Ukraine deal for Yes Minister

BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, has licensed the format of Yes Minister - which starred the late Nigel Hawthorne - and Yes Prime Minister to the eastern European country.

Inter TV will make 38 episodes of the hugely popular 1980s political comedy for a prime time slot next year - when the show turns 30.

Claudia Danser, of BBC Worldwide, said: "I am looking forward to seeing how Sir Humphrey and the Minister deal with the different political parties when they move from the halls of Westminster to the quarters of the Verkhovna Rada."

This is the first time the country will make its own version of a BBC Worldwide scripted format.

The Ukraine is the fourth country to license the Yes Minister format after the Netherlands, India and Turkey.

The original series, starring Paul Eddington as the frequently baffled politician Jim Hacker and Nigel Hawthorne as Whitehall's unflappable Sir Humphrey Appleby, has attracted audiences from more than 80 countries.

Writers Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn said in a statement: "We never thought when we wrote it that it would be such a hit in places like India, Zambia and Libya. If you'd told us when it first went out that they'd be watching it in the Ukraine in 30 years' time we wouldn't have believed you."

The exact title for the Ukraine version of the show is yet to be decided.

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