Iannucci's new comedy stars Seinfeld's Elaine

British comedy writer Armando Iannucci faces a nervous wait to find out how US audiences react to his latest project. The man behind Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It and In The Loop has created and directed Veep, a new satire about a US vice-president.

It has the advantage of starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus who played Elaine for 11 seasons of the phenomenally successful Seinfeld. Dreyfus plays vice-president Selina Meyer, torn between blatantly self-interested ambition and a desire to seem a decent person, not dissimilar to Elaine.

The show features plenty of Iannucci’s trademark dark humour, biting satire and swearing. He sees great comic potential in the understudy role of the vice-president. "Being vice-president is so near and yet so far. It is a comic situation to be in," Iannucci said.

Iannucci conducted extensive research in Washington for the show, but was encouraged to see numerous parallels between the American political system and the British establishment he depicted in The Thick Of It. He also feeds on the American public’s cynicism with their politicians.

"They do feel detached from the process," he said. "They feel American politics are not speaking to them. I mean, I am not saying it has reached a nihilistic nothing-ever-happens kind of thing. But I am trying to reflect that flip side."

Critics' reactions have been positive. "A black humour vision of politics at its bleakest, in which both sides have been co-opted by money and special interests and are reduced to posturing, subterfuge, grandstanding and photo ops. Naturally, it's hilarious," the critic for New York Times magazine wrote.

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