Yes Minister (1980–1984)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
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The Right Honorable James Hacker has landed the plum job of Cabinet Minister to the Department of Administration. At last he is in a position of power and can carry out some long-needed reforms - or so he thinks.

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3   2   1  
1984   1982   1981   1980  
Top 250 TV #95 | 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Paul Eddington ...
 James Hacker (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
 Sir Humphrey Appleby (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
Derek Fowlds ...
 Bernard Woolley (22 episodes, 1980-1984)
Diana Hoddinott ...
 Annie Hacker (10 episodes, 1980-1984)


James Hacker is the British Minister for Administrative Affairs. He tries to do something and cut government waste, but he is continually held back by the smart and wily Permanent Secretary of the Department, Sir Humphrey Appleby. Private secretary Bernard Woolley is caught in the middle, between his political master, and his civil service boss. Written by Tony Lammens <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

25 February 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Javisst, herr minister  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(21 episodes) | (1 episode)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A great fan of the series, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (as she then was) wrote a sketch for the show with press secretary Bernard Ingham which was recorded and aired as part of the 1984 National Viewers and Listeners Awards. The sketch featured Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne, both of whom are talking to the Prime Minister (played by Thatcher herself) about her notion to abolish economists. See more »


During the train sequence in "The Official Visit", a close-up shows that the warning notice on the wall is written in gibberish. See more »


Bernard Woolley: That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A show that bites. Great comedy.
19 February 2005 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

I first saw Yes Minister when I was about eight. Even then I could see some of the humour that would lead me to fall in love with it years later, but I had no idea that I would to such a degree. Paul Eddington plays the Rt. Hon. James Hacker MP, Cabinet Minister in charge of the department of Administrative Affairs. He comes to his position high minded and full of ideals, only to find them being compromised as he finds that he is merely a cog in something far bigger, something he has little, and at times no control over. This bigger entity is humanised in the form of Machievellian Permanent Secratery Sir Humphery Appelby ( a brilliant Nigel Hawthorne ), who opposes the Minister on every turn with the power of the Civil Service behind him. Switiching sides as he sees fit is Hacker's Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Wooley ( Derek Fowlds, who's great ), a high flier who's job is to stand by Hacker, but who's future lies with Sir Humphery and the Civil Service. The great thing about this show is that although Hacker is weak, cowardly and vote-grubbing, you cannot help but pity him as his ideals and principles become distorted and disappear completely due to the brutal pragmatism placed on him not only by Appelby and the Civil Service but also his own Cabinet colleagues. A must for any one studying a Social Science.

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