking Jerusalem is in Britain.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: A recurring sketch has Ian Mackellen and Alan Rickman fighting over who gets to be the resident Evil Brit, ultimately resulting in them shooting each other to death. Literal ham-to-ham combat.
  • Hidden Depths: David Beckham was depicted as being fairly dim off the football pitch, but displays occasional moments of cutting insight or cultural depth.
  • Human Sacrifice: Trump's visit to the fictional locales of Britain comes to an end when, after being refused by the people of Balamory, he visits the charming little island of Summerilse, where the locals make a giant wicker man for him to enjoy their local festival in...
  • Hurricane of Excuses: The British football team, circa the turn of the century, had excuses for just about damn near everything as to why they were so terrible, to the extent they started running out, and had to blame badgers invading the pitch.
  • Hypocritical Humour:
    • The original radio series has Alan Bennett condemning some aspect of modern media, followed by him and Thora Hird doing the exact same thing (e.g. speaking out against violence, then throwing the radio out the window).
    • The Newsnight Review segments have the reviewers criticizing The Cat in the Hat, then speaking in Dr. Seuss-esque rhyme as they describe just how much they didn't like the film, or criticizing the selfish and unpleasant contestants of Celebrity Big Brother, then acting exactly like them ("they just talk about themselves all the time. Would I do that? Me? Talk about myself? Would I do that?")
    • Jeremy and Diane's Labour Podcast has a bad run when DIANE ABBOTT keeps reacting instinctively to statements Corbyn makes that apply just as well to him.
    • Gardener's Question Time reassures the audience it's a safe-refuge from the constant Brexit tedium... then the panel get into a no-confidence vote.
  • I Am the Noun: Laura Kueensberg declares "I am the chaos" when revealing she engineered Theresa May's challenge to make news.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Jacob Reese-Mogg routinely gets visits from three ghosts trying to get him to change his ways. He just has his underfootman suck them up with a vacuum.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Delilah Smith, who brutally murders other chefs with a machete, then cooks their remains on TV.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: BBC political commentator Laura Kueensberg gets really animated on hearing her coworkers talk about Brexit.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Love Island goes rogue, ignores the Offcom complaints, and starts driving its contestants to suicidal despair, putting them in shark-infested hot tubs by holding their loved ones hostage, and releasing anthrax on the contestants.
  • Improbable Weapon User: One sketch has Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi fighting with baguettes.
    Your baking products are weak, old man.
  • Inherently Funny Words: Invoked and weaponized by Alan Bennett, who declares no-one can out-whimsy him saying "macaroons".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Jeremy Clarkson's argument against driving trains to work. After all, if everyone drove trains, where would they park them?
  • Insistent Terminology: Jeremy Corbyn refuses to see the mass resignations from the Labour Party under his leadership as resignations, but rather "conscious unshufflings".
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: Clarence the Angel shows David Cameron what Britain in 2018 would've been like if he'd never been born... it's a peaceful, quiet utopia, with families happily gathered together at Christmas, not divided by xenophobia over "immigrants" or fear over economic damage, and Nigel Farrage has buggered off into obscurity. Cameron completely misses the point, and celebrates all the damage his actions have caused.
  • It's All About Me: Theresa May, depicted hiding from angry Brits, or whining about how austerity hasn't worked for her, and as a result she's lost her job and wound up in an abusive relationship with the leader of the D.U.P.
  • Jackass Genie: The true source of Theresa May's becoming prime minister is a cursed monkey paw, as she bitterly laments once everything's gone tits up.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: A newly "nice" Michael Gove gets torn between his new persona and the old, vindictive backstabbing "bad" Gove. Bad Gove wins out.
  • Jerkass:
    • Why does Gandalf keep sending on long, tedious quests for mundane items. Because, as he freely admits, he's a bastard.
    • The 2018 special has various British celebrities, such as Iac Mackellan and Sir Patrick Stewart, condescendingly trying to explain the whole Brexit thing to "you normal people" (i.e., anyone who's not rich).
  • Karma Houdini: Michael Portillo watches as Chris Grayling, massively unpopular Transport Minister for the May government, is torn limb from limb by a crowd of pissed-off Northerners after too many five-hour delays, and gloats that he (Portillo)'s partially responsible for this situation due to helping nationalize British Rail in his politics days, as he escapes with one of Grayling's legs.
  • Knife Nut: Brian Perkins, gangland boss of BBC Radio 4, has one, and has a fondness for using it people who incur his displeasure.
  • Large Ham: BBC political correspondent Laura Kueensberg, frequently going mad and hammy, especially when she's done something evil.
    Kueensberg: I'm off to Europe to meet with Michel Barnier. Hope he doesn't accidentally meet with a sex scandal! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
  • Loan Shark: Tony Blair falls for a late-night add, getting Britain into massive debt with a bunch of sharks who charge a 20% per month increase, forcing him to put John Prescott up as collateral. If he misses one payment, the gangsters threaten to cut off one of his incomprehensible sentences and mail it to Blair.
  • Look Ma, I Am on TV!: It once had a sketch where John Prescott does this.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied when Darth Vader turns out to be... Prince Philip ("Elizabeth, I am your husband.").
  • Malaproper: George Bush and John Prescott.
  • Manchild:
    • George W. Bush, who declares war not on Iraq, but Tie-Rack, as well as the cast of Sesame Street, much to his aide's despair.
    • Donald Trump, who as president repeatedly phones his underling at four in the morning with frivolous demands or concerns, usually ending by asking for a bedtime story.
  • Man on Fire: John Prescott, a Grade 2 Listed Politician, accidentally and tragically burns to the ground when two of his unintelligible sentences rub into one another and catch fire.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: One of the first sketches about the Thirteenth Doctor has her talking to her friends, "and Bradley Walsh, for some reason."
  • My New Gift Is Lame: One of the hosts of Newsnight Review complains about his Christmas gift, a Buckaroo, not because (as Germaine Greer assumes) it's a representation of the detritus of modern civilisation, but because Mariella Frostrop got an X-Box, and he didn't.
  • Noodle Incident: One sketch revolves around various celebrities and personages pledging their sympathy and sorrow for "a very terrible thing", only for everyone to lose interest when it's mentioned it happened a long way away, and no Westerners were involved.
  • No-Sell:
    • Darth Vader's attempt to force choke a Geordie worker fails, because as another builder points out, no Geordie has a neck.
    • A nuke does absolutely nothing to David Dickinson, or his tan.
  • Not Hyperbole: When John MacDonald talks about Brexit deals on the table, he actually means a table wherein all the potential ideas are being kept, which he drags with him everywhere.
  • Not Me This Time: In the 2017 special, it initially appears that Donald Trump has started a nuclear war. Halfway through the program, it turns out the White House staff thought ahead, and replaced the Big Red Button with one that summons diet coke, a bucket of KFC and a swim-suit model. The real culprit is David Davis' stupidity.
  • Not So Above It All: Speaker for the House of Commons John Bercow gets increasingly annoyed by MPs comparing absolutely everything to Love Island... until it turns out he's in the same boat.
  • Nuke 'em:
    • In the very first sketch on the first episode, Iraq is nuked by the weapons inspector, David Dickinson, accidentally setting off an antique nuke.
    • As a result of an insulting tweet, Kim Jong-un launches several nukes at Britain. The One Show hosts remain cheerily blasé about the total annihilation facing them, and the nuclear winter to follow.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Reunion, as part of its premise of reunite two people in the hopes they won't get along, manages to get together Germaine Greer, and... Germaine Greer from the '60s. The former regards her past self as a hippie twit who needs to get laid, and the later regards her future self as an obnoxious old sellout and refuses to become her.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Sir David Attenborough's reaction to finding Theresa May in the Antarctic, huddled among Emperor Penguins as she tries to convince them that her latest Brexit deal is a good thing. He and his film crew break out the beer and popcorn.
  • Politeness Judo: After learning about a Terrible Thing That Happened, the leaders of Britain's Tory and Liberal Democrat parties get into an on-air competition over who is more appalled.
  • Prank Call: The radio version did a few of these: the Fourth Doctor phoning (real) Directory Enquiries in search of the Master is particularly memorable, especially the one where the operator suggested that he might need the international directory.
  • Questionable News Judgement: The media flurry over Jeremy Corbyn supposedly calling Theresa May a "stupid woman" is mercilessly skewered, with Hue Edwards trying to find something to talk about it, only to learn absolutely no-one outside the media actually gives a damn.
  • Rage Quit: Tetchy Jeremy "flounces out" of an interview with Andrew Neil when the latter keeps asking him if he has a strategy on Brexit.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: Tony Blair describing his mannerisms after every sentence ("Angry forehead, pointy finger!")
  • Recycled In Space: The Ninth Doctor complains that while he was intense, the Tenth is just "Jarvis Cocker in space!"
  • Replacement Goldfish: How does Theresa May cope with the resignation of both David Davis and Boris Johnson, and the subsequent loss of their political acumen? She appoints a wobbly hatstand and an inflatable baby painted orange. Problem momentarily solved.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Gordon Brown in later series, though on one occasion he starts juddering and yelling "EXTERMINATE" a lot...
  • Rooting for the Empire: In-universe. Theresa May watches an episode of The Walking Dead, and takes the side of the zombies, seeing an awful lot of herself in them.
  • Running Gag:
    • Where David Davis treads, mention of a toblerone is not far behind.
    • Sajid Javid is incapable of going more than a sentence without reminding folk his father was a Pakistani bus-driver.
    • Andrew Neil always introduces Diane Abbott in a disbelieving tone, with the introductions getting increasingly outlandish by the episode. Meanwhile, Andrew Neil always introduces himself by stating he's not actual human ("I'm Andrew Neil, brought to you by Jim Henson's Children's Television Workshop." / "custard that has become sentient and tried to assume human form.")
  • Rule of Three:
    • The 2018 special has someone in a desolate area (the Antarctic, Mars, the plains of Mordor), only for Theresa May to show up, trying to convince whoever's there that her Brexit deal works.
    • Gogglebox tries showing reactions to yet more tedious Brexit news. The first family has run off down the pub, the second has destroyed their TV and fled the house. The third have gouged out their eyes and moved to Pyongyang.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: David Davis eventually takes a look at the political situation, and decides to do whatever everyone else has - leave. Funnily enough, two weeks later the real David Davis actually did quit the May government.
  • Serious Business: A young boy sending a 2000 page letter to Santa Claus for a Playstation 2 is review by the UN, only for Santa himself to overrule their decision, and carpet-bomb the kid's house once he's determined to be naughty.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Their version of art critic Brian Sewell was a walking example of this who occasionally lapsed into Sophisticated as Hell. When faced with the Roving Reporters, who only ever asked these two questions of anyone:
    Roving Reporters: D'you like Eastenders?
    Brian Sewell: No. Eastenders is a cavalcade of parsimonious bleating, bereft of cultural significance on every conceivable level.
    Roving Reporters: D'you like chips?
    Brian Sewell: Bugger off!
  • Shown Their Work: The science fiction references were pretty much all well-researched, especially the Doctor Who ones. All of the Fourth Doctor's jargon refers to actual planets, technologies and so forth not only from the show, but from the period of his tenure.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Not even imminent nuclear war changes Theresa May's stubborn desire to see Brexit through, even though she acknowledges any survivors in the post-apocalyptic wasteland will probably have other things on their minds.
    • Jeremy Corbyn uses his podcast not to discuss political matters, or a second referendum, but rather important topics like bus cues, bus timetables, bus fares, and what noise the bells go when you press them.
    • After May's leadership challenge, John MacDonald explains his and Corbyn's refusal to do act on this in these terms.
    MacDonald: Jeremy and I didn't get into power to make decisions. We got into power to cling on to niche issues at the very fringe of public consciousness!
  • Small Name, Big Ego: David Davis believes he's a master negotiator, when in fact he's a moronic twit who's blustering actions get him into further and further trouble, with him oblivious all the while.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: In one sketch, Tony Blair turns out to be a conman, who's duped the people of Great Britain and stolen all their money, and plans to go for an easier target next time, by spinning a globe around. His choice? America.
  • Song Parody: "It's Bloody Cold", a song set to the tune of "You're Beautiful".
  • Sophisticated as Hell:
    • Queen Elizabeth, taking Helen Mirren's place on Crimewatch after her role in The Queen.
    One's nicked, you slag.
    • Prior to that, an episode of the first TV series has her remark, on a dog, "it's a good thing she's a bitch, or I'd cut her fucking balls off".
    • Ross Kemp imitating an Australian feminist results in Ross acting like a feminist.
    Ross Kemp: An' I'll tell you somethin' else: Violence against wimmen is the perpetuation of the modern state of the male hegemony! Now get down 'em stairs, you slag!
    • Two minutes with Sajid Javid constantly mentioning his father's occupation is enough to get Kirsty Wark to tell him "awa' and boil yer heid, ya bawbag!"
    • Sir David Attenborough calling a bunch of plastic bottles clogging up the oceans "bellends" after Danny Dyer interrupts Blue Planet to do the same. He admits it's pretty satisfying.
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: Michael Gove, also known as the Govestor (by himself, mostly), who speaks like a teenaged girl.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Impressions Show, which features Jon Culshaw very prominently.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Theresa May claims that her antics in June 2018 were an attempt to get fired, bugger off to obscurity and live on royalties from her memoires like David Cameron, and that getting concessions from opposing tories was not the plan at all.
  • Stoners Are Funny: A recording of Gardener's Question Time goes a little wrong when a guest brings in a box full of brownies made with this funny herb he had. Most of the panel sample them, and suddenly become more interested in stuffing their faces, staring at garden gnomes for hours or making up songs about garden gnomes.
  • The Stool Pigeon: One of the Brightly Coloured Blobs gets into trouble when his actor reveals one of them is doing drugs, violating his non-disclosure agreement, and prompting the Beeb to get Uncle Bullethead and Uncle Bonebreaker to take him on an "adventure".
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Mixed with I Have This Friend..., when Jeremy Corbyn is being interviewed and keeps giving examples of people who are suspected of being terrorist sympathisers just because they've met with known terrorists, as his interviewer keeps commenting that his very specific examples sound like he's talking from personal experience.
  • Take a Third Option: In the Evil Brit sketches, when Ian Mackellen and Alan Rickman have inevitably killed one another, the character laments they now have no Evil Brit at all. Cue BRIAN BLESSED appeared, and being rejected.
  • Take That!: ... Yes?
    • Richard Hammond is portrayed by a child.
    • One sketch has a troubled President Bartlett informing his staff that actually, he isn't the President of the United States. Everyone is horrified when they learn just who is.
    • The BBC Cafeteria, which has descended into an all-out brawl over unequal pay, is declared to be more horrific than any war-torn country.
    • To Recycled Premise in the 2017 Christmas special, when the BBC Radio 4 announcer asks the audience if they're really wondered what the Nativity would be like, set in a 1970s council estate, before adding "me neither". Followed seconds later by a shot at the Christmas themed poems that had been doing the rounds at that time ("and now, here's another one of those poems we all... love so much.")
    • While comparing her cabinet's Brexit strategy to a Zombie Apocalypse (itself an example), Theresa May notes that if there were an actual zombie outbreak, David Davis wouldn't need to worry.
    • The Beeb issues a travel warning to anyone going to an Ed Sheeran concert that they might find themselves listening to Ed Sheeran.
    • When a footballer joins the National Treasures, Alan Bennett remarks that at least he's not James Corden.
    • After successfully blocking a penalty shot, allowing the England team to advance in the 2018 world cup, their goalie has to give a sample - not for possible steroid use. It's a DNA test. After blocking a goal, no-one believes he's actually English.
      • Likewise, various TV hosts are unnerved and amazed by the fact England's football team actually seems to be doing good.
    • Weatherspoons encourages the failure of any Brexit policy, reducing Britain to a hellhole, simply because Weatherspoons' entire economic model is based on making everyone suffer.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: In-universe. With a full month off the airwaves, the hosts of The One Show film segments considered too twee for actual broadcast. Even Gyles Brandreth is taken aback by just how saccharine the proposed segments are.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The National Treasures, a crack team of treasured British actors, includes Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Patrick Stewart, Dame Judi Dench, and... Alan Bennett.
  • The Nth Doctor:
    • During an interview, Tony Blair collapses, and regenerates into David Tennant.
    • At the end of his final recording of Question Time, David Dimbleby regenerates into Fiona Bruce.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: The true villain of Jodie Whittaker's first series on Doctor Who is Theresa May, who has ruptured space and time in half in her mad quest to get a Brexit deal that satisfies all parties, not caring that it will destroy all life everywhere, because as far as she's concerned, it's still better than most of the potential outcomes she's been given.
  • Time Abyss: Sir Patrick Moore buys a telescope so powerful that it can not only capture the light of events that occurred at the beginning of the universe, they can also buy the light of the time before that, when he bought his coat.
  • Too Dumb to Live: George Bush.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: As the real life Tony Blair's popularity went down, the show's version became more confrontational and aggressive towards the public in his addresses.
  • Totally Radical:
    • Matt Smith (not that one) was infamous for this in real life, and his Dead Ringers version naturally took it Up to Eleven.
    • The members of the House of Commons debating, with their typical restrain and dignity, as to whom on Love Island is a total melt and who isn't.
  • Tranquil Fury: Kirsty Wark, when Michael Gove tries sharing some gossip on how Fiona Bruce got to host The Tonight Program, icily informs him that the gossip has bought him one beer.
  • The Unintelligible:
    • Robin Cook, and also John Prescott in a different way. One crossover sketch involved Captain Kirk attempting to understand Robin Cook by having Scotty "divert all warp power to the Universal Translator!" It failed.
    • John Prescott is so unintelligible that when a scheme is introduced to fill him so full of pies and chips that he can't speak, Kirsty Wark declares it the most popular decision he'd ever make, something Prescott agrees on.
    • Newsnight Review runs into a problem when the hosts are not unintelligible enough, despite their best efforts.
    I'm sorry, Germaine, we're going to have to stop you there, because what you said almost made some sort of sense, and clearly no-one watches this show for that.
    • Boris Johnson, who tends to pepper his speech with odd noises and gibberish.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: David Davis, in the 2017 special, manages to provoke the destruction of Britain by going on holiday to North Korea.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Greg Dyke, Director-General of the BBC, comes to after the 2002 BBC Christmas Do (two days after), and is horrified to find he signed off on a second series of Fame Academy.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: After a posh MP names his child "Sixtus" (among other things), he shrugs off the possibility his son might one day be upset at sounding like a Roman legionary. Cue angry phonecall.
    Sixtus: (a la Russell Crowe) I am Sixtus [...], owner of a ridiculous name, and I will have my revenge!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: During a Christmas party, the 2nd Doctor is terrified by tinfoil. As the 4th Doctor states, the 10th should've known full well that most of his enemies were made of tinfoil.


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