Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 20:46 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 15 Aug 2018 | 20:46 | SYDNEY

Why is \'Yes, Minister\' so good?


Sam Roggeveen


11 February 2011 15:02

Christian Bennett's reader riposte sent me on a 10-minute diversion into YouTube's archive of Yes, Minister clips. Thanks, Christian.

The show is obviously a classic, but I have one thought as to why it is such an enormous achievement. Put aside the brilliant writing and performances and focus on what the series does not do: by basing the show on fictional characters, the creators deliberately deprived themselves of the richest and most obvious source of satire, one that has been mined by generations of comedians, cartoonists and parliamentary sketch writers: the politicians themselves.

The creators of Yes, Minister didn't give themselves the luxury of being able to make fun of one politician's hairdo, or another's speech impediment, or another's stature. Instead, they created a comedy about political process. That's hard to do.

Speaking of depictions of British politicians, there's a new Meryl Streep film in the works, a Margaret Thatcher biopic called The Iron Lady. The first full make-up picture has emerged. Creepy, don't you think'