The New Statesman

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For other uses, see New Statesmen (disambiguation).
The New Statesman
The New Statesman title card.jpg
Series title card
Genre Sitcom, satire
Created by Laurence Marks
Maurice Gran
Starring Rik Mayall
Marsha Fitzalan
Michael Troughton
Theme music composer Modest Mussorgsky arrangement by Alan Hawkshaw
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 26 + 3 specials
Production
Executive producer(s) John Bartlett
Allan McKeown
Michael Pilsworth
David Reynolds
Running time Approx. 24–25 minutes
(including adverts)
Production company(s) Yorkshire Television
(1987, 1989-1992)
Alomo Productions (1992 & 1994)
Distributor ITV Studios
Fremantle Media
Broadcast
Original channel ITV (1987, 1989-1992)
BBC One (1988 & 1994)
Picture format 4:3
Original run 13 September 1987 (1987-09-13) – 30 December 1994 (1994-12-30)

The New Statesman is a British sitcom of the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the Conservative government of the time. It was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor, Rik Mayall.

The show's theme tune is an arrangement by Alan Hawkshaw of part of the Promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

The programme was made by the ITV franchise Yorkshire Television between 1987 and 1992, although the BBC made two special episodes; one in 1988, the other in 1994.

Cast list[edit]

Characters[edit]

Alan Beresford B'Stard[edit]

B'Stard is a selfish, greedy, dishonest, devious, lecherous, sadistic, ultra-right-wing Conservative backbencher, a sociopathic schemer who occasionally resorts to murder to fulfill his megalomaniac ambitions. The show was mostly set in B'Stard's antechambers in the Palace of Westminster and featured Piers Fletcher-Dervish as B'Stard's twittish upper-class sidekick. B'Stard shared a middle name with Norman Tebbit.

B'Stard was MP for the then fictional constituency of Haltemprice (In 1983, in the real world, a constituency of that name had been abolished; later, in 1997, re-drawn boundaries led to the constituency of Boothferry in East Yorkshire being renamed "Haltemprice and Howden". This seat's first incumbent was David Davis, a Conservative leadership candidate in 2001 and 2005). Goldsborough Hall, near Knaresborough, was used to portray his Yorkshire country residence and used as a backdrop for the opening photo sequences along with a few exterior shots in the first season including the scene where he tries to run over the gardener in his Bentley. The town of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire was used to film the opening election sequence in the first episode and roads around Goldsborough were used to shoot the police car chase from the first series where the policeman's gun backfires. Some city scenes were not filmed in London, but Leeds, with Leeds Town Hall used as the High Court.

Alan was the youngest MP at the age of 31, and was a distillation of the greed and callousness that were considered the hallmarks of new money Thatcherites. B'Stard was married to the devious Sarah, a vain, bisexual nymphomaniac who wanted nothing more than for Alan to die so she could become a rich widow. The couple cheated on each other in perpetuity but remained in a marriage of convenience; Sarah because of Alan's money and Alan because Sarah's father controlled the local Tory Party and held Alan's seat in his gift.

Alan's schemes grew wilder and more bold as the series progressed taking in bribery, murder and provoking Trade Union disputes to make a profit. Later, B'Stard would intentionally mismanage the Tory election campaign so Labour would be blamed for an economic crisis, stage his own assassination to bring back hanging (and make £1,000,000 in the process). In the last episode he creates splits in both the Tory and Labour Parties and names himself Lord Protector.

Whatever crises and scandals swirled around the evil B'Stard, he would always come up smelling of roses. When accused of engaging in sex acts with minors, Alan successfully sued The Times newspaper; when he plotted to get his hands on the stolen millions of Robert Maxwell who was hiding in Bosnia he was hailed as a humanitarian hero. Even when Alan was sentenced to death he managed to escape the noose and retain his position in Parliament. B'Stard's greatest triumph came when he managed to get himself released from incarceration in a Siberian gulag following his assassination attempt on Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and returned to the UK a hero. Having lost his Westminster seat during his forced absence in Russia, Alan manages to procure himself a German seat in the European Union's parliament as well as getting Piers onto the European Commission, with the two of them proceeding to cause more havoc on the continent and further enhance Alan's reputation back home.

B'Stard would habitually use others to aid his quest for money and power. Sidney Bliss, the local pub landlord (and a former hangman), was completely in his power in the hope of regaining his position. Many others – old Nazis, Cabinet Ministers and even Salman Rushdie — would regularly pay to buy his silence.

A running joke throughout the series was that, despite his extreme good looks and how easy it was for him to pursue his constant womanising, B'Stard was very under-endowed and suffered from premature ejaculation. A good quantity of women he bedded would be disappointed or contemptuous of his abilities in bed, despite his delusion that they must have enjoyed his sexual company as much as he did theirs. In fact, he thinks it a sign of virility that he's able to be so quick in bed.

In the stage show it was revealed that Alan had been the architect of New Labour when he realised the Tories were done for (effectively ignoring the last episode of the series), picking a young guitar-playing hippie named Tony Blair and grooming him to be PM. B'Stard transformed Labour into a second Conservative Party, eradicating socialism and effectively running the country from his palatial office at Number 9 Downing Street. The show saw an older Alan, fabulously rich after orchestrating Black Wednesday, still up to his old tricks playing America and Al-Qaeda off each other in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. By now, Alan is onto his fourth wife (Arrabella Lucretia B'Stard), although the show's first run saw Sarah still firmly in place.

Until very recently[when?] Alan wrote a weekly opinion column in the Sunday Telegraph where he would detail his involvement in current events and even contributed to a Telegraph special of the Blair years where he hinted at being behind the deaths of John Smith, Mo Mowlam and Robin Cook. In the stage show, Alan's involvement in the death of David Kelly was also hinted at.

The newspaper column was written to suggest that the stage show was written by B'Stard himself to communicate his triumphs to the ordinaries. After Gordon Brown was named as Blair's successor, B'Stard's final column implied that, bored with the UK and unable to tolerate a Brown premiership, Alan would quit the country to take up a new position as Head of the World Bank, leaving the door open to a potential return. Other columns had implied that Alan had already begun to groom David Cameron, in preparation for the end of New Labour's era and an electoral return for the Conservatives.

Rik Mayall's death on 9th June 2014 prompted Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran to also kill B'Stard by writing an obituary for him (with B'Stard's date of death the same as Mayall's). It is explained that Alan died while making love to his two faithful Polynesian masseurs and states that B'Stard went on to marry Lady Gaga, his fifth wife and left behind five children and twelve grandchildren. It is also revealed that B'Stard's birth date is February 29th, meaning that upon his death Alan was legally only fourteen. [1]

Sir Piers Fletcher-Dervish, Baronet[edit]

B'Stard's sidekick in his machinations was the upper-class and old school (but incredibly dim-witted) Tory, Piers. Piers was essentially a very kind-hearted and hard-working MP, albeit one who rarely spoke in the house and was completely under Alan's control. Usually Piers was conned into Alan's schemes through trickery or bullying although he would inevitably cock up the simplest of instructions. It was even claimed that Piers only became a Barrister at Law and MP (for the Wiltshire seat of Devizes, in his family for generations) through the intervention of his Teddy bear. Even when Piers married the redoubtable Clarissa he remained in B'Stard's power despite occasional flashes of rebellion. It was Piers' intervention in Alan's fake shooting that led to B'Stard being sentenced to death and his ability as a lover that helped persuade Sarah to rescue Piers and abandon Alan in Siberia. Upon Alan's release from the gulag and return to the UK, Piers (tipped to become the next Chancellor of the Exchequer) lived in fear of the vengeful B'Stard. B'Stard exploited this fear to the full and even threatened Piers' newborn baby in order to get him to resign his seat to accommodate Sir Greville. In return however, Alan ensured that Piers rose to become European Commissioner for Internal Relations, but even in this exalted role Alan would hold the reins of power and used Piers' position to expand his fortunes.

Sarah B'Stard[edit]

Alan's vengeful, bisexual wife who equalled Alan in his capacity for adultery and deviousness. Sarah originally remained married to Alan purely for money but their relationship evolved as the series progressed. Though their hatred was always mutual, the dynamic in the couple's sexual relationship would often shift and change. In the first series Sarah could not contemplate sleeping with B'Stard although in the second it was Alan who tried to fight off his wife's attentions.

(In the first series, Sarah was having a lesbian affair with Alan's constituency agent and public relations manager, Beatrice Protheroe, whom she had known at school. After that, actress Marsha Fitzalan asked the screenwriters to take out this aspect of her character and she was instead shown sleeping with other men, which included threesomes.)

By the time of the fourth series, the couple had lapsed into a form of 'psychopathic revenge lust', regularly sleeping together despite attempts to do each other harm. When B'Stard was due to hang, Sarah invited the Minister for Law and Order home for sex rather than to pardon him and gleefully abandoned her husband in the frozen wastes of Siberia 'because [she] could'. Following Sarah and Alan's divorce (a sub-plot of the original stage show), Alan B'Stard's Sunday Telegraph column made reference to her 'coming over all dead'.

Sir Greville McDonald[edit]

Sir Greville was introduced in the final episode of series 2, portrayed as a corrupt Cabinet Minister who recruited an unwitting Piers as Junior Minister for Housing in order to 'nod through' some of his shadier housing projects. Sir Greville had his first dealings with B'Stard in this episode who implied he would expose him unless he agreed a similar arrangement for B'Stard, and thus became a suspect for the audience in Alan's shooting at the episode's climax. By the time of Alan's 'Miraculous recovery', Sir Greville had been promoted by Thatcher to Minister for Law and Order and negotiated with Alan for the return of the gallows (earning himself a finder's fee of £50,000). Sir Greville found it particularly amusing when B'Stard was sentenced to death and in fact spent the night of Alan's planned execution with the condemned man's wife.

Greville can be viewed as an older and more restrained version of B'Stard. Just as quick to make shady money and with somewhat sordid personal tastes but with a stronger respect for Parliamentary institutions and the Conservative Party itself. Greville in fact places the good of the Tory Party far above the good of the country and says as much in the last episode.

By series 3, Greville is Secretary of State for the Environment and has developed a love-hate relationship with B'Stard which eventually evolves into a mutual respect. Series 4 found Greville out of Parliament after the 1992 election when local voters disagreed with his decision to place a nuclear waste plant in the middle of his own constituency. After some persuasion from B'Stard, Greville takes over Piers' seat and becomes Secretary of State for European Affairs, thus ensuring a wealth of opportunities to connive with Alan in Europe. The last episode saw Greville split with Alan and become part of The Progressive Federalists who were soundly thrashed by Alan's New Patriotic Party at the polls.

Sir Stephen Baxter[edit]

An elderly backbench Conservative MP who shared the office with Alan and Piers during the first two series. Sir Stephen's morally uptight old-school attitude and respect for Parliamentary protocol meant that he contrasted sharply with the self-centred Alan and the clueless Piers, serving as further comic foil to bounce the two of them off. Despite being in Parliament for a very long time he has been resigned to the backbenches for many years after taking the fall in a scandal involving another minister who would go on to become Secretary of State for Wales. Alan has little respect for him and is more than willing to exploit Sir Stephen's helpful and professional nature for his own ends, including plagiarising one of Sir Stephen's speeches in the Commons in order to ensure that Alan's Private Member's Bill on arming the police would pass into law. He is last seen in Series 2 when, having already been alienated by the introduction of TV cameras and film crews into the House of Commons, Sir Stephen witnesses Piers inflating an blow-up Alan B'Stard doll in a suggestive manner. Sir Stephen gives Piers a stern telling-off before declaring that he "might as well accept that peerage" and then leaves the office, suggesting that he moved up to the House of Lords.

Roland Gidleigh-Park[edit]

Roland was Alan's despicable father-in-Law with whom B'Stard had to curry favour if he wanted to retain his seat due to Roland controlling the local Conservative Party. In some ways similar to Sir Greville, Roland is a much older but equally nasty version of B'Stard, albeit with an apparently genuine interest in the constituency. On several occasions, Roland threatens to have Alan de-selected due to the absolute lack of interest B'Stard displays in Haltemprice. Roland chastises B'Stard for not holding surgeries, not asking questions in the House and taking no interest in local industry and claims his control over the local Party is a perfect miniature of Thatcher's Cabinet and gives him the power to wreck B'Stard's career. Despite these seemingly genuine concerns for his locality, Roland on many occasions demonstrates his thorough nastiness. It is revealed that as the young Master of Ingleborough Colliery in 1926, he was prepared to use mustard gas on his workers to stave off the threat of revolution then dumped the gas under a primary school. He was even prepared to let B'Stard dump nuclear waste in the same location for the right price. Roland is particularly unpleasant towards the French (which he puts down to an unpleasant experience with a French woman called Giselle in 1940, the last time he touched anything French) and swears he will never use words again if he discovers them to have French origin. Roland also reveals his sinister nature by stating he turned down the chance to have Leon Brittan as MP for Haltemprice due to him being Jewish, asking for anything South African (South Africa at this time being under Apartheid) and Sarah later reveals that he knew Hitler socially although they never discussed politics. Roland is seen in only series 1 but after Alan's shooting Sarah is seen on the phone to her father, the two of them asking each other if they were responsible for the crime.

Norman/Norma Bormann[edit]

Norman Bormann is Alan's accountant and personal confidante during the first series. He was on the run from the authorities who suspected him of dubious financial practices and was therefore forced to conduct his shady business with Alan in rather unconventional venues including an abandoned railway wagon and the back of an ambulance. Over the course of series 1 Norman gradually undergoes sex-change treatment in order to become a woman and 'kill [Norman Bormann] off', charging Alan through the nose for his help in order to finance it. By the end of the series the change is virtually complete (up until the last episode he/she was still sporting a full moustache) but he/she still does the odd favour for Alan, including seducing the Secretary of State for Wales (while he was still technically a man) and posing as Alan's wife during dinner with an American fast-food tycoon. The new Norman is not seen again after the first series.

Sidney Bliss[edit]

Sidney is an elderly publican in Alan's Yorkshire constituency. He was once, however, Britain's last hangman (the character is reputedly modelled on Albert Pierrepoint), and as such is always encouraging Alan to propose bringing back hanging, in order to get his old job back. Sidney is also neurotic, suffering particularly from a fear of depths. Alan, however, always exploits his power over Sidney, and thus Sidney often acts as Alan's henchman, for example helping him dump nuclear waste in Roland's coal-mine. In the 1990 special, he is a central character when Alan does indeed help re-introduce hanging (though he does it more for personal profit than to help Sidney) and is the executioner who is told to execute Alan. However, his attempt to kill Alan fails.

Bob Crippen[edit]

Bob Crippen is a Labour MP who represents the deprived inner city constituency of Bramall and, like Alan, has a large majority. He is Alan's main antagonist during the first two series and like Alan he is quick to anger. Unlike Alan though he is honest, forthright and does his best by his constituents. Bob worked his way up from working in a car-plant to being a trade union leader and then became an MP. His socialist views contrast somewhat with Alan's far-right views. Alan often outsmarts Bob, knowing that he can antagonise him into taking action that will further Alan's cause. Bob however often accuses Alan of sinister motives to which he sometimes accidentally admits in the house.

Political ideals[edit]

Over the course of the series, stage shows and newspaper columns, Alan opined on numerous topics, most of which demonstrated his contempt for the working class and indeed anyone not of the political and financial elite (the ordinaries). During an argument with a constituent, B'Stard declared that he believed he was helping British industry by driving a Bentley (a [Lagonda] In series 4) and having his suits handmade by British craftsmen. B'Stard's arrogance even extended to stating that there was nothing wrong with the education system that couldn't be put right with £2,500 a term, and that NHS waiting lists could be abolished by shutting down the health service, thereby eradicating poor people and eliminating poverty. B'Stard continued this train of thought through his defection to New Labour when he was instrumental in arranging a postcode lottery for cancer treatment so that "only the right people get better". Alan at one time proposed inverting the rallying cry of the American War of Independence by stating that "No representation without taxation" was a more fitting clarion call, believing people such as himself (the "enterprising, over-taxed minority") to be called on far too often to bail out other members of society. Alan used the same argument when proposing to cut off all social security payments to elderly people as he believes they should have considered how they would look after themselves instead of wasting their money on "ghastly holidays in Blackpool". When being interviewed by Brian Walden, Alan readily consented that should he rule the UK, the rich would only pay tax on their cocaine, children would be forced to work in mills and the elderly and infirm would be left to die by the thousands.

Audience reaction[edit]

The sitcom was one of the most critically successful ITV comedy series of its day, and developed a strong following: the audience laughter was so loud and persistent that it apparently caused the show to overrun and the writers had to shorten the scripts to compensate. However, it was also regarded as very cruel and irreverent, treating all its subjects with black humour and violent slapstick. Rik Mayall said of the audience reaction he received "In the first series people were saying 'Gosh, isn't Rik Mayall good-looking?' but by the second they were saying 'Gosh, isn't Rik Mayall a good actor?' and that's all I ever really wanted."

Episode list[edit]

Series 1[edit]

  1. Happiness is A Warm Gun (13 September 1987) – Alan B'Stard, a deceitful, lecherous, and brutal yuppie who has made his fortune via a variety of shady deals and frauds, is elected as the Conservative MP for the constituency of Haltemprice in Yorkshire, after having the brake lines cut on the cars of his Labour and SDP opponents on the eve of the election, putting them on life support and giving him "the largest majority in Parliament." However, Sir Malachi Jericho, the local Chief Constable, has uncovered evidence proving Alan's complicity in the crime, and uses it to blackmail Alan into introducing a private member's bill to allow policemen to carry handguns. Amazingly, the bill passes, but Jericho is not done: he reveals that he is a religious fanatic and schizophrenic who speaks to Jesus on a regular basis, and states that he will continue to force Alan to do "God's will." Alan responds by duping Jericho into thinking that the Bishop of Haltemprice, a member of the House of Lords and an opponent of Alan's gun bill, is the Antichrist. When Jericho hands over his dirt in gratitude and goes to kill the Bishop, Alan has him arrested and forced out of office. The episode ends with Alan making a fortune supplying the Yorkshire police with handguns, which are actually defective knockoffs purchased for £10 apiece.
  2. Passport to Freedom (20 September 1987) – When Alan's wife, Sarah, announces that she has inherited 200,000 shares of Ocelot Motors, a wildly successful local automobile manufacturer, and now plans to divorce him, Alan is panic-stricken. He doesn't particularly like her, but her father, Roland Gidleigh-Park, is chairman of the local Conservatives, and can have him deselected as the party's candidate on a whim. Seeking to see Ocelot bankrupted so that she will have no choice but to stay with him, he sneaks into Margaret Thatcher's office, steals a few pages of her personal notepaper, and forges a letter from her to the chairman of Ocelot authorising them to de-unionise their workforce and begin cutting wages substantially. He then leaks the letter to Bob Crippen, a socialist Labour MP and leader of the autoworkers union. When Crippen reveals the letter on the floor of the House of Commons, Alan goads him into calling a strike. Ocelot's share price collapses and the company is forced to file for bankruptcy, and Alan's marriage (such as it is) is saved.
  3. Sex is Wrong (27 September 1987) – Piers Fletcher-Dervish, Alan's aristocratic and mentally challenged officemate, joins the Campaign for Moral Regeneration, a group dedicated to battling pornography, but Alan (who proclaims himself a libertarian on the subject) is uninterested in joining, until Piers tells him that they regularly view samples of the material they are fighting. After the first meeting, Alan steals a sheaf of particularly outlandish photographs and returns to his office, where he takes a meeting with Lady Virginia, an irrationally prudish aristocrat who has written a pamphlet entitled "Sex is Wrong". Learning that she will be forced to skip the upcoming Tory party conference, and seeing an opportunity to make some money and embarrass the CMR, he convinces her that he can get the pamphlet published, cons her into writing him a cheque, and then arranges to have it printed up by a pornographic book publisher, complete with full-color illustrations (the same ones he stole from the meeting). At the party conference, however, he learns that Lady Virginia has decided to attend after all, and when she discovers what he has done, she threatens to tell Margaret Thatcher. In a panic, Alan delivers a rousing speech to the conference extolling the book as a guide to resisting the evils of immorality, complete with illustrations of what to resist. The book sells out almost immediately, and Alan turns a huge profit. Later that evening, at his hotel room, Lady Virginia arrives to tell him that after his speech, she has begun having feelings she has never had before...
  4. Waste Not, Want Not (4 October 1987) – One of Alan's old moneymaking schemes comes back to haunt him when Norman, his transsexual accountant, tells him that the depot in Hull where he left a shipment of Argentine nuclear waste he was hired to dispose of is scheduled for demolition. Learning that there is a coal mine in his constituency that was abandoned for unknown reasons after the general strike of 1926, Alan decides to dump the waste there, but the mine's owner, his own father-in-law Roland, refuses to disclose its location. Norman finds it using an old map, but refuses to help Alan dump the waste there when he learns that the mine now runs under a primary school. Sidney Bliss, a local pub owner and former hangman who occasionally does Alan's dirty work, also refuses to help due to his claustrophobia, and Alan is left to dispose of the waste himself. When he does, he discovers why the mine was closed: fearing a communist revolution during the strike, Roland used it to store several tons of mustard gas, which has been there ever since. Roland offers to let Alan store his waste elsewhere, in a disused quarry he owns, but says he will charge Alan through the nose for it.
  5. Friends of St. James (11 October 1987) – Alan is invited to give the commencement speech at his alma mater, and while there encounters his former classmate Lance Okum-Martin, who tells him that he is now President for Life of the tropical Republic of St. James. After sampling some of St. James' "special tobacco," Alan delivers a speech calling for the abolition of the National Health Service and the alleviation of poverty by the eradication of poor people. Later, he meets with Norman, who comes up with a new scheme: Alan will get Lance to let him open an offshore bank on St. James which will be totally anonymous, offer obscenely high interest rates to depositors, and be tax-free. Once a sufficient number of deposits are made, the bank will go out of business and Alan will pocket the money. Alan immediately gathers a group of his fellow MPs who agree to become the bank's first depositors, and charters a flight to St. James. As the plane circles above the island, however, Alan learns that the nation's president is actually Lewis Okum-Martin. Lance is his grandson, a con man who just wanted to get Alan high and steal his money. Desperate, Alan forces Piers to join him in posing as a pair of skyjackers, who steal the cashier's checks the MPs were taking to deposit and then "escape" via parachute. After giving the pilot half of the loot to buy his silence, Alan manages to clear a slight profit from the venture.
  6. Three Line Whipping (18 October 1987) – Alan spends the night at a famed local brothel where he enjoys some BDSM, and an aborted police raid nearly makes him late for a morning television interview. As the interview begins, he discovers that the subject is an important by-election that happened the night before, and he has no idea what the result was. Humiliated on live TV, Alan takes out his anger on a cabbie who was taunting him, seemingly killing him. Desperate to hide the body, Alan stows it in the back of the cab and drives to his office, where Piers refuses to drive it into the country and set it on fire. Intending to do it himself, Alan gets lost and encounters Margaret Thatcher and the Tories' Chief Whip, whose car has broken down. Masquerading as a working class Labourite, Alan interrupts their conversation about how to punish him for his TV gaffe to tell them how much he and all his friends like "that B'Stard bloke." After dropping them off, he struggles to find a spot to dump the cab, eventually crashing it and discovering that the cabbie is not dead, but merely unconscious. When the police arrive, he convinces them that the cabbie went berserk and kidnapped him, and the cabbie is hauled away. Back at the office, he discovers that, due to her conversation with the "cabbie," the prime minister is now quite keen on him, and the Chief Whip is powerless to discipline him.
  7. Baa Baa Black Sheep (25 October 1987) – Over breakfast one morning, Roland informs B'Stard that the local Tories have finally had enough of his neglect of his constituents, and he is to be deselected at the next meeting. Desperate to find a way to get back into the local party's good graces quickly, Alan takes the advice of Norman, now ready for his final sex-change operation and going by the name of "Norma," to cozy up to the owner of an American fast food chain, Lamb Burger Guzzler, which is planning to open 200 stores throughout Britain and will be locating its factory in either Haltemprice or Wales. As the company's owner, Mr. Guzzler, is a fundamentalist Christian, Alan decides to win him over by getting "Norma" to pose as a prostitute and seduce the lecherous Secretary of State for Wales, which Alan will then photograph. The scheme succeeds, but ends with the Secretary's death, as he suffers a fatal heart attack when he learns that "Norma" is a man. After pausing to persuade Roland to sell him his unprofitable sheep ranch, one of the largest in the country and the only one in Haltemprice, Alan takes a meeting with Mr. Guzzler and his wife at one of their restaurants. As Sarah refuses to help him with his scheme, he gets "Norma" to pose as his wife. At the meeting, the Guzzlers invite Alan and his "wife" to join them in a swinger party to seal the deal, Alan is naturally forced to refuse. This turns out to be the right move, as Mr. Guzzler reveals that he was just testing Alan's moral fortitude, and he passed. Alan is ecstatic; he can't wait to tell Roland, to tell him both that he has just brought a major new business to the constituency and to let him know that Alan's sheep ranch is about to be very profitable indeed.

Special[edit]

Comic Relief (5 February 1988) – Not technically an episode of The New Statesman, this was the first annual Red Nose Day telethon held by the Comic Relief charity. In the final skit, Alan takes a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.

Series 2[edit]

  1. Fatal Extraction (15 January 1989) – After appearing on a TV talk show in which he explains his view on the issue of abortion ("ugly, stupid, poor people should not be allowed to have children"), Alan discovers while driving home that there is as much as £1 billion worth of oil located beneath the Hackney Marshes. Unfortunately, the land is the property of the Borough of Hackney, and the only person who can sell it to him is Georgina Pritt, the black, feminist, socialist leader of the Hackney Council, whom he spent the entire interview insulting the night before. Turning on the charm, Alan seduces her and persuades her to sell him the land as part of a deal to turn it into an enterprise zone, but her fellow members of the Council discover that she has been doing business with him and move to expel her from the party. Told that he will only get the land "when the Tories win Hackney," Alan decides to destroy the Labour Party's voting base among the poor and working class by introducing an amendment to exempt all those with an income of less than £20,000 from the poll tax, so long as they surrender their right to vote. The amendment seems well on its way to passing, despite the entreaties of the Chief Whip, but Alan's plan is mooted when Piers accidentally lets slip to Georgina the real reason for Alan's interest in the Marshes. As her last act as Council leader, she sells the land to herself and promptly retires to a private island. A depressed Alan agrees to withdraw his amendment, but cheers himself up by blackmailing the Chief Whip, who accidentally lets it slip that he is a closeted homosexual.
  2. Live from Westminster (22 January 1989) – Alan discovers that the introduction of television cameras to the House of Commons is the greatest opportunity of his career yet. After a few fiery speeches on the floor, he quickly becomes a superstar, and then begins raking it in by doing testimonials on the House floor and selling product tie-ins featuring himself to his legions of fans. He even becomes a permanent member of the panel on a popular game show and, despite alienating the host and the other guests with his insult comedy, becomes a ratings success. His new-found fame backfires, however, as he learns that Sarah has sold her life story to a national tabloid, which plans to serialise the entire sordid story, exposing all of his darkest secrets. Racing to 10 Downing Street, he implores Margaret Thatcher to intervene and stop the publication, but she refuses, saying that she ordered Sarah to write the memoir to cut him down to size. Rebuffed, Alan tricks Piers into blowing up the warehouse where all the copies of the tabloid are stored, saying that the paper contains an exposé about Thatcher's personal life. As the episode closes, Alan exploits the bombing to hawk fire safety gear on the House floor.
  3. The Wapping Conspiracy (29 January 1989) – Looking for an opportunity to recruit nubile, under-aged girls to have sex with, Alan becomes the parliamentary patron of the newly formed "Young Ladies' Recreational Association." His scheme backfires, however, as a reporter for The Times publicly names him as a "degenerate pervert" and publishes photographs of him engaged in group sex with several of the girls and a Border Collie. Alan responds by suing The Times for libel, and hires Piers to be his barrister. Piers, as expected, manages to thoroughly bungle the case, and Alan finally fires him during the cross-examination of the reporter and announces that he will represent himself. Under questioning, the reporter admits that he doctored the photos to implicate Alan, whom he hates for being rich and handsome, and Alan is awarded £500,000 in damages. Later, as Alan celebrates with Piers and Sarah, the reporter arrives and explains to the others that he and Alan had set the whole thing up so they could scam the paper out of the damages. Alan, however, feigns innocence, and reveals that he has taped the entire conversation, which he will now use to sue the reporter personally for further damages.
  4. The Haltemprice Bunker (5 February 1989) – Alan takes lunch with his old friend Piers Lonsdale, a misanthropic financial journalist who offers to let him in on the ground floor of a scheme to exploit General Pinochet's new slavery program for a profit, in exchange for an investment of £500,000. Lacking the liquidity to invest in the scheme, and looking to cash in on the publicity from an ongoing Nazi hunt, Alan heads to the home of Helmut Drucker, an ex-Nazi living in Haltemprice whom Alan has been blackmailing for years, and who he now plans to turn in for the reward. He relents, however, when Drucker offers to pay him £500,000 worth of Nazi gold to let him go. After making some quick travel arrangements for Drucker, Alan meets him at a railway station to exchange his tickets for the gold, only to discover that Piers (Fletcher-Dervish, not Lonsdale) – angry at him for some earlier insults—has tipped off the media. Panicking, Alan pretends to have caught Drucker in the act of fleeing the country and in the ensuing struggle, he pushes the old man in front of an oncoming train. Although he is out the gold, Alan consoles himself that he will at least get some favourable publicity for killing a Nazi. To his astonishment, however, he finds that none of the media who were in attendance have reported the incident. Lonsdale explains that this is because the press are under strict orders from the prime minister not to publish negative stories about Tory MPs, "except, perhaps, Edward Heath."
  5. California Here I Come (12 February 1989) – Alan and Piers fly to Hollywood, where they attend a party thrown by a major film producer, to whom Alan intends to pitch the idea of a Dallas-style soap opera set in the House of Commons. Once there, Alan finds that his pitch is rejected by the producer, and Piers accidentally samples some cocaine, which makes him violently, rabidly royalist, but Alan thinks he has saved the night (for him, anyway), when he is propositioned for sex by Donna Nightingale, a sexy soap opera star who proclaims her interest in bondage. Once they get back to her apartment, the two have stripped down to their underwear, and Donna is tied to her bed, she announces that she needs some Quaaludes, which are in her purse out in her car. Alan goes to get them (leaving Donna still tied up), clad only in a woman's bathrobe and Union Jack speedo, and ends up locking himself out of the building. When the police come to arrest him for attempting to break in, he swallows the entire bottle, and ends up passing out and throwing most of the pills back up. Arrested for breaking and entering, public indecency, and possession of drugs, Alan awakes in the Malibu jail to find Piers coming to bail him out...until Piers lets it slip that he is in possession of cocaine, and is arrested as well. Remembering Piers' violent royalism under the influence, Alan tricks the sheriff into coming into the cell and tries to get him to say something derogatory about the Royal Family, but this proves stunningly difficult, until the sheriff refers to their gay cellmate as an "ugly old queen." Piers attacks him, knocking him out, and Alan steals his keys and escapes. He stops back at Donna's apartment to pick up his clothes and catches the next flight back to Britain, not bothering to untie Donna before he goes.
  6. May the Best Man Win (19 February 1989) – Piers' announcement that he is engaged to be married is met with derision by Alan, who charges him £500 for the "privilege" of having Alan as his best man. Upon meeting the beautiful, intelligent, wealthy, and assertive Clarissa, Alan falls instantly in lust, but after he seduces her atop her parents' dining room table while her parents and Piers are in the next room, she insults his skills as a lover and declares that, once she is married, she will see to it that Piers no longer acts as Alan's lackey. Now determined to break up the wedding, Alan first tries to kill Clarissa—first by dropping a gargoyle on her from atop her stately home's roof, then attempting to trap her car in the path of an oncoming train—then hires an actress to crash the wedding and pretend to be the mother of Piers' illegitimate child, but Clarissa, through a mixture of luck and skill, foils him at every turn, and the wedding is completed as planned. The resourceful Alan, drawing upon his status as a member of the Stale Food Working Group of the Parliamentary Catering Committee, gets the last laugh, however: at the wedding reception, he ensures that the entire feast is laced with salmonella and botulism. As the guests, including his own wife, slide into nauseous comas, Alan delivers a very special toast to the happy couple ... and himself.
  7. Piers of the Realm (26 February 1989) – In Yorkshire to attend a horse race in which his horse is the favourite, Alan holds a rare surgery, during which he charges a farmer £500 to have a bypass rerouted around his farm and cons a senile elderly woman out of her £350,000 home. Returning to London, Alan is shocked to discover that in his absence, Piers has been promoted and is now a junior minister to Sir Greville MacDonald, the Secretary of State for the Environment. Enraged, Alan becomes even more unpleasant than usual, as he takes out his anger on those around him. He videotapes Sarah as she carries on an affair with their gardener, sells the video as a porno movie in West Germany, then informs her that he is divorcing her and using the video as evidence of adultery; lets slip to dim-bulb journalist Geoff Diquead that the horse race, in which Diquead lost £1,000, was fixed; and mutilates and burns Piers' treasured teddy bear. Finally, after going through Piers' desk, he discovers that all of the buildings that Piers has recently declared worthy of historic preservation are actually strip clubs and brothels secretly owned by Sir Greville, who has been using Piers to scam the Government out of grant money. Confronting Sir Greville, Alan blackmails him into cutting him in on the scheme. Having angered Sarah, Piers, Diquead, and Greville simultaneously, Alan steps out of the Ministry of the Environment and is gunned down by an unseen assailant.

Special[edit]

Who Shot Alan B'Stard? (14 January 1990) – All of Britain is in shock at the attempted assassination of Alan, which has left him comatose and fighting for his life in the hospital. The attack has come at a crucial time in the debate over capital punishment: a vote on its restoration in the House of Commons is imminent and, while bookmakers had previously placed the odds of its passage at 100-to-1 against, it is now even money as to whether it will pass. On the day of the vote, the result is a perfect tie, 305 to 305, and it looks like the bill will fail. But at the last second, none other than Alan himself strides into the room and casts the crucial vote in favour.

In interviews after the vote, Alan claims that his seemingly miraculous recovery is the work of an Amazonian shaman, Chief Amlumi, and begins making the rounds of the talk shows touting his newest charity, Central Amazon Spiritual Healers (He asks for cheques to be "made out to CASH, for short"). He also persuades Parliament to bring back hanging and public executions and gives Sir Greville, who has been promoted to the newly created post of Minister for Law and Order, a kickback to gain the contract to construct the new gallows to be used throughout Britain. Sarah, of course, suspects that Alan has faked the whole thing to make money, and she's right: Alan soon descends on a local bookie to collect on the £10,000 bet he made that capital punishment would be reinstated, placed back when the odds were still 100-to-1 against.

Seeking to expose Alan's fraud and ruin his career, Sarah allies herself with Kerry Grout, a talk show host who exposes Alan's charity fraud during an interview, leading Alan to rashly threaten his life on live TV. That night, Piers, who has joined Sarah after learning that Alan has conned him out a £50,000 donation to the fake charity, sneaks into the office he shares with Alan and discovers the truth: that Alan paid a Basque nationalist mercenary to shoot at him with Piers' high-powered rifle while he was clad in a bulletproof vest. That night, Sarah calls Alan from a phone booth in the House of Commons lobby and lures him away from the office, while Piers and Kerry sneak in to film a piece demonstrating how Alan pulled off the hoax. During the demonstration, however, Piers accidentally shoots and kills Kerry with the rifle and then jumps out the window and into the Thames in panic.

An oblivious Alan soon arrives back on the scene and, not noticing Kerry's dead body, picks up the rifle just as a policeman arrives and arrests him for the murder. At his trial, both the policeman and Sarah perjure themselves, with the policeman claiming that Alan confessed to him and Sarah denying that she ever called Alan to get him out of his office. Alan tries to assert an insanity defence, calling Chief Amlumi to testify that the jungle drugs he used to heal Alan can cause hallucinations and delusions, but the prosecutor exposes Amlumi and his interpreter as a vaudeville tomahawk-throwing act. Piers, who survived his fall by landing on a ship bound for Thailand, finally arrives and testifies that he is the real killer, but the prosecutor discredits his claims by asking the jury to question whether a barrister and Member of Parliament could really be that stupid. Alan is convicted and slated to become the first man executed on his own gallows.

Alan's attempts to bribe his way out his sentence prove futile, and he is taken to the gallows to be hanged before a live TV audience. As the trapdoor opens, however, he is saved by his own greed: the subcontractor he used to build the gallows used balsa wood, rather than the promised mahogany, and the entire gallows collapses under Alan's weight. This event is taken as an act of God, and Alan receives a full pardon from the Crown.

Series 3[edit]

  1. Labour of Love (6 January 1991) – On the political outs with his own party after the events of "Who Shot Alan B'Stard?", Alan is dismayed when Victor Crosby, a man even further to the right than he, wins a by-election in Accrington and quickly becomes the new darling of the party, placed on the fast track for the Cabinet by Sir Greville and awarded Alan's weekly column in the Daily Express. Apparently deciding to dump the Tories, Alan arranges a meeting with Paddy O'Rourke, a high-ranking member of the Labour Party, and offers to leak documents damaging enough to the Government to guarantee a Labour victory in the next election in exchange for the post of Foreign Secretary. Returning to the office he now shares with Crosby, Alan plants a mousetrap in Crosby's desk drawer, then tells him that he should send Margaret Thatcher a Valentine's Day card to see to it that he stays in her good graces. When Crosby reaches for a pen to sign, his right hand is caught in the trap, and he ends up using his left hand to sign the card (at Alan's suggestion) "From Your Newest Recruit". Before Crosby leaves, Alan also gives him £1,000 cash to buy a Savile Row suit. At the next Prime Minister's Questions, Neil Kinnock reveals plans (stolen by Alan from Sir Greville's red box while he was busy having an assignation with Sarah) for the Government to abolish the poll tax and replace it with a value added tax on mortgage payments. After the resulting uproar, Sir Greville arrives at Alan and Crosby's office and reveals that he has come into the possession of the note sent to Kinnock (signed "From Your Newest Recruit"), and that an expert has identified it as Crosby's handwriting, despite his attempt to disguise it. When Crosby appeals to Alan to help him, Alan produces a doctored tape of Crosby on the phone with Kinnock accepting a £1,000 bribe for the documents. Crosby is arrested and expelled from Parliament, Alan is back in Sir Greville's good graces (although he reveals that he knows of Greville's affair with Sarah and warns him not to do it again), and he even gets his column in the Daily Express back. His first item is a call for the re-legalization of slavery, which he stole from Crosby.
  2. The Party's Over (13 January 1991) – Alan is summoned to the office of Sir Greville, who gives him terrible news: Professor Eugene Quail, the Government's leading oil expert, has rechecked his figures and discovered that the North Sea oil, the foundation of all of the Tories' fiscal policies, will run out any day now, triggering a depression. A snap election is called in the hopes that it will occur before the oil runs out, and Alan is put in charge of the Tory campaign. His strategy of offering free lottery tickets to all Tory voters and putting scantily-clad women in the party's ads is a massive success, and soon the Tories have a 15-point lead. Once again, Sir Greville summons Alan, and explains that the Tory leadership had actually hoped that appointing Alan would be an electoral disaster, as whichever party is in power when the oil runs out will take the blame for the consequences. Alan suggests appointing Piers to run the campaign, which results in the total collapse of Tory support. Alan then sells the information about oil supplies to Labour and the Liberal Democrats, and they too begin running deliberately awful campaigns, causing support for all parties to crater. Soon, the news that the oil will shortly run out is leaked to the media, and the election is called off as shares in oil companies hit an all-time low. But just as quickly, the crisis passes, as Professor Quail admits to the media that he had made a mistake, and the oil is not running out after all. It is revealed that the whole thing was orchestrated by Alan from the beginning: he blackmailed Quail into changing his predictions, shorted the oil companies' stock before the crash, then bought up all the shares at the new low price before the truth was revealed. Quail takes a £1 million payoff for his part in the scheme, and Alan is now secretly one of the richest men in England.
  3. Let Them Sniff Cake (20 January 1991) – While appearing on a TV talk show, Alan voices his enthusiastic support for animal testing, particularly on rabbits and other furry creatures, triggering a riot. Subsequently, Alan becomes the target of animal rights activists, whose methods quickly escalate from protests to death threats and finally to a drive-by shooting of his office. Meanwhile, Alan is contacted by Lord Penistone (John Sessions), a stoner hereditary peer who asks Alan to score him a kilogram of cocaine for his birthday party. Alan at first refuses, until he realises that the addled Lord has no idea what the street value of cocaine actually is, and he agrees to buy him the 'coke', which he claims now sells for £500 per gram. After taking the Lord's money, Alan refuses to leave the office for fear of being assassinated, and so sends Piers to make the buy. Piers gets lost, however, and ends up at a seedy boxing gym, where he is robbed and beaten to within an inch of his life. Upon learning that his money is gone, Penistone becomes violent and has to be bought off with the keys to Alan's Rolls-Royce Corniche, which leads to his demise when he triggers a car bomb intended for Alan. Returning home, Alan learns that the bombers have been captured, but also discovers that Sarah was actually the one behind the threats and the drive-by shooting; it was all part of her plan to shake him down for £40,000 to buy a fur coat once owned by Greta Garbo. Rather than being angry, Alan is aroused, and uses his skills to con Sotheby's out of the coat for her.
  4. Keeping Mum (27 January 1991) – Alan is in a bad mood after learning that, upon the death of Piers' father, his lackey is now a baronet and a multi-millionaire, but he cheers himself up by passing an amendment to the Government's social security bill to cut off all Basic State Pensions to the elderly, a move that causes hundreds of retirement homes to close, as residents will no longer be able to pay. His good mood is shattered, however, when his mother, a destitute and senile old homeless woman, arrives on his doorstep expecting him to care for her, as he suggested should be done when arguing for his amendment. Alan plans to throw her out, but relents when Piers threatens to report his actions to the media. After his mother ruins a dinner party he threw for the Duke and Duchess of York, however, he attempts to kill her, but she foils him and reveals that she is neither senile nor homeless, but is instead the wealthy owner of a retirement home, which is threatened by her son's amendment. She demands a payment of £250,000 or she will continue to live with him forever. Alan agrees to pay, but also prepares a terrible revenge: he arranges for Piers' mother, whose recent widowing has turned her into a pyromaniac, to become his mother's newest resident, makes sure that she will be housed in a room panelled in oak and containing a working coal fire, and presents her with a new nightgown soaked in paraffin before she goes.
  5. Natural Selection (3 February 1991) – While holding a cocktail party for some of the wealthier people in his constituency, Alan receives shocking news: after years of neglecting his constituents—refusing to answer their letters or meet with them, and never holding surgeries – he has been deselected as the Tory candidate for Haltemprice. The new candidate is Ken Price, the wealthy owner of a local construction company who, in the next few days, will be presenting his company's IPO and stands to make £50 million. To make matters worse, Sarah has fallen for Ken and begun an affair with him. Seeking to destroy Price utterly, Alan throws Piers from a train and steals his invaluable stamp collection, which he uses to get in the good graces of Julian Whitaker, a junior minister with the Treasury who is an ardent philatelist. He then manipulates Whitaker and a local TV reporter to create the false impression that Whitaker has convinced the Chancellor of the Exchequer to abolish MIRAS, which would destroy the value of Price's business when he goes public. Having set the stage for Price's downfall, he bribes Sarah to arrange for Price's fiancee to find the two of them having sex shortly before the report of the MIRAS repeal airs. Thinking that he has lost both his business and his fiancee simultaneously, Price commits suicide, hanging himself from a staircase. Alan subsequently celebrates his victory by selling Piers back his own stamp collection, claiming that he had purchased the stamps for him while he was recuperating from his injuries.
  6. Profit of Boom (10 February 1991) – Alan is visiting the Soviet Union to deliver a series of lectures on the virtues of capitalism when he is contacted by Colonel Gromyko, head of the KGB, and Freddy Ogilvy, director of MI6. The two reveal that they wish to reignite the Cold War in order to have their budgets restored, and they believe that Alan is the man to do it. He agrees, in exchange for a payment of £100 million, to assassinate Mikhail Gorbachev. The job is eased considerably by the fact that Piers, a member of the board of directors of an Anglo-Russian charity, is also in Moscow and scheduled to meet with Gorbachev. Alan coerces Piers into getting him an invitation, and arrives bearing a commemorative plaque for Gorbachev containing a time bomb. After a pre-arranged scuffle with some of Gromyko's guards, Alan refuses to attend and convinces Piers to present the plaque in his stead. Alan goes off to collect his payment, which is hidden inside the preserved body of Lenin (which is actually a wax figure), but Piers arrives unexpectedly, revealing that he has forgotten to present the plaque. Alan and Piers escape the tomb, but the bomb destroys the bearer bonds that comprised Alan's fee, and an innocent person is killed. Alan and Piers are convicted and sentenced to 100 years' hard labour in Siberia. Sarah soon arrives with Ogilvy, who has arranged release papers for one of them. Alan assumes that it is him, but she has actually come for Piers. A broken Alan asks Sarah why she is doing this, to which she replies, "Because I can." The series ends with Sarah and Piers driving off and a solitary Alan standing freezing in the snow as the closing credits roll silently.

Series 4[edit]

  1. Back from the Mort (22 November 1992) – Three years after the events of "Profit of Boom", Alan secures his release from the gulag and returns to England to a hero's welcome. He soon discovers, however, that all is not well: he has been replaced as MP for Haltemprice; Sarah has had him declared dead, made off with his money, and is now engaged to Count Otto Von Munchweiller, a Danish nobleman and MEP for East Germany; and his patron Sir Greville lost his seat in Parliament in the last election. He suggests that Sir Greville force Piers out of his seat by getting him named to the House of Lords and then win the seat for himself in a by-election, but Piers—now a new father and next in line to be Chancellor of the Exchequer – refuses...until Alan threatens the child's life. Once Greville is reinstated, the prime minister appoints him Secretary of State for European Affairs, and he arranges for Piers to be named as the new European Commissioner for Internal Relations as a payoff for his cooperation. Alan—discovering simultaneously that he cannot avenge himself on Sarah as long as Otto is around and that the European Economic Community is (in his words) "a comatose chicken waiting to be plucked" – arranges to have a Bolivian death squad decapitate Otto in bed while Sarah sleeps beside him. Upon discovering this, she goes into shock, which allows Alan to sneak into her hospital room and force her to sign over all her assets to him. As the episode closes, he is planning to stand in the by-election for Otto's seat in East Germany and expects to be elected unopposed...once the SPD candidate has an unfortunate "accident" down a mineshaft.
  2. H*A*S*H (29 November 1992) – Alan, now MEP for the constituency of Obersaxony, is approached by his old patron Sir Greville with a proposition: Sir Greville, acting in the employ of Big Tobacco, wishes for Alan to manipulate Piers into getting the European Commission to legalise cannabis, which the tobacco companies will then make a fortune on. Alan agrees...in exchange for a payment of £5 million per annum (indexed to inflation). Meanwhile, Alan discovers that Sarah is now working as a high-priced call girl servicing a variety of European bigwigs. In exchange for her agreement to stop (and to not spread it around Brussels that she was driven to prostitution by his alleged impotence), Alan pays her a lump sum of £600,000 and arranges to have her become Piers' new chief of staff. Alan soon manages to turn this to his advantage by arranging for Sarah to seduce the entire membership of the Commission (save for Piers) and persuade them to back legalisation, but soon wishes he hadn't when he is abducted by members of the Mafia, who threaten to kill him if he doesn't torpedo the legalisation vote. Seeing no alternative, Alan attends the next meeting of the Commission and unveils Polaroid photos of Sarah in flagrante delicto with each and every member of the Commission (again, save for Piers). The Commission votes unanimously against legalisation. Now out the £5 million from Big Tobacco, Alan experiences the final twist of the knife when he discovers that the goons who threatened him are not really drug kingpins, but were hired by Sarah to help her get revenge on him. After giving him one last kick in the testicles, she declares them "even."
  3. Speaking in Tongues (6 December 1992) – After being forced to translate a pornographic magazine for him, the head of the European Parliament's simultaneous translation department informs Alan that he will no longer have the translators' cooperation on anything ever again. Shortly thereafter, Alan is approached by Emilda Kleist, the other MEP for Obersaxony and the leader of the East German Green Party, who asks him to become the final German MEP to sign off on the route for the new autobahn, which will connect East and West for the first time. Although every other MEP has agreed that the new route should be located through an industrial wasteland, Alan (naturally) insists that it should instead be built straight through a tract of unspoiled forest. After she leaves in a huff, Alan, seeing profit potential in the two seemingly unrelated developments, sets to plotting. He manipulates Piers into relocating the entire translation staff to an office park in the East German slum where the autobahn is planned to be built, causing the translators to threaten to strike, a threat they carry out when they discover the office park is actually a scale model. With the translators out on strike, Alan persuades Piers to order the installation of an experimental universal translator (in exchange for a hefty bribe from its creator, of course). The new system turns out to be hopelessly buggy, however, and Alan delivers a speech to the European Parliament calling for English to be adopted as the EEC's official language, a position that sends his popularity at home skyrocketing. Piers manages to persuade the translators to come back to work, but does so by using the translator program to accidentally offer them all promotions and a vacation in the Seychelles, and he now fears for his job. Alan persuades him that he can get back into everyone's good graces by signing off on the new autobahn route, a decision that was delayed for a week by the translator strike. Convinced that his decision will save the EEC millions of pounds, Piers authorises construction to begin through the tract of forest...only to discover that Alan has already purchased it all under a false name, and now intends to charge through the nose for it.
  4. Heil and Farewell (13 December 1992) – Having arranged for Nicolae Ceauşescu, Jr. to sneak into Germany amongst a group of refugees in exchange for half of a hidden treasure valued at $50 million, Alan finds his scheme imperiled when hundreds of neo-Nazis begin to riot and lay siege to the hostel where the refugees are being housed. Sensing opportunity for greater profit, Alan forces Piers to join him in infiltrating the neo-Nazis' headquarters, where Piers delivers a rousing speech proposing Alan as the group's new führer. Although the membership likes the idea, the incumbent nixes it and shows Alan the door. Emilda Kleist, meanwhile, has followed Alan to the meeting and, thinking that he legitimately wishes to become a dictator, begins to plan his assassination, and enlists the aid of Sarah in the plot. Back at his office, Alan contacts Russian president Boris Yeltsin and buys (for the sum of six US$) the cryonically-preserved penis of Adolf Hitler. Returning to the neo-Nazis' hideaway (now in full stormtrooper regalia), Alan delivers a spellbinding speech and reveals the penis, which is identified as genuine by Colonel Wessell, a former member of Hitler's personal guard. Claiming to have purchased the penis for $10 million, Alan further states that he can get the entire rest of the body for a further $40 million, leading Wessell, who reveals himself as the guardian of Hitler's hidden treasure vault, to rush off to procure the money. Having won the group's trust, Alan "reveals" that the refugees they are rioting against have been secretly moved from their hostel to a luxury hotel, and orders that they attack it at once. This attack, actually against the hotel where the Israeli Defense Minister is staying, leaves more than 700 people dead, but clears the rioters away from the refugee hostel. It is at this point, however, that Piers discover a bomb planted amongst Alan's belongings by Sarah and Kleist. Although Alan and Piers escape in the nick of time, the device kills the entire rest of the Nazis. Collecting Ceauşescu, Alan heads for the Swiss bank where the treasure is kept. Once there, he encounters Wessell and discovers that the Nazi treasure and the Romanian treasure are one and the same, having been captured by the Red Army during the Battle of Berlin. As Wessell and Ceauşescu fight, Alan collects as much of the treasure as he can carry and seals them inside the vault, setting the time lock for 31 December 1999. Back at his home, he discovers Kleist and Sarah gloating over his "demise" and preparing a lesbian tryst, and offers them a pair of massive diamonds to have a threesome with him.
  5. A Bigger Splash (20 December 1992) – Soon after purchasing Robert Maxwell's luxury yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, at auction for £10 million, Alan announces that he will use the yacht to transport a cargo of humanitarian aid to war-torn Herzegovina, a move that will coincide with the beginning of Piers' peace conference between the region's two warring factions. Sarah suspects that the whole thing is one of Alan's faux charity scams, but the truth is much bigger: the presumed-dead Maxwell is really alive and well and hiding out in Bosnia with £500 million in stolen loot, and both the charity mission and the peace talks are a cover for Alan's plan to spirit him and his money to safety. Once in Herzegovina, the peace talks go badly, until Alan offers the leaders of the two factions each a £1 million bribe to agree to a one-hour-long ceasefire in order to cover his escape, a proposition to which they both agree, although Alan is obliged to also trick an unwitting Piers into offering his sexual services to the Serbian leader. Once the ceasefire is in effect, Alan decides to leave Maxwell behind and instead make off with the crate containing his stolen millions, but when he gets underway he learns that the old fraudster has scammed him: Maxwell, not the money, is inside the crate, and there never was any loot to be had. Alan is out the millions of pounds he spent on the yacht and the various bribes, but consoles himself by pushing the still-crated Maxwell into the ocean.
  6. The Irresistible Rise of Alan B'Stard (26 December 1992) – With the economic crisis in Britain showing no signs of stopping, Alan worries that he may lose his fortune for good, and so hatches his most audacious plot yet. He persuades Piers to issue a directive abolishing offshore tax havens in the Channel Islands, a move that sends the Conservative Party into uproar, as the leadership's slush funds are threatened. A special party conference is called to vote on Conservative support for Britain's continued membership in the EEC, and a fiery speech from Alan leads to a decisive vote to leave. This precipitates a political crisis: John Major resigns as prime minister, a snap election is called, and the Conservatives split into two parties: the pro-European Progressive Federalist Party, led by Sir Greville, and the eurosceptic New Patriotic Party, led by Alan. Opinion polls show a likely coalition government between Sir Greville and the pro-European Labour Party, but Alan persuades Piers to introduce a proposal to ban trade unions throughout the EEC, which splits the Labour Party into pro- and anti-European factions as well. With the election now too close to call on the eve of voting, Alan unveils his secret weapon: having arranged for a French film director to be making a movie about the Falklands War in the Channel Islands, he phones in a false tip to the media that the French have invaded Sark. The resulting backlash gives the New Patriotic Party a staggering two-to-one majority in Parliament (and also rescues Alan's portfolio), but Alan, who had not bothered to stand for a seat in the election, is technically ineligible to be prime minister, a title that Paddy O'Rourke, Labour's alcoholic leader, now claims for himself. Unfazed, Alan proclaims himself Lord Protector, has Paddy arrested, and declares that Britain is now his "plaything," closing the series by sneeringly remarking that if Queen Elizabeth wishes to meet with him, she will come to him.

Special[edit]

A B'Stard Exposed (30 December 1994) – Alan B'Stard MP has returned to domestic Parliament following a Welsh by-election conspicuous by the absence of any opponents. They were found after polling day at the bottom of a coal mine. B'Stard is grilled by veteran broadcaster Brian Walden and reveals his vision for 21st century Britain – including a proposal to construct a Berlin Wall-inspired, thirty-feet high, electrified border control system named, 'B'Stard's Fence'. During the interview, Alan is also tricked into revealing his plans to create his own political party and later pays for Walden's silence. It effectively ignores the last episode.

Stage show[edit]

Episode 2006: The Blair B'Stard Project – Alan B'Stard has created New Labour after making billions on Black Wednesday, installing a failed singer as prime minister and secretly running the country from his bunker at number 9 Downing Street. The show sees Alan attempting to settle a divorce from his wife while playing Al-Qaeda and the Americans off each other in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction (which are being carefully hidden by Alan). Aided by his PPS Frank, the last socialist in the Labour Party and Flora, an ex-Young Conservative turned Blairite lackey, Alan arranges the fake kidnapping of Tony Blair and the ruining of Gordon Brown in order to place himself in ultimate power. The show ends with Alan being named Lord Protector with the declaration, "And Alan takes EVERYTHING".

ALAN B'STARD'S EXTREMELY SECRET WEAPON – The stage show returns, heavily re-written in late 2006, touring into 2007. Alan is plotting to become one of a shadowy elite of politicians who control the world's oil supplies.

No2AV[edit]

In 2011, the character of Alan B'Stard, again portrayed by Rik Mayall, was used in the campaign against introducing the AV system to UK Parliamentary elections, in an official television broadcast by NOtoAV. B'Stard appears as a party leader in the near future who, at a pre-general election conference, makes ridiculous promises to the public including the abolition of all taxes and free electricity. When his aides query how they will afford such policies, B'Stard gleefully explains that he won't have to, as when he gets elected, he can go into coalition and blame all the government's failings on his partners. He adds that under AV, even if people don't vote for him he'll probably be elected anyway. The advert ends with B'Stard entering Number 10 as prime minister, accompanied by another party leader, in a similar fashion to that of Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, a year earlier.

Newspaper columns[edit]

The Sunday Telegraph[edit]

Tying in with the original run of the stage show, British broadsheet newspaper The Sunday Telegraph ran a weekly opinion column penned by Alan B'Stard himself (in reality his creators, Marks and Gran). In it, Mr B'Stard writes as the founder of New Labour and effective ruler of the country, commenting on the week's events in politics, often referring to his frustrations with Tony and the rest of the cabinet. The column is written to suggest that the stage show is actually written by B'Stard himself as a method of communicating his achievements to 'the ordinaries'. One column mentioned how after Alan's divorce from his wife (a sub-plot of the original stage show), the ex-Mrs B'Stard "came over all dead".

Daily Mail[edit]

In May 2009, during the disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament, the right-wing tabloid Daily Mail published a "manifesto" as written by B'Stard (though actually written by Maurice Gran).[2]

New Statesman magazine[edit]

A bi-weekly opinion column began appearing in New Statesman magazine in 2010. As with the columns in The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail, the articles are written as if by B'Stard himself as dictated to Marks and Gran. In these latest columns, B'Stard is now a Lord, (his final Sunday Telegraph piece seeing him leave the Commons and the country to become Head of the World Bank) but still commentating on current events.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gran, Maurice and Marks, Laurence. "Obituary: Alan Beresford B'Stard, First Marquess of Haltemprice". British Comedy Guide. 
  2. ^ Gran, Maurice (21 May 2009). "Greedy? Pah! Our rotten MPs weren't claiming nearly ENOUGH! says Alan B'Stard". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers). 

External links[edit]