THE COMPLETE YES MINISTER
THE DIARIES OF A CABINET MINISTER BY THE RIGHT HOM. JAMES HACKER MP.
EDITED BY JONATHAN LYNN AND ANTONY JAY BBC BOOKS 1981.
The Spring of 1983 the BBC TV series* Yes Minister achieved a unique hat trick: it became the first programme ever to win the HHtish Academy award for the Best Coriiedy Series for three years running. In those three years the series had progressed from an innovation to an institution, as more and more people came to realise that behind all the laughter there was a great deal of accurate observation and pertinent revelation about the way the British are governed.
As the series grew in popularity, however, viewers increasingly found that a television tour of British democratic government irt the Eighties, however hilarious, was not enough. They wanted this expose ofWestminster and Whitehall in a more permanent and portable form. By reinterpreting the stories as Jim Hacker’s political diaries (augmented by .Sir Humphrey Appleby’s papers and a good helping of new material) the authors have produced not just a printed version of the series but books, which stand up as works of sharp political comedy in their own right. Now for the first time the three best-selling volumes, covering Jim Hacker’s time as Minister for Administrative Affairs, previously available only as separate paperbacks, are issued as a single volume in hardback.
We have had diaries from other Cabinet Ministers, but none 1 think which have been quite so illuminating…It is a fascinating diary…It is shorter than Barbara ‘ Castle’s…and although it is rather more accurate than Dick Crossman’s, it is distinctly funnier* – Lord Allen of Abbeydale (formerly Permanent Secretary at The Home Office) in The Times
‘Very funny indeed* -The Birmingham Post
‘It has an entertainment and educational value which is uhique. It is uproariously funny and passes the afeid test of becoming more amusing at tfery subsequent reading… I will go so far as to claim that in the characters of Jiiri^ Hacker and Sir Humphrey Appleby, Messrs Lynn and Jay have created something as immortal as P.G: Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster and Jeeves* – Brian Walden in The Standard