Talk:Yes Minister/Archive 1

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Is it really NPOV to refer to civil servants having 'substantial' salaries? Compared to private sector executives, or even the journalists who spend their time attacking civil servants, I suspect that even the most senior officials are modestly paid. sjoh0050

I think that to say civil servants make a "substantial" wage is an entirely neutral statement.
The show takes pains to describe in some detail Humphrey as being better paid than the rest of the main characters. He's firmly established as making more than the Prime Minister (much less the Minister) in "A Real Partnership"—until the episode's resolution gives them parity. A figure of £75,000 is actually given for his salary in "The Bishop's Gambit". To say that it's a matter of perspective that their pay isn't "substantial" is to fall into the trap Sir Frank and Sir Humphrey are setting in the "Partnership". By comparing civil servant pay to highly placed executives in the private sector, your basis is "atypical and above average". Objectively, compared to the average wage in the early 1980s, Humphrey's salary is a "substantial" sum.
And it's not just that Humphrey is well off. The pay scheme revealed in "Partnership" makes it clear that, although the PM and the Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet were now to be graded at the same level, the same would not apply to lower officials. Ministers were only to be graded at the level of an Undersecretary, meaning that if Hacker and Humphrey were in their Yes Minister roles, Humphrey would still be at least a grade ahead of Hacker. Even Bernard would've been makng more than just about every MP, except for Ministers, and, by any valid statistical measure, "substantially" ahead of the average British wage. CzechOut 08:12, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Humphrey said "Why don't you grade yourself as a Permanent Secretary?", Humphrey himself of course being the Cabinet Secretary at the time. Don't Cabinet Secretaries earn more than 'regular' Permanent Secretaries? René van Buuren 00:14, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Page names

I've moved this page back to "Yes, Minister", with a bizarre sense of deja vu. Having it at "Yes, (Prime) Minister" helps no-one: it might as well be at a page title that actually means something. This came to light on the List of comedies, where we ended up with two links to the same thing. -- Tarquin

I prefer th page title Yes, (Prime) Minister. Just ebcuase it makes sence. If anyoen did nto undertsand they coudl read the article. - fonzy

if that is what it is called elsewhere, then fair enough. But it doesn't make for pleasant linking. -- Tarquin

Fonzy, please keep in mind the ease of linking to the article (for contributors like you) and the ease of _finding_ it (for readers). --Ed Poor

Well originally it wa 2 artciles. Then someone combineded it. So why not redirect yes, minister and yes,prime minister to yes, (prime) minister. Instead of the other way around. - fonzy

Does it actually matter, given that all the possible other titles (with prime, without prime, with prime in brackets, with comma, without comma) now redirect here? Since the very first line of the article mentions the two titles, I think it's abundantly clear that this is where someone looking for Yes PM wants to be. And Yes, (Prime) Minister is ugly as sin, IMHO. --Bth

Should not the broadcast details of the special transitional eposode (titled 'Party Games') show it as a 90 minute program first broadcast on Mon 17th Dec 1984 rather than a one hour program first broadcast on Thu 27th Dec 1984? - Alan Peakall

Information on the video from Blackstar,, and a few other websites say 61 minutes. I don't know about the date though. Where'd you get this information? Mrwojo 15:26 Oct 2, 2002 (UTC)

The date of Monday 17th Dec 1984 for the first broadcast I am sure about from personal recollection. I saw that program *before*, not *while*, taking my Christmas vacation. It is possible that the broadcast was repeated 10 days later. The duration I was less certain about. If video details show a duration of 60 minutes rather than 90, then I am probably in error on that point.

Thanks for the speedy response. As this is my first contribution, I opted to start with a polite query of something extremely uncontroversial.

- Alan Peakall

No problem. I changed it December 17. Mrwojo

Yes,Lord Chancellor

Was there a third series Yes,Lord Chancellor?...I had read once that there was but there's no mention here.--Louis E./ 15:20, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No, there wasn't. One of the stars or writers may have joked about it at some point, but no such series existed. Bonalaw 14:28, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It does seem, though, that "Yes, Lord Chancellor" is the title of a biography of Claud Schuster, 1st Baron Schuster. Proteus (Talk) 15:05, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Was that episode really named "The Patron to the Arts" or should it be "The Patron of the Arts"? Supermagle

Dorothy Wainwrirght appeared in the first series of Yes Prime Minister making her debut in the episode The Key Penrithguy 13:08, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

You may think that, but I couldn't possibly comment

I am amazed there is no mention of this phrase in the article. I would have added it myself, but I'm not certain what the orginal form was: ("You may think that" / "you may say that" / "you might think that" / "You might say that" / etc, all appear to have equal prominence on the web, and the only site that looked reasonably definitve about it doesn't appear to work in Firefox (I dont' have any other browser to try it in). Thryduulf 22:17, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The phrase came from House of Cards. We even have an article on it at YMSTICPC. --Mrwojo 01:49, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The diaries of James Hacker

I was wondering whether there should be a mention of the publication of the diaries of James Hacker (a clever way of publishing the script of the Yes Prime Minister series). The ISBN for anyone trying to find out more about it is 0 563 20773 6 --Matthew Dingley 21:46, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Good idea. If I'm honest, I actually remember the books more than the series itself. --Bonalaw 08:59, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Media Formats

This article should include information on the various incarnations of Yes (Prime) Minister. The diaries are mentioned above but there's also the duplication across television and radio. Do the first broadcast dates refer to the TV or radio formats? And what formats are still available?

See e.g. the BBC Shop [1] (search for "Yes Minister"). --Valentinian 21:57, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Is it also worth saying that as the series is often repeated on BBC Radio 7, the radio episodes are often available to be listened to using the BBC's Listen Again service? --Matthew Dingley 15:20, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
BBC FOUR often repeats episodes of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. DTR 19:15, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Notable Quotes

(When a YM/YPM Wikiquote page is created, this info can be transfered from here)

Party Games (YM Christmas Special) December 17, 1984. Final Scene - Humphrey's office. Waiting for the results of the party caucus vote to find out who was elected to be the new Prime Minister. The phone rings, Humphrey takes the call.

Sir Humphrey: "I will let him know." (hangs-up)

Jim Hacker: "Is"

Sir Humphrey: "Yes, Prime Minister". 18:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)


I won't re-revert the info box, except to note that besides the picture being too big, Nigel Hawthorne's name is now split over two lines (at least on my monitor), whereas in my version it read as one. Chris 42 11:29, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

The current size of image will need to stay, otherwise Nigel Hawthorne's name will again be split over two lines (at the moment on my monitor his name is only on the one line). Figaro 04:37, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

If you try the image syntax [[[Image:Yes-Minister-DVD-1.jpg|Yes-Minister-DVD-1.jpg|220px|thumb|center]]] (ignore the outer brackets), the picture is reduced and Hawthorne's name stays intact. I haven't updated the page with it: just thought you might have a look. :-) Chris 42 13:03, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I have now fixed up the infobox image with the reduced size. Figaro 00:56, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Then you didn't fix it very well. Nigel Hawthorne's name is still split across two lines. Comment written by at 11:57, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for your rudeness.
As Nigel Hawthorne's name is still okay on my monitor, you obviously have a different type of monitor to my monitor. I can't fix the problem to suit every monitor. Anyway, I was not the person who reduced the size of the image (please see discussion above). Figaro 07:54, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

4 minute sketch written by Thatcher, or Ingham?

According to the criticism section "Thatcher wrote a four-minute sketch which she performed with the show's two principal actors", whereas the Bernard Ingham article claims that "It was Ingham, not, as popularly supposed, Thatcher, who was responsible for writing the Yes, Minister sketch which she performed in public with Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne."

Anyone know which is correct?

Kfor 09:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

"It emerged afterwards that Mrs Thatcher had worked on the script on Thursday with Bernard Ingham, her Press secretary. "I sharpened it up," she said." [2] kabl00ey 07:45, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Different reliable sources say different things, tho'. The JPStalk to me —Preceding comment was added at 08:20, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps we should just note in the article that evidence is mixed as to who wrote the original manuscript, and that it may have been edited by a second party. kabl00ey 19:14, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The Comma

Is not the correct title for the first series "Yes Minister" (without the comma)? I believe it was only "Yes, Prime Minister" that ever had the comma. Unless there are objections I will be moving the page.

Yes, Minister is the show's official (and grammatically correct) title as designated by the IMDb. It's true that there is no comma shown on screen, but it is implied in the title sequence with the separation of the two words by the graphic of Big Ben. Chris 42 11:26, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Sorry Chris, but the title is officially 'Yes Minister', IMDB are wrong to list the show in this way. For proof you only need look at a DVD cover or even better the BBCs own Comedy guide to find that it is always spelt without the comma. I would agree with moving the page and redirecting 'Yes, Minister' to it. ~~ Peteb16 11:39, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
It's okay. I always ignore any DVD titles anyway (just look at the debate re. Superman vs. Superman: The Movie) and it's true that the on screen title is ambiguous, as I outlined above. The IMDb also lists House, M.D. where no comma appears in that title sequence as well. I've no objection to it being moved. Chris 42 11:54, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was Moved from Yes, Minister to Yes Minister. —Centrxtalk • 04:40, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

Requested move

Yes, MinisterYes Minister … Rationale: The offical title for series does not have a comma. —Kronecker 06:21, 23 July 2006 (UTC)


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~
  • Support. Apparently IMDb is wrong (they are not 100% authoritative and not official). --Dhartung | Talk 06:32, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, definitely does not have a comma on the BBC pages regarding the show. —Stormie 09:37, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support --McGeddon 09:41, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support -- Peteb16 09:57, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support IMDb is wrong on this one. Chris 42 14:09, 23 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support The One00
  • Strong Support. I looked at BBC sites, DVD & video covers, and stills of opening credits: no comma. --SigPig 05:25, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Updated IMDB with correct title

Just as a note, I successfully updated the IMDb page to reflect the correct title. It now reads "Yes Minister". Chris 42 20:44, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

That is good. YarYarYarYar (talk) 18:38, 25 February 2009 (UTC)YarYarYarYar

Minor Characters "imitating" real life characters

Hi there.

In "The Challenge", (Series 3, Episode 2) the council leader of Thames Marsh, Ben Stanley - could this possibly be a reflection of Ken Livingstone? Apart from BW's description of him "The one that nobody likes"(!), the similarity of Ken and Ben (not Kev and Bev, from a certain advert! ;o) ) and the Livingston/Stanley connection (I presume), the actor's portrayal of the voice seemed ... rather familiar.

Any thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Salzella22 (talkcontribs) 00:25, 25 July 2006

Almost certainly. On the radio series the audience laughed as soon as "Ben Stanley" started speaking - i.e. before he said anything funny - as his vocal intonation was identical to Ken's.

Article tidy

Hi folks, You may have noticed I've tidied some of the references today. Thanks to User:Chris 42 for expanding my 'opening titles' start. I need your thoughts on the following:

  • do we really need all three DVD covers, given that they're practically identical? I propose losing series 2 & 3 covers. If that leaves a void, then perhaps it can be replaced with a limited number of appropriate screenshots?
    • As an afterthought, we should lose the season 1 cover from the infobox too, and replace it with the title card. Then we can use a still of the caricatures in the 'Openning title' section, which is more illustrative of what that section is discussing.
  • there are a couple of unsourced statements in the 'Critical reaction' section.
  • a section on the books of the scripts. Perhaps including DVD releases. There are a few BBC Radio Collection cassettes/CDs -- were these actually broadcast on BBC radio? Are they just the TV show, or where they rerecorded?

Any other suggestions about what needs doing to improve this? The JPStalk to me 21:52, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I would be in favour of adding the caricatures and moving the title card, providing a smaller version of just the DVD Series One cover is moved to a DVD section. Chris 42 22:25, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I have just moved the title card image to the infobox, and positioned the DVD cover image for the first series to another position on the page - as well as moving the DVD cover image for the third series to another position on the page. I have deleted the DVD cover image for the second series. I do not think that 2 DVD cover images are too many. I donated the images to Wikipedia before there was a title card image - this was the reason why the first series DVD cover was originally used for the infobox (which I also created). Figaro 22:50, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I stil don't think we need two DVD covers, though. One would be sufficient, which will go in the 'DVD releases' section, which should appear shortly. They all are effectively the same: three men is suits! I wonder if it's useful to have a screenshot from the Thatcher sketch, since it has some attention? The JPStalk to me 22:55, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I had been intending to keep only the first series DVD image, and put the image for the third series DVD image onto the actors' pages - but the DVD images were removed from the actors' pages as soon as I put them onto the pages. I have made another attempt to put the third series DVD cover image onto Nigel Hawthorne's page as part of his 'television' section and, if the image is allowed to remain on Nigel Hawthorne's page, I will remove it from the "Yes Minister" page. If the image is not allowed to remain on Nigel Hawthorne's page, then I would like to also keep it on the "Yes Miniter" page because I think that the photo on the cover is to nice to lose. Figaro 23:04, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, well I removed them from the actors pages because it goes against our fair use policy. Technically, we shouldn't be using screenshots of their characters on the acctors' pages, but many people justify that so long as the show is discussed. The DVD cover, however, is pushing it... I'm afraid that being a "nice" photo isn't a sufficient rationale. BTW, remember tha all fair use images should have a fair use rationale on their image description pages. The JPStalk to me 23:08, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I would still like to keep both the first series DVD image and the third series DVD image (and I did delete the second series DVD image). As I mentioned, I will remove the third series DVD image from the "Yes Minister" page if the image is allowed to remain on Nigel Hawthorne's page. Figaro 23:15, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
What is your rationale? Remember that we have a policy concerning the use of fair use images: Wikipedia:Fair use. The JPStalk to me 23:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
I can't see a reason for having two DVD covers. Until the "DVD releases" section is created, they are at the moment not illustrating any text. When the section does appear, I don't think that enough could be written to cover the height of both pictures, which would leave an awkward amount of white space. However, I could be swayed on this if they are reduced in size, and the second image is of the Yes, Prime Minister Series 1 DVD — that would then be representative of both series. Chris 42 11:48, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Have now added the Scarfe pic, DVD section and two DVD covers as per above. I would have preferred it if I could get the two cover pics to float right horizontally, but I was unable to achieve this. If anyone knows the correct markup, then feel free. I've left the YM: Series 3 pic on Nigel Hawthorne's page as requested. Hope it's all okay. Chris 42 19:56, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for supplying the Scarfe pic. It's great. Thank you also for leaving the DVD cover image on Nigel Hawthorne's page - I appreciate it very much. Figaro 22:13, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I've now floated the YM DVD to the left. I think it looks better, the only downside is I can't get the bullets to display! Chris 42 20:25, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Vast improvement! Good work, JPS. Chris 42 21:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
Figaro, I was quite happy with the gallery, as stated above. Chris 42 21:37, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
I would have been happy with the DVD gallery too, but JPS has continually and persistently demanded that only one DVD image should be used to illustrate the series – life is too short for it to be taken over by the sort of pointless arguments, fuss and bother which has accompanied the second series DVD cover image having been used, so I decided to acquiesce to his demands about it – to try to avoid further conflict. "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" are among my favourite television viewing (hence my having these on DVD), and I want my thoughts of the series to be enjoyable – not something which is clouded through pointless and trivial arguments. Figaro 22:13, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
It was JPS who added the gallery... Chris 42 11:46, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
"Demands" and "arguments" is rather hyperbolic. I thought we were having a discussion. I did ask you to bear in mind our fair use policy, however. We should be able to get away with two images in the DVD section on this article (especially since it is acknowledging two separate series, and the section is about the DVDs), but the covers shouldn't be in the actors pages. Similar discussions have taken place in the past about magazine covers. The JPStalk to me 11:56, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
I have removed this comment, as it seems to be unreferenced and uses weasel words:

Thatcher read the show as an indictment of the civil service, while others see it as an indictment of the British parliamentary system. Many agree that it is a combination of both. Bob talk 18:13, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

DVD covers should only be used on articles or sections about the DVD where the DVD is discussed, not as a useful picture of the actor. ed g2stalk 11:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Article Tidy II

Well, I reckon we're just about ready to submit for GA status? Is there anything that is missing? At the moment, the thing that I think needs looking at is the paragraph about the proposed CCTA episode. I can't find any online sources for it (and the Wikipedia mirrors make searching difficult). It was added on 30 March 2006 by User: [3]. The JPStalk to me 15:37, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, it's probably better to move it here for the time being, as with the comment above - unless sourced, it's paragraphs such as that which lose an article good status. If anybody can source this information, feel free to return it. Bob talk 15:51, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Here is the text:A rumour amongst ex-Whitehall staff suggests that in 1992/3 the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (a now defunct UK government body that provided advice and support for government computer projects) proposed that a single new episode be made with its support, incorporating some computer security educational material. The opportunity to make use of the word 'Hacker' must have seemed irresistible. The project was apparently agreed in principle between the BBC and the CCTA, but was blocked by the Cabinet Office and Security Service (MI5).
Yeah, it's probably best to remove it. We also have "...the writers later said they considered Hacker a centrist Conservative." Does anyone have a source for this...? I wonder if those script books have any forwards? The JPStalk to me 16:12, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Each of the books features an Editor's Note, but these simply support the notion that the diaries are real and make no mention of any party affiliation or political viewpoint. Chris 42 18:35, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Episode articles

All of the first series' episodes are now done. I'll be taking a short break and then hope to continue with the others. Chris 42 19:45, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Update: have just finished "The Whisky Priest", and have therefore passed the half-way mark. See Talk:Open Government for some thoughts on a few recent edits. Chris 42 17:53, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

All done! :-) Chris 42 16:11, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Moving trivia

Sorry JPS, I disagree about moving the cat reference from the "Trivia" section. Wikipedia:Manual of style#Bulleted items states, "Do not mix sentence styles; use all complete sentences, or use all sentence fragments". This makes the character list uneven and in any case, is not relevant to the character himself. "Trivia" is really the only place for it, IMO. Chris 42 11:24, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

What I was actually trying to do was dissolve the trivia altogether. Since they tend not to go down too well, and it is another 'list' style section (criticised in the peer review), I thought it best to kill two birds with one stone. The comment about the computer game could be moved into the new combined 'remake and legacy' section, and the Australian visit into the 'critical reception'. The comment about the British Pound might be expanded elsewhere, and I'm not sure if the low listenership of Radio 3 was such a big deal.
The 'characters' section is another list needing attention... do we need the section? Perhaps the 'plot' does the job? It has everything there in context. And perhaps 'Humphrey the cat' could be resheltered into the comments about Thatcher, for cohesion? The JPStalk to me 12:02, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Okay, now having read the peer review reply (should have done that first!), I would suggest making a "Characters of Yes Minister" list article (similar to, for example, Characters of Lost — although that one contains perhaps too much detail), which could then spin off to other articles as appropriate. Obviously the three principals already have their own articles: it would be a matter of judgement as to which of the others are similarly worthy. IMO, Sir Arnold Robinson, Frank Weisel and Sir Desmond Glazebrook are candidates from YM, while Dorothy Wainwright had sufficient screen time in YPM. But then, on the other hand, perhaps there aren't enough characters to warrant a list article? In that case, I think the current section should be converted into prose. That would only leave the DVD and book sections, and I think they should stay in list format. Chris 42 15:58, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree with your conclusions about the prose for the character sections, and the DVD/book section remaining in list form. I also doubt that that list is long enough for a separate article. I'm unsure, and not particularly bothered, about character pages for the minor characters. The JPStalk to me 16:14, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and what are your thoughts on the ordering of sections? Should we move Critical reaction down, so it comes after what it is reacting to? Do you happen to have any information on the 1982 special? It's positioned quite odd at the moment: it's chronologically out, and corerence suggests that it's related to Thatcher (which I don't think it is). Perhaps it should be moved the the episode list? The JPStalk to me 16:20, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Have just converted the "Other characters" to prose, removed the the three principals (as they already have enough coverage)and expanded the section slightly. Will get back to you with my thoughts on your other points shortly. Chris 42 16:39, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that "Critical reception" should be moved between "Open titles and music" and "Remakes and legacy". I don't have any info on the 1982 Special. I would probably add a [citation needed] to that — or even delete it — until some more concrete evidence is found. Chris 42 16:57, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Have moved "Critical reception" per the above. It seems to make sense. Hope it's okay. Chris 42 19:49, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

You beat me to it by seconds -- I had an edit conflict with you, doing exactly the same thing. The other dodgy thing left, surely now is the comment about being a Centrist Conservative. The JPStalk to me 19:52, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry about that! I've just deleted the Centrist claim. It can always be reinstated if a source is found. Chris 42 19:56, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

More peer review comments

What do we think about the most recent comments in the peer review? Does anyone have any more info we can use to expand it. The sources have the exact dates of the series, but I was cautious of making it a copyvio (there's only so many ways "sixteen episodes of two series...." can be phrased. The JPStalk to me 06:39, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

GA review

I have reviewed this article in accordance with the Good Article criteria, and have found the article to meet all criteria, and although there are still some minor points that could be improved, I found these were not distracting enough to fail the nomination.

  1. Well written: no real problems here, but be careful with jargon. What is Thatcherism for example? Also the references of minor characters to real people is a bit problematic, since many people (me included) don't know who Derek Rayner or Andrew Alexander are, and for the latter why there was a reference.
  2. factually accurate and verifiable: maybe there could have been some more inline references (especially in the remakes and legacy section), but in general I found it to be sufficient.
  3. broad coverage: again sufficient in general, although I missed a bit about broadcasts outside the UK.
  4. NPOV: no problems here. Were there any opponents of the series?
  5. stable: some recent reverts, but no big issues
  6. images: all images were appropriately tagged.

One other point:

  • In the section Background, the series is described as not taking sides between Labour and Tories, except for one episode. But which side did they take in that episode? I take it to be Labour, but I'm not sure about that.

Congratulations to the writer(s)! Errabee 15:41, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

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    • apparently
    • might be weasel words, and should be provided with proper citations (if they already do, or are not weasel terms, please strike this comment).[3]
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You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas. Thanks, Wim van Dorst (Talk) 19:08, 27 September 2006 (UTC)


Is there a reference for Yes, Minister's influencing House of Cards? I remember it explored the same themes, but not at all in the same light, nor with the same conclusions. --RobertGtalk 16:29, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

  • I have added a See Also link to The West Wing which, IMHO, is in some ways a similar politics in fiction show and (unverified) may have been influenced in part by Yes, Minister. In any case, what is clear is that the article for The West Wing has a See Also --> link to here, and so I believe a reciprocal link makes sense. Eddyholland 13:02, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Removed additions

These were both added on the 3rd of May, but I'm not sure whether the first one was really in the correct place (background section), as it's really more of a plot issue:

In Yes, Minister, the Prime Minister, Hacker's superior, is never seen and is simply referred to as the Prime Minister. He later resigned and was succeeded by Hacker himself. In the Yes, Prime Minister series he is simply referred to as Hacker's predecessor who causes embarrassment by publishing his memoirs.

and the second addition was also seemingly in the wrong place, as well as being slightly point of view:

One of the appeals of the series was that it was a sitcom based in the country's corridors of power and not simply a suburban home. It was also based on extensive research into the workings of government.

Bob talk 19:36, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Opening Titles for Yes, Minister

Image:Scarfejh.jpg May I point out that Eddington's caricature resambles Margaret Thatcher. I believe that this is an (political satirical) in-joke. Why hasn't this been mentioned in the Opening Titles section? -- 15:20, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Can you provide a reliable source? Otherwise it would be original research, and thus inappropriate. The JPStalk to me 16:35, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Hah, typical Wikipedia, 'Source or didn't happen'. The image used in the article (which I've added here) is, as you know, from the Yes Minister titles. However, in Yes Prime Minister, the cariacture of Eddington looks noticeably different, reflecting on the stress that Jim Hacker receives in the series. In my opinion, both of the Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister caricatures of Eddington definately differ from one another, thus proving that the YM caricature is probably based on a different (political) figure, Margaret Thatcher for example. I don't have a link showing the YPM caricature of Eddington but I've found one of Thatcher that does the trick. Note the large teeth, long nose and other features, very similar to the YM caricature of Eddington, but not similar to the YPM caricature (although ironicly, was the series in which Hacker becomes PM) which shows a more serious imitation of Eddington. This is the only 'proof' I can attain at the very least that shows that the YM caricature of Eddington is based on Margaret Thatcher as a political in-joke. -- 21:46, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

"Encyclopedic content must be verifiable." I'm not saying I disagree with your observations. But, yes, source or it doesn't happen. Oh, and non-free images are not allowed outside of main article space. The JPStalk to me 21:56, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
Well I suppose with 1,800,000 articles, Wikipedia has a right to demand a source that shows definate verification. I can't really find anything that mentions the caricature similarities, so I'm stumped for now. -- 07:28, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Possible episode article removal

Please see the discussions at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive AP#Using Wikipedia:Television episodes and Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Mass deletion of television articles by TTN if you haven't done so already. I have participated and regrettably traded one or two barbed comments in the heat of the moment. I created the YM/YPM episode articles and put a lot of work into them. However, TTN's behaviour notwithstanding (a separate issue), there is a body of opinion that such articles should not exist at all unless they contain more than plot, cast and trivia and are fully sourced. TTN believes they are undeserving of a place on Wikipedia in their current form and should be deleted immediately. What do others think? YM is an important series — on that I'm sure we agree. As regards providing episode articles, do we:

Of course, from my perspective, having spent a great deal of time creating them, I would be loathe to see them go but I am willing to look at the wider picture here. (See Wikipedia talk:Television episodes#DISCUSSING THE GUIDELINE, where hopefully a more civilised discussion is taking place.) Chris 42 22:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

That is annoying, particularly as it only seems to be one individual who is responsible. I can quite understand why you're annoyed - I personally think it's very useful to have episode articles. If this policy is to change, and I hope it doesn't, I suppose if you didn't want to see all your work go to waste you could make sure you copy your text beforehand and put it on another website that we could link to, a bit like the Star Wars wiki. Obviously, that's just a lot of hassle though. Perhaps some sort of collaborative wiki could be produced for episode articles for the many hundreds of episode articles that may potentially go. Bob talk 09:44, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Apparently the policy/guideline hasn't changed, it's just seems that hardly anyone has followed it. Chris 42 11:16, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

I was one of the people who reverted TTN's redirects, as I considered them hasty and contrary to the part of the guideline which states that pages with good possible sources shouldn't be reverted, but expanded. IE. given time to improve. Many have the potential to be brought up to standard, or perhaps merged into a few season pages. Anyway, check out Wikipedia talk:Television episodes where we're discussing how to expand the guidelines to be more helpful to those building pages (and outline when pages should be created), and ensuring tehy are consistent with wikipedia-wide policy. Also, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Television/Episodes, a discussion is taking place about establishing a procedure for dealing with problem articles. This'll give you an idea of what is likely to happen in the future, what options are out there. Also, you might be able to contribute thoughts. This is a collaborative effort, not a few ruling the many. Hope this helps. Gwinva 07:47, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Your Disobedient Servant

Should the article mention the influence on the series (and particularly on the episode "A Question of Loyalty") of the book "Your Disobedient Servant" by Leslie Chapman, published in the late 1970s? I believe Chapman was the model for "Malcolm Rhodes". This gives a brief description of the content of the book, and its impact. I read the book (which was dynamite) but I can't find a reference that directly states its influence on Yes Minister: I'm sure I remember its being mentioned in a documentary about the "making of" I saw once - or was it on the "Britain's Favourite Sitcom" thing? Anyone else know a reference for this? I can't claim spotting this influence is original research, so it must be documented somewhere: I just can't find where… --RobertGtalk 17:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Why no add this (This page contains sections of uncited material removed from the main article), from a sandbox, but looks interesting) Hugo999 06:39, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

from 'Background' In Trollopian style, certain minor characters in the series were apparently drawn from identifiable real-world originals. The acerbic nationalised industry chairman, Sir Wally McFarland, was an affectionate caricature of Sir Monty Finniston (of British Steel); the Prime Minister's special advisor in Yes Minister, Sir Mark Spencer, was a reference to Derek Rayner who joined the first Thatcher Government from the chain store group Marks & Spencer; and the journalists John Pilgrim and Alex Andrews were evident references to John Pilger and Andrew Alexander. Billy Fraser, a tough uncompromising Scottish trade unionist, was based on Jamie Morris, who had led the strike at Westminster Hospital during the Winter of Discontent, and Ben Stanley was a reference to the controversial former leader of the GLC, Ken Livingstone. By contrast, Hacker's Prime Ministerial special advisor, Dorothy Wainwright, predated the arrival of Sarah Hogg (who bore her some resemblance) as John Major's advisor some years later.

You answer your own question: it's uncited. The JPStalk to me 20:13, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Thatcher sketch removed material

I've removed this, pending a citation. It seems a little original-researchy at the moment: The sketch itself revolved around the idea that the PM (naturally played by Mrs Thatcher) wanted Jim Hacker to get rid of all the economists in the Civil Service. the punchline to the sketch comes when Humphrey Appleby reveals that he holds a joint honours degree in politics and economics and Mrs Thatcher replies that is good because it means he'll know exactly where to start. It was conspicuous that early in the following series of the real programme, the scriptwriters emphasised that Appleby's degree was in Classics and he therefore did not understand economics. Employing John Cleese's policy that obvious secondary agendas such as this must always be accompanied by a good joke, they followed up by having Woolley explain that another character had even greater difficulty understanding economics because he was an economist. It was also conspicuous that Mrs Thatcher herself was noticeably less enthusiastic about the programme once it became Yes, Prime Minister.

Bob talk 00:31, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

I think this bit mixes up a lot of things. Firstly an awful lot of programmes, especially in the pre home video/internet era, are not 100% consistent on what are ultimately obscure details of continuity. This is especially true for one-off sketches that are not really considered to be part of the programme "proper". So Sir Humphrey having a PPE in one place and a Classics degree in another is just one of those things. Also IIRC the main references to his actual degree are in the first Yes Prime Minister season (when he is being compared to Sir Frank, the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury who is an economist and thus ignorant), which was after the sketch. But these kind of continuity details aren't really notable unless they're highlighted in sources.
As for Mrs T not being such a fan when it became YPM I don't think she was alone - I've seen several articles and critics arguing that they found it difficult to accept Hacker could become PM (whereas he was easy to accept as a Cabinet minister in a somewhat technical job like the DAA, though I guess that since 1990 it's not been seen as so unlikely), whilst also the show's basic premise was slightly altered - both Hacker and Sir Humphrey no longer had superiors, removing an external/potential mutual threat for them, whilst the addition of Dorothy Wainwright creates another new source of conflict not seen before. A lot of shows that change the basic format often find themselves losing longstanding fans, even if they are picking up new ones. Timrollpickering (talk) 00:54, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


Having watched the series, it seems to me that there should be a mention in the article of how accurate the 'predictions' in the series were. One example is the Trident Renewal that is the focus of one episode, with exactly the same debate being held outside of it. Many times I have thought that several real-life events sounded like they were straight out the series. Jarry1250 (talk) 20:17, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

That was actually about the choice of Trident in the first place, or the Polaris Renewal, to put it another way. There are certainly a lot of themes that have recurred, but that's history repeating itself, not life imitating art. Possak (talk) 22:02, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Programme Endings 'Yes, (Prime) Minister'

It says in the article, "almost every episode ends with the words ... blah blah blah" - I was just wondering which episodes DON'T end with those words. I can't think of any episode ending on anything other than 'Yes, (Prime) Minister', or a very very close incarnation of it (e.g. I know there's one concerning the French President ('A Diplomatic Incident' I think) that ends with Sir Humphrey saying 'Oui, Prime Minister', and I think one ends with Humphrey almost saying 'Yes, Doctor' but correcting himself at the last minute, but these are hardly different at all). This is more for curiosity than anything else, but I also don't think that what's said in the article about this is sufficiently comprehensive - it is a major feature of the series. To me anyway! (talk) 21:37, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there's at least one 'No, Minister' somewhere in there. -- (talk) 04:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I've just watched it, and there's "Mais oui, Prime Minister" in A Diplomatic Incident and "Yes Doctor, er, Minister" (dropping a deliberate hint) in Doing the Honours. I didn't see any other variations, although "No, Minister" appears at points other than the very last line, of course... Possak (talk) 22:09, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

A couple of issues with the article

The last part of the following sentence doesn't make sense:

Meanwhile, his sociology student daughter, Lucy (Gerry Cowper), becomes an environmental activist in one episode (her only on-screen appearance, despite several other mentions), campaigning against one of her father's departmental policies to remove a protected badger reserve in the Home Counties from losing its protected status.

I suspect it is supposed to say that the daughter was opposing removing the protected status, but I don't remember that episode and I am not sure enough to edit it. Also there is nothing about the fact that both "Yes Minister", and "Yes Prime Minister" were shown by PBS the United States. I realize that being shown on PBS is not as important as being shown on a major network, the show was not going to have the same kind of impact in a country without a parliamentary system, but I would have thought the fact that it was licensed to PBS for televising in the US would have rated a mention. I google search on "Yes Mininster" PBS turned up a bunch of hits so I suspect sources can be found. Rusty Cashman (talk) 07:50, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

I remember that episode, Sir Humphrey saves the day by telling Lucy there are no badgers there anymore, and that the allegations of badgers is because some developer is hoping to defeat this project, but then move in later. It is clearly false, as Hacker discovers when he asks to see the report, but it fools Lucy. I am planning to copyedit the article a bit adn will work in the PBS, which I am sure I can find an appropriate source to.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:32, 2 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks you fixed the issues I was concerned about, and I didn't even know it had run on A&E. Rusty Cashman (talk) 20:16, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


this edit introduced:

"Through the first and second series of Yes Minister there were slight hints towards the centre-right newspapers having an impact on government opinion and popularity namely The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph suggesting a centre-right government particularly associated with the Conservative Party; considering that throughout the period of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister the incumbent government of the United Kingdom was Conservative under Margaret Thatcher, later Baroness Thatcher whom Sir Antony Jay had a personal affection and interest in politics of the Conservatives."

Unless the centre has moved, The Guardian is not centre-right. The second half of the sentence (yes, it is one sentence) struggles to make sense. And is this backed up by a ref, or is it OR? Mr Stephen (talk) 00:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I think this is fair comment. Of course it is important to take NPOV, but it is in the context of describing a spectrum on newspapers. I see nothing wrong with that. in the context of the article, which isn naturally political. SimonTrew (talk) 01:32, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Multi-award winning

In a featured article? Seriously? Wow. Crotchety Old Man (talk) 01:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

When this article was promoted on 11 September 2007 it did not have this wording. So it was added after the fact. LonelyMarble (talk) 19:35, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Syntax problems

Politics: "considering that throughout the period of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister the incumbent government of the United Kingdom was Conservative under Margaret Thatcher, later Baroness Thatcher whom Sir Antony Jay had a personal affection and interest in politics of the Conservatives."

"later Baroness Thatcher, for whom Sir Antony Jay had a personal affection as well as an interest in the politics of the Conservatives."?

Bernard Woolley: "He can occasionally appear rather childlike, by making animal noises and gestures or by acting out how such an analogy cannot work and to which sometimes he annoys his Minister."

"with which"?

These may be unnoticed main page vandalism. Excellent article btw. Ben MacDui 08:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I've attempted fixes along the above lines. Ben MacDui 09:28, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I see (or saw) your dilemma-- and of course to see-saw is very appropriate here-- I would stick with it how it is cas long as it is fact. Mrs Thatcher was the Prime Minster at that time. I can see your dilemma but I think best to leave it. SimonTrew (talk) 21:59, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Article on main page?

I notice that this hasn't been said yet, so here goes: OMG I cannot believe that this rubbish is a Featured Article!!! How much of my licence fee did the BBC give to Jimbo to promote this garbage on his website??? Wikipedia has lost what little credibility it ever had!!! Blah blah, whine, moan. (Also, well done to the contributors to this article. It's lovely!) Bradley0110 (talk) 09:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

This is the 6th featured article of the month dealing with a recent entertainment/showbiz subject. I think one or maybe two "current cultural relvance" featured articles would be a gracious plenty for one month. There is a big world out there, administrators, filled with subjects whose importance transcends the hollow world of TV citcoms and heavy metal, etc., etc., etc. Can we not focus on such important subjects a bit more than we do now? --NCDane (talk) 12:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Can I just point out that this is really only for discussing improvements to the article - Wikipedia talk:Featured articles is the place to discuss this issue. To address your concern, though, this was both a highly popular television programme and had repurcussions for politics in the UK, particularly in the public perception of politics, so to say it's unimportant is rather uninformed. Bob talk 12:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
BTW Bob I think it is a good article. There is still a little work to do but we have all done pretty well on it. Others who want to criticize are entitled to; they are entitled to contrubute too.
20:48, 25 February 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by SimonTrew (talkcontribs)
Indeed, Bob. I detect the recurring criticism of Wikipedia that it gives equal, if not greater, weight to "popular" subjects as opposed to what some perceive as more important. I sense an agenda... As always, Bob, you give an elegant explanation as to the importance of this subject. The JPStalk to me 21:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Style consistency on newspaper titles

Sometimes they are in eyeties and sometimes just plain. Personally I prefer plain, but at least I think they should be consistence throughout the article.

SimonTrew (talk) 12:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Actually although I have checked all the links and changed caps, I am still a bit unsure here. Few papers explicitly put "The" in their titles. We can't change the links (but can how they are displayed), but to call it e.g. the Sun its masthead is just SUN (there may be a "the" in very small type, but not often), shouldn't the "the" go outside the link? The Times is the exception, its masthead does include "The". Similarly it is simply the "Telegraph", not (I think) the "Daily Telegraph", though it is published daily. (Not 100% sure I am right there). The "Daily Mail" is indeed mastheadeded that way.

As a minor point The Mirror seems to flip back and forth between having it's red top as Daily Mirror or just The Mirror.

I got all the links and grammar fixed just would appreciate your views.

theguardian is now printed with its masthead as such. There is only one reference, and I think should be kept that way, cos at the time of writing the show it was not all printed lower case.

SimonTrew (talk) 12:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Newspaper titles should always be in italics, this is the style Wikipedia uses. If you see they are inconsistent, please change it so they are all italicized. Secondly, you can change the links. I'm assuming you mean change the article titles. You can do this by going to the article that you think the title is wrong and go to the top of the page and there is a "move" tab. Click that and it allows you to move the article to a new title. Make sure you have a good reason and evidence to do so and explain your reasoning in the box. Also, if "the" is included in the newspaper's title I think it's policy to always capitalize it as it's part of the proper noun title of the newspaper (see this edit I made). I know the Music Wikiproject specifically mentions this, I'm not sure if it's mentioned in the Manual of Style anywhere. LonelyMarble (talk) 17:40, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I just noticed that in WP:ALLCAPS The New York Times is written with the capitalized "the", so it seems this is the common practice. LonelyMarble (talk) 17:46, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah thanks I know how to change the links it is just a question of style. All the links now work just they vary in style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SimonTrew (talkcontribs) 17:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Quotations and MOS

The article is nicely done, but uses {{cquote}} repeatedly in a way that does not follow the documentation for the template, see Template:Cquote. Specifically I think {{blockquote}} should be used. This is a nitpick, thanks for an interesting read. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 20:31, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Sure. I should note, for Ruhrfisch and anyone else concerned about stylistic errors, real or perceived, that there is no one to make changes. CzechOut was the lead editor on this article, he does not seem to be active (yes, he has Czeched Out, so it seems). Please make any stylistic changes yourselves that need to be made, and discuss anything likely to be contentious here. Thanks.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:12, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I am here to make changes, together with another, we have scrubbed this up quite a lot I think. Not perfect but not too bad. Har har with the pun about czeched out. I think we are doing ok. At the moment the worst problem is vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SimonTrew (talkcontribs) 03:52, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I converted the first cquote to just an inline quote as the MOS says to only use block quotes for text four lines or more long (or a whole paragraph). Switched the other two cquotes to block quotes. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 16:45, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


The article states that the writers said the drinking in Qumran episode (sneaking alcohol into a party) was based on this actually happening to someone in Pakistan. How is this possible? Alcohol was banned for Muslims in 1977, and up through today, foreigners who are not Muslims can purchase alcohol from anywhere (and unofficially even Muslims can and do purchase alcohol everywhere). You don't need to hide it or sneak away to drink. There are breweries in Pakistan, including the famous Murree Brewery. The episode looked like it was parodying a Gulf Arab state. Apparently, the writers said that this happened in Pakistan so its fine in the article, I just wanted to point out that its not possible for it to have taken place in Pakistan. Inf fg (talk) 12:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

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