- 4 Seasons
Yes, Minister is a British television sitcom based around the workings of the British government and the power battles taking place between elected officials and administrative staff. The sitcom was first broadcast over three seven episode seasons between 1980 and 1984; because of the time of production the show often satirizes the problems of British society and the ruling Conservative government of the early 1980s. Yes, Minister was a critical and ratings success; the popularity of the show reached as high as the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who described it as her favorite television show. Beginning the day after his unnamed party have been elected to power in a general election Member of Parliament Jim Hacker, played by Paul Eddington is waiting for a call from the newly elected Prime Minister. Finally, he receives a call and is awarded the post of Minister of Administrative Affairs, a fictional government department. Hacker is forced to work with two members of the British civil service, Sir Humphrey Appleby, played by Nigel Hawthorne offers his public support to hacker before privately trying to sabotage his plans. As Sir Humphrey attempts to block Hacker's plans to reform the ministry he attempts to confuse the new minister with long winded speeches containing complex sentences, which Hacker generally fails to understand. Alongside Sir Humphrey the minister's principal private secretary Bernard Woolley is often caught in the middle as he attempts to keep the peace between Sir Humphrey and Hacker. Woolley's character includes moments when he replicates the complex speeches of Sir Humphrey, but still maintains a sense of integrity and desire to improve the U.K. Yes, Minister completed 21 episodes before going off the air in 1984; the show was voted the sixth best sitcom in British history in a nationwide poll and won several awards for the production, writing and acting. A spin off series followed from 1986 to 1988 entitled Yes, Prime Minister and featured the character of Jim hacker becoming Prime Minister of the U.K.