Yes Minister Page 7

Yes Minister. James Hacker (Paul Eddington). Copyright: BBC.

Yes Minister

Political satire in which well-meaning MP Jim Hacker has a fast introduction to the world of Whitehall and must then struggle against the Civil Service

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Gordon Bennett

  • Wednesday 8th October 2014, 7:34pm [Edited]
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 19,199 posts
Quote: Gordon Bennett @ 20th September 2014, 10:07 PM BST

In the episode The Greasy Pole a character called Sir Wally McFarlane is the chairman of the British Chemical Corporation. This guy has such a distinctive accent which doesn't sound British to my ears. First I thought he's French, then Eastern European.
But I think with a name like McFarlane he must be British. Is he Scottish, Welsh or anything else?

Quote: Aaron @ 20th September 2014, 10:15 PM BST

Scottish.

Quote: Gordon Bennett @ 20th September 2014, 10:19 PM BST

Thank you very much. I never heard it that way before...no Groundkeeper Willie, no Private Fraser.

Quote: Aaron @ 20th September 2014, 10:30 PM BST

Very interesting that you can hear that much of a difference! Groundskeeper Willie is an almost Dick Van Dyke-like caricature of an accent at times, but both Freddie Earlle's (the actor in this case) and John Laurie's are distinctively, similarly Scottish to my ears.

I'm watching a programme called Britain's Greatest Pilot on BBC2 right at this moment. The guy there (Eric Brown) sounds very similar to Freddie Earlle. And I Googled him, he's Scottish. Still doesn't sound anything like John Laurie to me. Brown and Earlle probably come from a different part of Scottland than Laurie.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 8th October 2014, 8:14pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,707 posts

Almost certainly. Like England, its accents vary quite a bit.

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BenS

  • Friday 10th October 2014, 3:43am
  • Canada
  • 122 posts

I find it funny you saying that over there they don't show vintage comedy Aaron, whilst over here the majority of shows on public television are the repeats of vintage shows...mostly Are You Being Served? Yes, Minister... and As Time Goes By. I grew up with this show, my mum and dad were big fans back when it was first broadcast and I used to watch it was a little kid. I still love it... Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds (all young before his Heartbeat days) and Paul Eddington worked great together. I still in my mind see this as a benchmark for political comedy.

I'll be hoenst, though, I thought the remake was shit. So over the top and forced with that laugh track. But, then I suppose they were trying to recreate an 80s era sitcom in a day where most shows have that sense of realism in the way they shoot and deliver lines.

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Aaron

  • Friday 10th October 2014, 12:49pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,707 posts
Quote: BenS @ 10th October 2014, 3:43 AM BST

I find it funny you saying that over there they don't show vintage comedy Aaron

Not sure when I said that - it's not so much that they don't show any vintage comedy (well, the BBC don't), but that those who do (Gold) don't show much variety.

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BenS

  • Friday 10th October 2014, 5:29pm
  • Canada
  • 122 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 10th October 2014, 12:49 PM BST

Not sure when I said that - it's not so much that they don't show any vintage comedy (well, the BBC don't), but that those who do (Gold) don't show much variety.

I referring to your first post when you said 'it's a shame they don't show vintage' as much.

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Oldrocker

  • Saturday 11th October 2014, 1:08am
  • Near my beloved Black Country in Wolverhampton, England
  • 13,416 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 10th October 2014, 12:49 PM BST

Not sure when I said that - it's not so much that they don't show any vintage comedy (well, the BBC don't), but that those who do (Gold) don't show much variety.

The Drama channel are having a go atm.

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TheBlueNun

  • Wednesday 29th October 2014, 7:16pm [Edited]
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,541 posts

[quote name="Aaron" post="56394" date="10th October 2007, 4:07 AM BST"]That's the brilliant thing about YM, Lee. If you don't understand the politics behind it, it's not so in-depth that you won't get it; in fact quite on the contrary, it'll teach you about how the system works. AND it's bloody funny.

Interesting fact: it's actually so true to life that civil servants now use it as an unofficial training video.

That's not strictly true in any of the Departments I've worked in, nor MrBN in his time. However, a group of us were asked by an outside training provider a couple of months ago whether The Thick Of It was true to life and we said that it wasn't particularly. However YM and YPM is a huge favourite of many of us as it's so close to the mark, it's uncanny. I suppose that it was all of those 'close advisors' to Mr Jay that provided the genus of so many interesting situations.

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Aaron

  • Wednesday 29th October 2014, 7:23pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,707 posts

Very interesting you say that. Just a few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who works in one of the key departments; they weren't really familiar with Yes Minister or Yes, Prime Minister, but said that a lot of The Thick Of It did indeed ring true to their experience, and they'd certainly had encounters with Tucker characters.

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Gazzo

  • Wednesday 29th October 2014, 7:58pm [Edited]
  • Leeds, England
  • 134 posts

I found this rather fascinating and very engaging because it is refreshing the setting is. The characters are pleasing. Just lovely all round. I didn't like the new version, not the same without Paul Eddington. He made the sitcom rather stimulating. I thought it was curious bringing it back really. For me I prefer Yes, Prime Minister because the main character which was the PM was more appealing and a rather delightful move from an MP to the Prime Minister because there was more ideas for a Prime Minister and gripping to see what Jim Hacker did. He is one of the best TV characters IMO because he was portrayed as funny, engaging and captivating.

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TheBlueNun

  • Wednesday 29th October 2014, 8:06pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,541 posts

I guess it depends on the age group of the civil servant and their length of service? I realise that Malcolm Tucker is very close to the bone for a modern - day SpAd. I have always wondered why Derek Fowlds was cast as a Fast stream Principal Private Secretary as he's far too old; most are 22-year-old Oxbridge graduates.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Tuesday 2nd June 2015, 7:22am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,257 posts

Being repeated on the BBC2 afternoon slot just after Allo Allo. Two points to make, finally the BBC make a scheduling masterstroke. Classic sitcom doubles of contrasting types. It works brillantly.

And as someone who hasn't seen YM since the first run, doesn't it look and sound good! It's like going from reading The Sun with Allo Allo to The Times. It's like a little brain game or puzzle the episodes are so well conscructed. And I love those dimly lit old offices and the tasteful decor, again a nice contrast after the bold cartoony sets of AA.

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DuckAvenger

  • Wednesday 13th January 2016, 12:29pm [Edited]
  • Finland
  • 70 posts

Little bump to this thread

Excellent Yes, Prime Minister radio documentary

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vc0qn#play

Yes Prime Minister made its television debut on the same day that Michael Heseltine quit the cabinet. In a celebration of thirty years of one of Britain's best loved sitcoms, BBC Radio 4 Extra explores the relationship between the real world of Whitehall and this timeless satire.

In new and exclusive interviews, Sir Antony Jay, a former political speech writer, and Jonathan Lynn, now a Hollywood film director, who between them wrote every word, share the secrets of Yes Prime Minister's success. Shaun Ley hears about the sources who blabbed, how New Labour ministers were influenced by Jim Hacker's serial defeats at the hands of Sir Humphrey, and visits the very heart of the British government, the Cabinet Room, to find out how true to life some of the plotlines really were.

A three hour special programme, featuring four classic TV episodes of Yes Prime Minister.

Contributors include: Sir Anthony Jay, Jonathan Lynn, Sir Richard Mottram, Edwina Currie, Lord Bernard Donoughue, Lord Peter Hennessey, Graham McCann and Tony Blair.

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TheBlueNun

  • Wednesday 13th January 2016, 1:16pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,541 posts
Quote: DuckAvenger @ 13th January 2016, 12:29 PM GMT

Little bump to this thread

Excellent Yes, Prime Minister radio documentary

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06vc0qn#play

Yes Prime Minister made its television debut on the same day that Michael Heseltine quit the cabinet. In a celebration of thirty years of one of Britain's best loved sitcoms, BBC Radio 4 Extra explores the relationship between the real world of Whitehall and this timeless satire.

In new and exclusive interviews, Sir Antony Jay, a former political speech writer, and Jonathan Lynn, now a Hollywood film director, who between them wrote every word, share the secrets of Yes Prime Minister's success. Shaun Ley hears about the sources who blabbed, how New Labour ministers were influenced by Jim Hacker's serial defeats at the hands of Sir Humphrey, and visits the very heart of the British government, the Cabinet Room, to find out how true to life some of the plotlines really were.

A three hour special programme, featuring four classic TV episodes of Yes Prime Minister.

Contributors include: Sir Anthony Jay, Jonathan Lynn, Sir Richard Mottram, Edwina Currie, Lord Bernard Donoughue, Lord Peter Hennessey, Graham McCann and Tony Blair.

Thank you. YM and YPM are excellent, insightful and intelligent programmes.

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Gordon Bennett

  • Wednesday 13th January 2016, 1:21pm
  • Basel, Switzerland
  • 19,199 posts
Quote: TheBlueNun @ 13th January 2016, 1:16 PM GMT

YM and YPM are excellent, insightful and intelligent programmes.

...and funny.

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TheBlueNun

  • Wednesday 13th January 2016, 1:21pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,541 posts
Quote: Gordon Bennett @ 13th January 2016, 1:21 PM GMT

...and funny.

Absolutely. My colleague gave me the script books :)