Jonathan Pie creator says comedians will ‘miss’ Tories if they lose election

Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

The creator behind satirical journalist Jonathan Pie has said he and other comedians will “miss” the Conservative Party if it loses the General Election.

Tom Walker, who rose to fame ranting about politics as fictitious news reporter Pie on social media, said the lead-up to the election is a “last chance” for comedians to poke fun at Tory politicians before what he believes will be a Labour victory.

“For comedians, and certainly from where I’m standing, it’s one last chance to put the boot in before we move to the centre ground, which is less interesting, satirically, than where we’ve been,” he told the PA news agency.

“Let’s be honest, (the Conservatives) have been throwing us pearls for six, seven, eight years now.

“Satirically and comedically, I think we’re going to miss them a bit.”

Walker has more than 1.7 million followers on Facebook and some 900,000 followers on YouTube, with some of his videos earning millions of views.

One of his most viral clips from the last election in 2019, in which he rants about former prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation, was watched more than two and a half million times.

After 14 years of Tory leadership, Walker said comedians may find it challenging to create material if Labour wins.

“The big difference is we’re going to get a change of government this time around, whereas that didn’t really seem possible for the last decade or so,” he said. “One of the main things that is really easy to attack the present government on is their record.

“They’ve been in power for 14 years and, therefore, even if they do something right, you go ‘look at the state of our economy, the NHS, our education system, immigration, compared to where it was a decade ago’.

“I think you’ve got to give (Labour) a couple of years to get a hold of what’s going on … it’s difficult to put the boot in with someone this new who’s just finding their feet when the economy’s trashed and there isn’t any money to spend. “What you’re actually going to be doing is attacking the personalities and the mistakes.”

However, Walker also feels there are subjects outside Downing Street that are “ripe for satire”.

“There are always other things going on that are ripe for satire, particularly if (Nigel) Farage is going to be in mainstream politics,” he said.

“We’ve got an American election coming up, Europe have just swung massively to the right, so there’s always things to keep going.

“In a way, it makes things more interesting when you’re not looking at the day-to-day running of Westminster, but you’re actually looking at the culture war or cancel culture … so in a way it opens up other subjects.”

Walker, who created his character Pie when Lord David Cameron was prime minister, said the General Election allowed him to “reconnect” with his online audience.

He said he feels a sense of duty as a political comedian – as highlighted in some of his social media posts reminding young people to bring their ID to polling stations to vote – which has inspired him to create more regular content in the lead-up to the ballot on July 4.

“I think I’ve got a few jobs to do this election,” Walker said.

“One is remind people about the Tories’ record. “Two – to dispel this myth, which I can’t stand, that all (politicians) are the bloody same, because I really don’t think that is true.

“I do think there is a choice to be had at this election, and it’s reminding people of what that choice is.”

Walker believes the success of Pie is because people feel a sense of catharsis watching him passionately rant about the government and added that comedy “is always a good way of making things accessible”.

“I get stopped a lot, particularly young people who say ‘you switched me on to politics’, which is great and as Pie has gone on, and as I’ve gotten older, I take that responsibility more and more seriously,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I’m just trying to write some gags.”