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Jesse Armstrong

Jesse Armstrong is a British comedy writer, best known for the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show and the BBC Four political satire The Thick of It. He is from Oswestry in Shropshire,[1] and is a graduate of the University of Manchester, where he met his writing partner Sam Bain.[2] Before going into comedy writing in the late 1990s, Armstrong worked as a researcher for the Labour MP Doug Henderson.[3]


  • Career 1
    • Collaborations with Sam Bain 1.1
    • Other writing 1.2
  • External links 2
  • References 3


Collaborations with Sam Bain

At the beginning of their writing career, Armstrong and Bain wrote for the Channel 4 sketch show Smack the Pony and the children's shows The Queen's Nose and My Parents Are Aliens.[4] They went on to create and write Peep Show, BBC One sitcom The Old Guys, and most recently Channel 4 comedy-drama Fresh Meat. They also wrote for the Radio Four sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound, starring Peep Show's two main actors David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and its BBC Two adaptation That Mitchell and Webb Look. Peep Show has won several writing awards,[5] including a BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy in 2008.[6]

To date, Armstrong and Bain have written two films together – the 2007 comedy Magicians, and, alongside Chris Morris, the 2010 terrorism satire Four Lions.

Armstrong and Bain received the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award at the British Comedy Awards 2010. In 2012 both Armstrong and Bain were featured on the TV industry journal Broadcast's 'Hot 100' list, highlighting the most successful people in UK television.[7]

Armstrong and Bain's project in 2012 was their Channel 4 comedy pilot

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  5. ^ Peep Show (TV series)#Awards and honours
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  9. ^ Armstrong is not listed among the writers for the fourth series.
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  • Jesse Armstrong at The Internet Movie Database
  • Jesse Armstrong on Twitter
  • Ideas Factory interview with Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong
  • The BAFTA Comedy Debate – Jesse Armstrong debates the state of Television Comedy

External links

Armstrong's first novel, Love, Sex and Other Foreign Policy Goals, was released in April 2015.[21]

Alongside the Thick of It writing team, Armstrong writes for the HBO comedy series Veep, set in the office of the American vice-president.

Armstrong wrote one episode of Charlie Brooker's 2011 television drama Black Mirror, entitled "The Entire History of You". Robert Downey, Jr. has since bought the rights to adapt the script for a forthcoming film.[20]

In October 2011 it was reported that Armstrong's film adaptation of Richard DiLello's book The Longest Cocktail Party, charting the founding of The Beatles' record company Apple Records and the recording of their final album Let It Be,[18] is to be directed by Michael Winterbottom.[19]

Armstrong is reportedly developing a biopic of the Republican Party strategist Lee Atwater, with Chris Henchy and Adam McKay.[16][17]

In 2010, Armstrong's currently-unproduced screenplay Murdoch, a drama in which Rupert Murdoch and his family disagree over who should have control of his company, received attention after it appeared on The Black List, a list of unproduced screenplays most liked by Hollywood industry figures.[12] In the wake of the 2011 phone hacking scandal involving newspapers owned by Murdoch it was rumoured[13][14] that the script was being developed by Channel 4, but Armstrong dismissed these claims.[15]

In the run-up to the 2010 UK general election, Armstrong wrote a column in The Guardian – 'Malcolm Tucker's election briefing – as dictated to Jesse Armstrong'.[10] He previously wrote a similar column for New Statesman, entitled 'Tactical Briefing'.[11]

Alongside Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche, Armstrong wrote for the first three series[9] of the BAFTA-winning BBC Four comedy The Thick of It, and its 2009 film spinoff In The Loop. In The Loop was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2009, and won Best British Screenplay at the 2009 Evening Standard British Film Awards.

Other writing

In 2014 Armstrong, with Danny Boyle, Robert Jones and Sam Bain, co-created the Channel 4 comedy-drama Babylon. Armstrong wrote the first and last of the 6 initial episodes and co-wrote the pilot with Sam Bain.


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