Britannia Hospital. Image shows from L to R: Professor Millar (Graham Crowden), Macmillan (Jill Bennett).

Britannia Hospital

1982 British comedy film the NHS and British society. Stars Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Marsha Hunt and others.

Britannia Hospital. Malcolm McDowell.

Britannia Hospital

Black comedy satirising the NHS and early-1980s British society

Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Marsha Hunt, Malcolm McDowell, Robin Askwith, John Bett and others
David Sherwin
Lindsay Anderson
Davina Belling and Clive Parsons

An extremely black comedy, Britannia Hospital satirises British society in the early 1980s, from the NHS to police brutality, protest movements to private enterprise, socialism and African banana republics to technology. In short: revolution.

Whilst the colourful egomanic Professor Millar prepares to open his self-named new wing at Britannia Hospital with a demonstration of the ominously named Genesis, porters, cooks and other staff in the neighbouring, crumbling state hospital buildings are on strike, raising grave objections to the presence of a private ward, privilege, and any deviation from their socialist ideals.

Worse for the hospital's administrators is that one of the most senior members of the Royal Family is due to visit on that same day, touring the existing hospital and formally opening the new Millar Centre before a highly-feted demonstration of Genesis. But Millar has a first-of-a-kind operation to perform too, and protests outside the gates are only growing.

The presence of the President of an African banana republic in the private wing provokes further demonstration from anti-imperialists, whilst two opposing groups of media - one authorised by Millar and one definitely not - attempt to cover the day's events.

Desperate that the royal visit is not hindered, hospital boss Potter sets about making deals wherever he can, twisting arms in order that the day may run smoothly. But there are some factors beyond his control, and the actions of Professor Millar and his team are included.

Production Details

UK certificate
116 minutes
Release date


Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

Last repeat
Monday 17th June 2019 at 11:00pm on London Live

Website links