Time Trumpet

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Time Trumpet
Time Trumpet.jpg
Time Trumpet (opening title screen)
Created by Armando Iannucci
Roger Drew
Will Smith
Starring Richard Ayoade
Matthew Holness
Adam Buxton
Jo Enright
Stewart Lee
Jo Neary
Mark Watson
David Sant
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6
Running timeapprox. 30 minutes (per episode)
Original network BBC Two
Original release3 August (2006-08-03) 
7 September 2006 (2006-09-07)

Time Trumpet is a six-episode satirical television comedy series which aired on BBC Two in August 2006. The series was written by Armando Iannucci, Roger Drew and Will Smith in a similar manner to Iannucci's earlier one-off programmes, 2004: The Stupid Version and Clinton: His Struggle with Dirt . [1] One sketch was later spun off by network in Ireland, RTÉ, into the cult television series Soupy Norman , in May 2007.



Time Trumpet is set in the year 2031, and is a retrospective documentary on the first thirty years of the 21st century. Actors and actresses play the parts of 'today's stars' thirty years on, who are interviewed as part of the show.

These 'older selves' include David Beckham, Anne Robinson, David Cameron, Sebastian Coe, Kate Middleton, Charlotte Church, Ant & Dec, June Sarpong, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Charles Clarke, Noel Edmonds, Chris Moyles, Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Bob Geldof, Saddam Hussein, Natasha Kaplinsky, Prince Harry, Jamie Oliver and the woman who released the doves at the end of the Michael Jackson trial.

The show also includes interviews with comedians, billed in the show as "top cultural commentators slash TV pundits", speaking about the events of the past. These include Stewart Lee (also appearing as the bald-headed 'Stu Lee', the implication being that he was contractually obliged to shave his head and change his name), Richard Ayoade, Jo Enright, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton, Mark Watson and David Sant. Additionally, Katy Wix and Tim Key appear in sketches throughout the series.

Every episode is narrated by Iannucci, who is also seen interviewing guests, but at an oblique angle and with a different physical appearance. Series co-creator Will Smith also appears in the series.

Each episode has a main theme running throughout, such as the Olympics or the war in Iraq. The main running gag is the promise of a catch-up with "an increasingly odd Tom Cruise" and features the now-elderly actor making bizarre claims such as to be "pound for pound the world's strongest man".


EpisodeAirdateMain ThemeFeatured Content
Episode 13 August 2006Early 21st Century Politics
Episode 210 August 2006Binge Drinking in Britain
Episode 324 August 2006The War on Terror
  • The War on Terror resulting in anything too terrifying or frightening banned and strip searching becoming so commonplace people now walk around naked
  • Catching up with Tim Henman
  • The Girl with the Voice of Boris Johnson
  • Cilla Black's live autopsy
Episode 417 August 2006 The Royal Family
  • The most popular television show of all time, Rape an Ape
  • War between Tesco and Denmark
  • A decline in popularity for the Royal Family, which leads to no one turning up at the coronation of King Charles and a royal referendum
  • The hit Polish soap opera Pierwsza miłość
Episode 531 August 2006 Iraq War
Episode 67 September 2006The 2012 Olympics


The third episode, which featured a jumbo jet crashing into the British Houses of Parliament and the subsequent assassination of Tony Blair, was due to be screened on 17 August 2006, but was cancelled in the wake of the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, and substituted by another episode. The cancelled episode was subsequently shown a week later, without the footage of an assassinated Blair. [2] However, a related sketch was aired, involving a play on the events of 9/11, where two towers are flown into an aeroplane.

Home media

A DVD of the series was released on 27 April 2009. [3] The assassination of Tony Blair sketch was removed from this, as were some sketches that included footage of the Olympic Games.


American remake

In December 2011, network in the United States, Comedy Central announced they would be remaking the series, with Iannucci as producer. [4] Ultimately, the series was not picked up by the network, and Iannucci moved on to other projects. [5]

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  1. Time Trumpet official credits Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine URL accessed November 2006
  2. Chortle.co.uk, retrieved 5 November 2006
  3. Amazon.co.uk, retrieved 12 February 2009
  4. "Armando Iannucci's Time Trumpet to be adapted in US". British Comedy Guide. 8 December 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  5. Bradford Evans (5 July 2012). "8 Promising Series That Comedy Central Didn't Pick Up This Year". SplitSider. Retrieved 15 April 2015.