“Tucker Based On American TV Producers” Says Peter Capaldi

Ahead of The Thick of It‘s fourth series later this year, the man behind “the sweariest man in Britain” has revealed the real inspiration for his curse-happy character – and it isn’t Alistair Campbell.

Many assumed that Peter Capaldi’s foul-mouth spin doctor was based on the New Labour supremo, but the actor has explained that nasty Hollywood execs were his real inspiration.

“The only people that I had witnessed personally behaving in the way that Malcolm does were American agents or producers,” he explained in an interview with Radio Times. “You could see people at ICM in Los Angeles – malevolent forces in Armani suits – barking the foulest and most terrifying of obscenities down the phone at people.

“The producers, too. Harvey Weinstein and the team at Miramax were long celebrated for Malcolm-like behaviour, so in fact they were the people I thought about. That was the model I took, rather than Alastair Campbell, as I didn’t know him.

“Alastair might be a bit disappointed to know this,â€? he added.

Capaldi went on to admit that he had a real soft-spot for the fearsome political advisor he portrays, describing him as a man just trying to do his job while surrounded by idiots.

“I like Malcolm very much. He’s got a heart of gold and he’s only trying to do his job; it’s not his fault that he’s confronted by an army of idiots. It’s quite exciting to play him, because he tends to always be on the offensive and he gets given wonderful lines, lots and lots of them.”

“His verve, his vigour is a great tonic. Also I think he’s quite complicated, he’s not just a swearing man. He lives in a real world full of tough people making tough decisions. At his best he cuts through that world with a certain spring in his step and humour; get in his way, though, and he’ll cut you open with his face.â€?

The Thick of It returns later this year..