Dorothy Wainwright

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Dorothy Wainwright
Deborah Norton.jpg
Dorothy Wainwright in Yes, Prime Minister
First appearance "The Key"
Last appearance "The National Education Service"
Portrayed by Deborah Norton
Information
Occupation Chief Political Advisor to the Prime Minister

Dorothy Wainwright is a fictional character in the 1980s British sitcom, Yes, Prime Minister. She was portrayed by Deborah Norton.

During the time that James Hacker served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Wainwright served as his Chief Political Advisor. She had already served his predecessor in a similar role. She continuously tries to foil Sir Humphrey Appleby's plans to deceive the Prime Minister, so Humphrey begins to hate her, calling her "that impossible woman" and "that Wainwright female". Whenever they met however, he would smile and address her as "dear lady."

Sir Humphrey did not underestimate her. He tried to have her office moved as far away from the Prime Minister as possible — from next to the gents' loo, which Dorothy found convenient since she was able to listen in to cabinet ministers plotting against their colleagues whenever they answered a call of nature. She insisted on returning to next to the gents' loo and, when Sir Humphrey tried to block this, advised Hacker on how to "clip his wings" in order to get the Cabinet Secretary to be more cooperative and Hacker to assert some authority over him.[1]

When Sir Humphrey and Sir Frank Gordon, the head of the Treasury, tried to trick the cabinet into approving a massive pay rise for the civil service, they submitted a massive report of several hundred pages in order to support their claim — and which the ministers were hardly likely to read through thoroughly. Dorothy read through it however and warned Hacker of their scheme. Although Gordon's attempt was blocked, Sir Humphrey did manage to persuade Hacker to approve what seemed to be a more sensible pay increase (but designed in such a way that it was the actual increase without appearing to be) and suggested that they keep it secret, even from political advisors.[2]

In the stage version of Yes Prime Minister (2010) a new special adviser appeared: Claire Sutton, played by Emily Joyce, who, with her bobbed hair and sharp clothing displayed some of the features of the youngish, high-flying women who had been part of the New Labour "inner circle" at Downing Street between 1997 and 2010. This character was retained in the ensuing TV revival (2013), in which she was played by Zoe Telford.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yes, Prime Minister, series 1, episode 4, The Key
  2. ^ Yes, Prime Minister, series 1, episode 5, A Real Partnership