Yes Minister

BBC Two (ended 1984)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 3 : Ep 9

    Party Games

    Aired 12/17/84

  • S 3 : Ep 8

    Short Episode

    Aired 1/4/84

  • S 3 : Ep 7

    The Middle Class Rip Off

    Aired 12/23/82

  • S 3 : Ep 6

    The Whiskey Priest

    Aired 12/16/82

  • S 3 : Ep 5

    The Bed Of Nails

    Aired 12/9/82

  • Cast & Crew
  • Nigel Hawthorne

    Sir Humphrey Appleby

  • John Nettleton

    Sir Arnold Robinson

  • Paul Eddington

    Rt Hon James Hacker

  • Derek Fowlds

    Bernard Wooley

  • Diana Hoddinott

    Annie Hacker

  • show Description
  • This is the story of the endless battles between the Government in the form of Jim Hacker, a brand new Cabinet Minister and the Civil Service of his department run by Sir Humphrey Appleby. Stuck in the middle of it all is civil servant Bernard Whooley.

  • Top Contributor
  • RoxieVelma

    User Score: 538


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (47)

    • talking about open government Bernard Woolley: Well, yes, Sir... I mean, it is the minister's policy after all. Sir Arnold: My dear boy, it is a contradiction in terms; you can be open or you can have government.

    • Frank Weisel: Did you know that Martin has got the Foreign Office, Jack has got Health, and Fred has got Energy. Annier: Has anyone got brains? Jim : You mean Education? Annie : No, I know what I mean. Jim: Well, what's left? I mean, what have I got? Annie: Rhythm?

    • Bernard: Of course in the Service, CMG stands for "Call Me God". And KCMG for "Kindly Call Me God" Hacker: What does GCMG stand for? Bernard: "God Calls Me God"

    • Jim Hacker: What am I going to do with all this correspondence? Bernard Woolley: You do realize you don't actually have to, Minister. Jim Hacker: Don't I? Bernard Woolley: Not if you don't want to, we can draft an official reply. Jim Hacker: What's an official reply? Bernard Woolley: It just says, The Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter and we say something like, The matter is under consideration, or even if we feel so inclined under active consideration. Jim Hacker: What's the difference? Bernard Woolley: Well, under consideration means we've lost the file, under active consideration means we're trying to find it.

    • Jim Hacker: Martin, what's all this about Buranda? Martin (Foreign Secretary): What's all what? Jim: There's been a coup d'état. Martin: How do you know? Jim: Well, it was on the news. Didn't you see? Don't you know? You're Foreign Secretary, for God's sake. Martin: Yes, but my TV set is on the blink. Jim: Your TV set? Don't you get Foreign Office telegrams? Martin: Oh, they always come in later. I get all the Foreign news from TV.

    • Sir Humphrey: The public doesn’t know anything about wasting government money, we're the experts.

    • Sir Humphrey: Politicians like to panic, they need activity. It's their substitute for achievement.

    • Bernard: If you could be fairly quick, Sir Humphrey, he does have cabinet at ten. Sir Humphrey: I can be very quick, Bernard. The word 'no' is one of the shortest in the language.

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    Notes (6)

    • The aggressively left-wing and outspoken "Ben Stanley" is clearly a parody of one of Britain's best-known political figures of the era (and subsequently), Ken Livingstone. The latter was, as leader of the Greater London Council, a thorn in the side of the Thatcher government for many years and the object of much execration in the right-wing press. He was equally unpopular in the Labour Party, whose official line he often opposed; but he still became first directly-elected Mayor of London and held the post for many years.

    • This was not an episode of "Yes, Minister", and not intended to be. It was a publicity stunt devised to show off Margaret Thatcher's non-existent abilities as a comedy writer and to demonstrate her colossal ego. Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne (politically far more liberal than Thatcher) both initially refused to take part, but, in the words of series co-creator Jonathan Lynn, "they both bottled out." It was filmed, not for broadcasting on its own, but for a newscast.

    • This short episode lasts only 4 minutes.

    • Short special part of The Funny Side Of Christmas

    • This was the last TV episode of Yes Minister to be produced for nearly two years. During this gap sixteen episodes of Yes Minister were re-recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 4, with all the principal cast reprising their roles. There were two series consisting of eight episodes each. These series aired from 18 October to 7 December 1983 and 8 October to 27 November 1984 respectively.

    • Bridge to the later series.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (5)

    • This is a rare case where an episode does not end with the line from Sir Humphrey "Yes, Minister". Instead he just makes eye contact with Hacker.

    • This is the only episode of Yes, Minister that features Lucy Hacker, the daughter of the Minister. You only hear about once more in Yes, Prime Minister.

    • Bursar of Baillie College: Isaac Wolfson is only the second person in history to have a college named after him at both Oxford and Cambridge. In fact, he is the third person. The first two are Jesus Christ and St John the Baptist.

    • Goof: When Jim knocks on the Prime Minister's door it says "Prime Minister", however when we see the shot from the inside when he opens it the door is blank!

    • Its interesting to note, that Thatcher, a big fan of the series, was playing alongside two gay men, (of which she probably wasn't aware) who would not have been too keen on her due to her percieved to be anti gay policies. This was later commented by countdown shows to be a very painful to watch sketch.

    Allusions (3)

    • Sir Humphrey Appleby: The Minister doesn't know his ACAS from his NALGO. This is a pun on the name of two industrial relations bodies: ACAS = Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. NALGO = National Association of Local Government Officers (a 1970s/1980s trades union, subsequently subsumed into Unison).

    • Hacker: The greasy pole is important. I have to climb it. Humphrey: Why? Hacker: Because it's there. Refers to George Mallory's famous 1924 answer to the question of climbing Mount Everest. Mallory was killed later that year attempting to climb Everest.

    • Jim Hacker: (Talking about the post of EEC Commissioner) It's curtains as far as British politics is concerned. [...] You're reduced to forming a new party if ever you want to get back. This is a reference to the politican Roy Jenkins, who served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour governments of the 1960s and 70s. He then became President of the EEC Commission 1977-81, before returning to the UK and becoming a founder member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as one of the "gang of four". The SDP was formed in January 1981, just a few weeks before this episode was originally broadcast.

  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • About how govt work. Many times so real that it make you worry about how your govt is really ran.

    By archangelwho, Jan 20, 2008

  • One of a kind.

    By Abhorsen_91, Apr 17, 2009

  • Well, actually Absolutely Fabulous was a different British comedy...but it describes this and Yes, Prime Minister too...

    By KsprayDad, Jan 19, 2006

  • A Witty British political satire

    By gophone, Jul 16, 2005

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