10:00pm – Thursday, January 7 on ABC2
Imagine Drop the Dead Donkey out in the field…
After years of conflict, the civil war in the African nation of Karibu finally comes under the fickle spotlight of the Western media. The corrupt President Kubwasana will now feature nightly, at least until there is a better story elsewhere. We see the war through the eyes of the BBC journalists and their team who are holed up in the Waterbuck Hotel in the capital Uzuri.
Resident local stringer Harry Chambers (Bruce MacKinnon – The Catherine Tate Show, Jekyll, Perfect Day) can’t believe his luck – this could be his big break. On the bottom of the journalistic food chain, he’s the last to learn the media circus is in town and on his patch.
The London newsroom has despatched its news team to cover the unfolding events – a team led by a broadcasting behemoth, the BBC’s senior correspondent, David Bradburn (Martin Jarvis), who is sending back nightly reports for the Ten O’clock News. His team includes producer Jane (Doon Mackichan – Smack the Pony, Brass Eye, The Comic Strip Presents) and cameraman Jack (Lloyd Owen), with Margaret Hollis (Joanna Brookes – Bad Girls) from the World Service also tagging along.
As the new team gets up to speed, Harry finds himself completely big-footed as David seeks to exploit his local knowledge and contacts, including the resident fixer Joyful (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith), who seems to be able to make anything happen.
Taking the Flak is a workplace comedy, with all the tensions and flirtations of any workplace, magnified by the fact that, in this job, a death-or-glory assignment might mean actual death or actual glory – or at least an MBE and an appearance on breakfast television. And to most foreign correspondents, death would be preferable to that!