Yes Minister. Image shows from L to R: James Hacker (Paul Eddington), Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne), Bernard Woolley (Derek Fowlds). Copyright: BBC
Yes Minister

Yes Minister

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Two
  • 1980 - 1984
  • 23 episodes (3 series)

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. Stars Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds, Diana Hoddinott and Neil Fitzwilliam

Yes Minister trivia

Whilst widely believed to be a direct satire on the Thatcher Government under whose administration the series was produced, Yes Minister was originally conceived by Antony Jay in 1972, and the pilot episode - Open Government, broadcast as the first of the series proper - recorded on Sunday 4th February 1979. The General Election that brought Margaret Thatcher to power was held later that year, on Thursday 3rd May.

The primary inside informer for Yes Minister (and Yes, Prime Minister) was Bernard Donoughue - the head of policy at Number 10 under Labour Prime Ministers Wilson and Callaghan, from 1974 to 1979.

Yes Minister, and later Yes, Prime Minister, quickly became the favourite television programmes of real 1980s Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Other parliamentary sources for the series included Nigel Lawson (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Michael Heseltine (Deputy Prime Minister).

As of January 2013, Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister have been broadcast in 84 countries across the globe.

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