AND so it ended ..

not with a foul-mouthed diatribe but with an almost defeated shrug of the shoulders. Malcolm Tucker, charged with perjury and contemplating prison, standing down permanently (allegedly) from top-tier politics, facing the press pack and on the point of delivering his final, furious outburst. But instead he simply said ''it doesn't matter'', and sloped off.

It was the final episode of The Thick Of It, the stinging Armando Iannucci-scripted satire which had come to define the current, twisted state of politics. And it was a hilarious and brilliantly bitter end.

Before the final moments Tucker – the darkest master of the dark art of spin doctoring and by far the programme's strongest character – had gazed a withering eye over his life and career and pronounced it seriously, terminally screwed up. 'No friends – no real friends – no children, no glory ...''

The programme has gained a dedicated following since it first aired on BBC4 seven years ago – even from the politicians it pokes fun at – and has made a household name out of foul-mouthed spin doctor Tucker.

Iannucci tweeted yesterday: "It's the final #thickofit Why not have a party like people did for Sex and the City? Dress as your fave character."

Lines from the sitcom such as "omnishambles" have even made their way into real-life politics, and political PR professionals agree that at times it really does capture British politics – if ever so slightly exaggerated.

Simon Pia, former top spin doctor for ex-Scottish Labour leaders Iain Gray and Wendy Alexander, says he has noticed an increase in political press officers adopting the mannerisms of Tucker.

"In many ways the show is very accurate," he said, "but the difference is how much it exaggerates the role of a spin doctor. There's actually a funny syndrome at the moment where, like gangsters have done with mafioso films, people are adopting the behaviour they see on screen.

"I've noticed it particularly among younger advisers who think that they're players rather than realising that their job is just to serve the politician. A lot of them who serve senior politicans think they are more important than say lower level politicians and that's simply not the case."

Pia added that the show reflects society's views of politics. "Satire in general reflects people's disenchantment with politics and Armando Iannucci, like all good satirists, has captured something of the mood with this show."

Former Scottish Green Party press officer and fan of the show, James Mackenzie, said: "It's captures the picture of when there's a crisis, it feels like that panic that you see when something goes badly wrong.

"Politics still attracts a lot of vivid personalities", he added. "There are times when I've seen people act a bit like Malcolm Tucker, but it doesn't really win you any friends."

Michael Tait, director of media for the Scottish Conservatives, said: "There are a lot of fun and games, especially in Scotland, but usually a bit less swearing.

"It's pretty fascinating stuff and Tucker is a great character, but I don't think I've ever met anyone exactly like him."

Glasgow-born Iannucci was inspire to write the show after arguing the case for Yes Minister in a 2004 Best British Sitcom poll.

Following the first series, critics said it could "scarcely be more topical", and the programme won the best sitcom award at the 2006 BAFTA Television Awards.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength, with Peter Capaldi, the actor who plays Tucker, and actress Rebecca Front both winning awards at the 2010 BAFTAs.

However, despite the show's popularity, Iannucci says that this is "definitely the last series". And while he does not believe it will have a lasting effect on politics, he hopes it will inspire young comedians to create programmes that are loved just as much.