Drop the Dead Donkey is a situation comedy that first aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 1998. It is set in the offices of “GlobeLink News”, a fictional TV news company. Recorded close to transmission, it made use of contemporary news events to give the programme a greater sense of realism. It was created by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin. The series had an ensemble cast, making stars of Haydn Gwynne, Stephen Tompkinson and Neil Pearson.
The series began with the acquisition of GlobeLink by media mogul Sir Roysten Merchant, an allusion to either Robert Maxwell or Rupert Murdoch. Indeed, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin note on their DVDs that it was fortunate for their libel lawyers that the two men shared the same initials. The series is mostly based on the on-going battle between the staff of GlobeLink, led by editor George Dent, as they try to maintain the company as a serious news organisation, and Sir Roysten’s right-hand man Gus Hedges, trying to make the show more sensationalist and suppress stories that might harm Sir Roysten’s business empire.
The show was awarded the Best Comedy Award at the 1994 BAFTA Awards. At the British Comedy Awards the show won Best New TV Comedy in 1990, Best Channel 4 Comedy in 1991, and Best Channel 4 Sitcom in 1994.
Following the success of their 2015 election comedy Ballot Monkeys, Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin (Ballot Monkeys, Outnumbered, Drop the Dead Donkey) return to Channel 4 with a six-part satire lampooning the fictional communications and social media ‘experts’ on both sides of the EU referendum, as well as taking audiences a few doors down from the Kremlin and into the imagined world of Donald Trump’s campaign plane.