The phone hacking scandal has so far led to the closure of the News Of The World, several arrests and resignations, and there could still be more revaluations to come yet.
And it has also spawned a comedy show. ‘Hacks’ will be a one off special and will be shown on Channel 4 later this year.
The show is being written by Guy Jenkin and will feature a fictional newspaper where journalists use methods such as hacking, using private investigators and “pinging” – when a phone signal is used to track someone.
Channel 4’s head of comedy Shane Allen said: “We are very excited about Hacks and it’s great that Channel 4 can be so quick off the mark to shine a satirical light on what’s been happening in the media over the last few months.”
Jenkin and Andy Hamilton created Drop The Dead Donkey, a cult comedy series set in the office of the fictional TV news company GlobeLink News. The show, which was originally to have been called Dead Belgians Don’t Count, ran from 1990 to 1998.
The series followed the news room following a take over by ruthless businessman Sir Royston Merchant, a name thought to refer to both Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell. Merchant installs Gus Hedges, a man who swallowed a management manual and speaks in nothing but jargon, to run the company.
Other main characters included a neurotic hypochondriac editor, a newsreader thought to have been based on Reginald Bosanquet, a thrill seeking reporter who repeatedly gets his cameramen injured, another who has a gambling addiction and an aggressive and much feared PA called Joy.
If you’ve never see this wonderful series it is well worth getting a hold of. I’m looking forward to seeing if ‘Hacks’ is as funny. With the material that Jenkin has to work with it certainly has enormous potential.