Scot Armando Iannucci wins best TV comedy at Emmys

SCOTTISH satirist Armando Iannucci has walked off stage with an armload of metalware at the American television industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus snaps creator Armando Iannucci receiving the gong for comedy from Mel Brooks. Picture: AP
Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus snaps creator Armando Iannucci receiving the gong for comedy from Mel Brooks. Picture: AP

The Glasgow-born writer, director and broadcaster’s political farce Veep, a US spin-off of his hit BBC sitcom The Thick of It, has swept the boards in the comedy categories at the prestigious Emmy awards for primetime shows.

Veep, which stars Seinfeld actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the President of the United States, scooped a total of five gongs. Its Scots-Italian creator picked up statues for outstanding comedy series and outstanding writing for a comedy series.

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“If Veep is about one thing it’s about hope,” Iannucci said.

“Hope that anyone in America, no matter their background, their race, their creed, can just miss out on getting the top job. Or they can get it if their boss is mentally incapacitated or killed.

“So with that air of positivity, America has been so welcoming to the Brits on this show.”

He also took to social media to share news of the show’s success in the coveted awards.

“A big huge thanks to Veep’s magnificent cast and crew on our Emmy win for outstanding comedy. A fistful of hugs,” he tweeted. Veep star Louis-Dreyfus scooped the award for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for the fourth year in a row for her portrayal of gaffe-prone President Selina Meyer.

Co-star Tony Hale was named outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as devoted aide Gary Walsh. Veep won a fifth award for outstanding casting for a comedy series.

The HBO show, now in its fourth season, airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK. It is filmed in a cinéma-vérité style similar to that used in The Thick of It.

The Thick of It starred Chris Langham as an incompetent cabinet minister being manipulated by a cynical press officer. Played with aplomb by Peter Capaldi, foul-mouthed bully Malcolm Tucker was based on Tony Blair’s press secretary Alastair Campbell.

Iannucci is also the creative force behind the acclaimed feature film In the Loop, which featured characters from The Thick of It.

He stepped down as writer and producer for Veep ahead of the 2016 season, but said its Emmy success had not made him reconsider his decision. He announced in 2012 that he was working on his first novel, Tongue International, described as “a satirical fantasy about a privatised language”.

Aside from Iannucci’s success, it was a disappointing night for the Brits with Wolf Hall, The Missing and The Honourable Woman all missing out, along with Downton Abbey.

But despite leaving empty-handed, another Scotsman was turning heads on the red carpet.

Alan Cumming, who was nominated in the outstanding supporting actor in a drama series category for his role in The Good Wife, adopted a Charlie Chaplin look in a baggy-legged suit, complete with umbrella – and shoes more usually worn on the beach.

The Aberfeldy actor stepped out in a dapper ensemble set off with Crocs.

Earlier in the day, the actor discussed his choice of three pairs on Instagram.

“Why, yes, I am wearing Crocs on the red carpet,” he said in the video. “Everybody does it.”