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2004: The Stupid Version

2004: The Stupid Version is a satirical documentary written by Armando Iannucci, broadcast in two parts on BBC Three on New Year's Eve 2004. The one-off programme is a parody of review programmes typically broadcast at New Year. It features edited footage from news and television series, as well as satires on the politics and fads of a year in which "only Andrew Marr kept his dignity".

2004: The Stupid Version
GenreMock reality
Created byArmando Iannucci
Written byArmando Iannucci
Stewart Lee
Simon Blackwell
Mick Bunnage
Adam Buxton
Roger Drew
Jon Link
Adrian Peters
David Quantick
Will Smith
David Wellington
Directed byArmando Iannucci
StarringArmando Iannucci
Stewart Lee
Richard Ayoade
Adam Buxton
Matthew Holness
David Quantick
John Biggins
John Guerrasio
Carol Harvey
Andy Hodgson
Melanie Hudson
Lewis MacLeod
Kate O'Sullivan
David Robb
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2
Producer(s)Adam Tandy
Running time60:00
Original networkBBC Three
Original release31 December 2004
External links
2004: The Stupid Version

The documentary was shown again on BBC Two on 29 January 2005, but has not been repeated since or released on DVD, although clips are available on the internet. Iannucci's 2006 series Time Trumpet follows a similar format to The Stupid Version, reviewing events satirically from a future perspective.


Iannucci himself narrated the content, but only appears on screen once to assess the aftermath of The Room Show, a spoof of the reality television shows prevalent at the time, in which Ian McCaskill, Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards and a number of other minor celebrities were locked in a container (unfilmed) for 10 hours.

In particular, the show focuses on stories that made the headlines from 2004, for example the US presidential election, featuring edited footage showing George W. Bush singing "New York, New York" during a presidential head-to-head and a montage of election speeches emphasising the buzz-words used by Bush's campaign. In addition, the programme satirised politics in the UK, for example edits of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown apparently contradicting one another, the favourite swear-words of Conservative politicians and the controversial Panorama documentary "Where the Tits were Saddam's WMD?"

The programme also features a series of banal interviews interspersed with the clips, with the interviewees either misunderstanding or misinterpreting their content; "The Olympics – what was all that about?" In reality, these were actors Richard Ayoade, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton and Stewart Lee.

BBC television programmes spoofed included Johnny & Denise: Passport to Paradise, Hard Spell, The Weakest Link and Alan Titchmarsh's British Isles: A Natural History. Other scenes included a world where every object was in the style of an iPod, a dubbed News 24 interview with the editor of Al Jazeera and a parody of The Streets song "Dry Your Eyes" (featuring Buxton as the protagonist).

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