The New Statesman: Season 1, Episode 7

Baa Baa Black Sheep (25 Oct. 1987)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.5
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Alan's hateful father-in-law, Roland Gidleigh-Park, threatens to have Alan thrown out ...

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Title: Baa Baa Black Sheep (25 Oct 1987)

Baa Baa Black Sheep (25 Oct 1987) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Rowena Cooper ...
Norman Bormann
...
...
John Nettleton ...
Sir Stephen Baxter
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Willoughby Guzzler
Diana Weston ...
Edie Guzzler
Hubert Rees ...
Goronwy Hopkins
...
Policeman
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Storyline

Because of his immoral antics B'stard faces deselection by the party but sees a chance of redemption when he learns that American fast food magnate Willoughby Guzzler plans to open a food factory in either Wales or Haltemprice. To eliminate the Welsh competition he gets Norman - whose sex change to Norma is almost complete to seduce Welsh secretary Goronwy Hopkins, so he can be compromised and blackmailed but he drops dead on finding that Norma is still a man. Willoughby invites B'stard and his wife to dinner but, since Sarah refuses, he takes Norma instead and, when Guzzler suggests a wife-swapping party, he declines for obvious reasons. However Guzzler, a devout Christian, sees this as a sign of B'stard's moral rectitude, and agrees to open the factory in Haltemprice, bringing new jobs and forcing the party to keep B'stard on. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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25 October 1987 (UK)  »

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4:3
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User Reviews

 
"I can't wait to see the old sod's face when I tell him!"
27 November 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

What's Alistair Beaton up to now? Remember him? The author of 'The New Labour Book Of B####cks' as well as the would-be satirical plays 'The Trial Of Tony Blair' and 'A Very Social Secretary' has kept his head down in recent months, which is odd seeing we've a new Government in power, hence loads of opportunities for jokes. Cannot he think of anything funny to say about the May General Election in which two political parties of diametrically opposed principles suddenly - and rather conveniently - found enough common ground on which to build another Wembley Stadium? Are there no gags to be made about a party leader who got fewer votes than in 2005 deciding who should be the next Prime Minister? Why is 'The Cameron & Clegg Book Of B####cks' not on sale right now? I think we should be told!

Onto the cracking final episode of Season 1 of 'The New Statesman'. Alan faces de-selection by his local Conservative Party, which as we know is run by his snobbish father-in-law Roland Gidleigh-Park ( Charles Gray ). He objects to his refusal to hold surgeries, read constituents' letters and generally do the job he is paid handsomely to do. Alan gets no sympathy from Sarah either. To curry favour with the Haltemprice Tories, Alan meets with eccentric American fast-food millionaire 'Willoughby Guzzler' ( the late William Hootkins ), owner of the successful 'Lamburger' chain of restaurants. Guzzler is uncertain whether to open a factory in Haltemprice or in a constituency in Wales whose M.P. is Goronwy Hopkins ( Hubert Rees ). As Hopkins has a reputation as a ladies man', Alan sets a honey trap for him using Norman ( now completely female ) as bait...

With the show a hit, there was no real danger of Alan's de-selection of course. It was not popular with everyone though - reviewed on B.B.C.-2's 'Did You See...', it got short shrift from the panel, many of whom made unfavourable comparisons with 'Yes, Minister'. Apart from being about British politics, the shows are quite different.

When Season 2 went into production, a paring down of the cast took place. Holding onto power were Alan ( naturally ), Sarah, Piers, and ( for the time being ) Sir Stephen. Losing their seats were Norman Bormann, Beatrice Protheroe, Sidney Bliss ( though he'd briefly return in 1990's 'Who Shot Alan B'stard' special, played on that occasion by John Normington ), and Roland Gidleigh-Park.

Funniest moment - Guzzler and Alan getting friendly in the latter's office. The American goes to give B'Stard a friendly pat on the back, but uses too much force and pitches Alan forward, his head hitting the desk!

Second funniest moment - Alan and Norma ( formerly known as Norman ) are in a restaurant with Guzzler and his free-spirited wife Edie ( Diana Weston ). As Alan bites into his burger, he asks what meat is in it. Guzzler says: "We have a no-waste policy! Brains, bones, and balls!". Alan looks ready to throw up!


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