UK TV channel plans phone hacking comedy

Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:43am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Channel 4 said on Friday it had commissioned a one-off television comedy about the phone hacking scandal which forced the closure of the News of the World tabloid and engulfed Rupert Murdoch's newspaper business.

"HACKS," described as a working title for the show, is being written by Guy Jenkin, co-creator of comedy series "Drop the Dead Donkey" set in the fictional offices of a TV news company.

HACKS will be set at a newspaper where, according to the publicly owned Channel 4, "the drive to get the story is intense -- the phrase 'by any means necessary' doesn't even cover it.

"Phone hacking, blagging, pinging ... the staff here do it all. But it's all about to unravel, and in a big way..."

The hour-long special is expected to air later this year.

Jenkin said in a statement: "We hope to be faster and funnier than all the enquiries so far."

Britain's parliament and police are investigating claims against Murdoch's newspapers that they illegally hacked into the voicemail messages of individuals in pursuit of exclusive stories.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison)