The New Statesman

ITV (ended 1994)




  • Season 4 Episode 7: A. B'Stard Exposed

  • In March 2006 a Tory backbenchers stood up at Prime Minsters question time and asked Tony Blair "Could the Prime Minister please tell us which of his policies is responsible for the defection to Labour of Mr. Alan B'Stard ?"

  • Season 4 Episode 4: Heil and Farewell

  • This show regularly refers to real people in politics, but rarely shows them. (Margaret Thatcher as played by Steve Nallon is an exception.) In this episode we get Nicu Ceauşescu (1951–1996), a person so reviled by Romanians and the rest of the world that the producers didn't have to worry about any lawsuits.

  • Season 3 Episode 4: Keeping Mum

  • It is revealed that Alan was born in 1956, making him two years older than Rik Mayall who portrays him.

  • Season 3 Episode 1: Labour of Love

  • When Margaret Thatcher was ousted from office Rik Mayall was so pleased that on the day she resigned he danced up and down on the stairs, he fell down them and broke his shoulder. Future episodes of the show had to be rewritten.

  • Season 1 Episode 2: Passport to Freedom

  • When Alan opens Mrs Thatcher's desk drawer, he finds a copy of Spycatcher. This memoir by former MI5 agent Peter Wright was banned by the British government in 1985, thus ensuring its success elsewhere.

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Happiness is a Warm Gun

  • Rik mayall said about the character of Alan B'Stard. "I haven't really liked any of the characters I've played, but I think he's the character I like the least – although I possibly feel the sorriest for. He doesn't know it, but he's desperately lonely. But he's such a bastard! What do you want me to say? I don't want to marry him."

  • Laurence Marks wrote to his local MP, Michael Portillo, and asked if he could show him around the House of Commons. When the episodes aired and people found out that Portillo had shown the writers around it was assumed that B'Stard was based of Portillo. However Mayall hasn't said who it was based on but in a reply to a critic saying B'Stard was sexy he said "I never thought I looked suave; I thought I looked a dickhead. How can a man with a bouffant hairstyle look sexy? But then there are people who think Michael Heseltine is sexy…" 

  • Rik Mayall was invited to a television awards party where he was introduced to Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran. He asked them to create a series for him but they were reluctant thinking he'd be "really annoying and trouble". They then appeared on the same episode of Wogan and meet afterwards for lunch.

  • The writers had to do a synopsis for the commisioning editor but decided to do it in the style of a Who's Who entry stating B'Stard's recreations as "Making money, dining at expensive restaurants at other people's expense, grinding the faces of the poor?" They then continued this with letters of correspondence. Who's Who wrote to B'stard. "Dear Mr B'stard. We should also point out that your entry is of inordinate length for a new boy. For example it's a line longer than Lord Hailsham's entry. This was followed by a reply from B'stard. "Re Your letter re: My letter. Bollocks. Yours, with the biggest majority in the House of Commons. The Right Honourable Alan Beresford B'stard MP. PS: Who the fuck is Lord Hailsham.". This was sent to Yorkshire Television instead of a synopsis.

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British TV, 80s, 90s