BBC use ‘The Thick Of It’ and ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ scenes to encourage self-isolation in new coronavirus PSAs

"Right, people. Listen up! It’s a fucking lockdown right now!"

The BBC are airing a series of new PSAs to encourage the public to stay inside, using scenes from some of their most iconic sitcoms.

The new campaign aims to encourage self-isolation amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the company is using some of its most well-known stars from past and present to get the message across.

Scenes from The Thick Of It, I’m Alan Partridge, The Mighty Boosh and more are all being shown periodically across BBC TV channels.


The most appropriate clip comes from Armando Iannucci’s The Thick Of It, in which Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) orders an office lockdown.

“Right, people. Listen up! It’s a fucking lockdown right now!” Tucker shouts in the clip. “We are in a prison drama. This is the fucking Shawshank Redemption, right? But with more tunnelling through shit and no fucking redemption.” The clip ends with a message from the BBC: “Seriously, stay at home. Please help stop the spread.”

In a separate PSA, an iconic scene from Steve Coogan’s I’m Alan Partridge is used, in which Partridge is detailing the James Bond marathon he’s about to spend his day watching. “Set a routine to get through staying in” is the closing message.

Also used is The Mighty Boosh‘s all-too-appropriate song, ‘The Isolation Song’. Listen to that below.


“Acting on heath advice will save lives,” says BBC director-general Tony Hall of the new series of PSAs.

“Using our stars is a good way of getting the message out far and wide. Even if it makes just a small difference, it will be worth it.”

Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK were to adopt strict coronavirus lockdown measures.

In a TV address from inside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said UK citizens must stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.

Earlier today (March 27), Johnson himself revealed that he’s tested positive for Covid-19 after developing symptoms in the last 24 hours.

“I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

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