Yes Real Prime Minister AKA The Thatcher Sketch (1984) (optional subs)


One of the BBC’s most
popular comedy series… …won an award today
from mrs. Mary Whitehouse… …and the National Viewers
and Listeners Association. The series is Yes Minister, …about the conflicts between
politicians and their civil service. The award was presented by
the program’s biggest fan. To celebrate she wrote a
special sketch for the stars, …and she persuaded them
to let her take part in it. Get rid of what prime minister? Yes it’s all very simple: I want you to abolish economists. Abolish economists, prime minister? Yes abolish economists, and quickly. All of them, prime minister? Yes all of them. I look forward to receiving
your plan for abolition soon. Tomorrow, shall we say. I’d like you to announce
it before it all leaks. Yes, tomorrow. – Tomorrow, prime minister, yes.
– Yes, well, just sort it out. – Now, sir Humphrey…
– Prime minister? What did you say your degree was? Eh… …my degree, prime minister? Yes, sir Humphrey, degree, your
degree. You have one I take it? Most permanent secretaries do.
Perhaps two! Ehm, yes, well, actually,
prime minister, …a double first. – Congratulations, sir Humphrey.
– Thank you very much… But what in? Eh, politics, and eh… …economics. Capital, my dear sir Humphrey. Capital. You’ll know
exactly where to start. Yes, prime minister…

96 comments

  • ROZENGIL

    thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  • Xinyi Qi

    Wow! Thank you for sharing! Good to see this special sketch put in action!

    Reply
  • Cando Smith

    ha ha ha

    Reply
  • Orbilfolda

    What 1 million pounds worth of jewels taken from Christie's? Appalling, most appalling indeed!

    Reply
  • YKW2

    Interesting. Any keen follower of the original series would know, of course, that Sir Humphrey's degree is actually in Classics. I gather Jay and Lynn were not expecting much from this sketch; surely Mrs Thatcher should have been occupied in other matters, such as running the country…

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  • Jason Gauthier

    That was clearly some political consultant's stupid idea to make her more endearing by showing a softer side. When will people learn to understand what makes people like them specifically? No one liked Thatcher for her sense of humour.

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  • Dominic W

    Apparently Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne were desperate to get out of doing this and asked one of the writers to get them out of it but he had no power to do so, this just shows what true professionals they were!

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  • Osian Evans-Sharma

    Hilariously cringey – I can barely watch…

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  • Tony Holyoak

    Wonderful…Britain's greatest Prime Minister…will pay my respects to you next week…saviour of our country, now being destroyed once again by pygmies!

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  • rustylad100

    Whats the matter, did she starve you of your benefits?

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  • CheckDare

    Spot on, Lad.

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  • eruption257

    probably just robbed them of a decent town due to the social rot she instated throughout the UK

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  • rustylad100

    Na the strikers forced themselves out because they were all striking rather than working. You can thank a certain Scargill for that

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  • eruption257

    You say that like it's just the mining strikes that caused that, but the absolute contempt she held for all poor that she held up in policy after policy (the infamous school milk, Care in the Community, the poll tax, etc.) and the total disregard she had for the consequences of her actions caused a great deal of damage to her country. You can't just shrug that off with "you're just angry because the government isn't your mommy"

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  • rustylad100

    Yes that is right, she didn't have any time for people who wanted to spend their days striking, so she ignored them, she instead focused her efforts on people who turned up and worked. As for the factories she closed, inflation was a staggering 28% thanks to Labours failures, so she closed factories that were infective and got inflation back down to a manageable figure. It affected unemployment of course but on a temporary basis.

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  • eruption257

    A "temporary basis"? The poverty rate hasn't gone below 15% since 1987. This is not just about the miners and the unions, this is the whole of the UK. Yes, she did focus on those who came to work, she closed their factories in the absolute worst way possible in a purposeful play to steamroll those who dared to stand up against her. She irreparably fucked the UK, not just with this, but with the policies I mentioned in the last comment which you ignored to continue on the "lazy miners" line.

    Reply
  • rustylad100

    No she didn't fuck the UK. She left office with an economy that was the envy of the world – FACT!

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  • Aben

    She did a lot of crazy things, back in the days!

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  • Michaelthekiwi

    Really? You mean they never noticed that Yes, Minister/Primer Minister scripts were ringing endorsements of Thatcher. Incredible!

    Reply
  • Yuxuan Wu

    anyone, can tell me where can I watch the full video?

    Reply
  • barttheanorak

    Nice try Maggie…

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  • peoplesfrontofjudea

    I'm not sure what's funnier: Nigel Hawthorne momentarily corpsing, or the fact that John Humphries just hasn't changed since 1984!

    Reply
  • The Ball

    I want to know more about the jewel thief

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  • kisbie

    It was a minor scandal when one of the writers of Yes, Minister – Anthony Jay – was revealed to be a speechwriter for (and supporter of) Mrs. Thatcher, so I think it's safe to say this was all his fault.

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  • kisbie

    Jay was a Tory, Lynn was a Labour man. Similar to the mutual 'best of enemies' relationship that Richard Ingrams (Tory) and Paul Foot (Labour), founders of Private Eye, took to greatness. I have to say that, even as a liberal myself, British political comedy suffers now from having no right-wing voice. I mean Ian Hislop is taken as a conservative, but in reality he's bang on the centre.

    Reply
  • kisbie

    I think it's Mary Whitehouse – sitting behind Mrs. T – laughing at the word 'leaks'. Yes, I'm 10 years old.

    Reply
  • MadAndyBeckman

    "So unfunny it's painfully funny!"

    That sounds so bitter it's painfully bitter.

    Reply
  • stratmaster5

    I LIKE IT! I LIKE IT!

    Reply
  • The Concise Statement

    Hah! The cartoon for Thatcher is more monstrous than I thought possible!

    Reply
  • Malincanada

    I come here to watch an interesting piece of TV from the 1980's and instead, within the first second, you upset me by reminding me that my beloved Cobblers lost to Stockport County on a grim Friday evening in January 1984?!?!?! You swine!!

    Reply
  • Ray Turner

    I know its the done thing to criticise this sketch, but it wasn't too bad actually. I've seen worse…

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  • Humphrey Appleby

    Ha, at least YOU have a sense of humour.

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  • Humphrey Appleby

    There is no excuse, is there? I must apologize! Are you feeling better now?

    Reply
  • Humphrey Appleby

    Oh come on, it really is bad. The vicarious shame is killing me just watching it!

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  • Jenny Scott

    Doesn't bother me.  I'm no fan of Thatcher, but when I look at this I just see someone enjoying a little side project with the actors of her favourite show.

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  • rincewind

    Why are there people laughing? Are they held at gunpoint?

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  • Monster Arrow

    Margaret Thatcher, the cum catcher.

    Reply
  • Emerson White

    Sir Humphrey had a 1st from Oxford in classics, not a double first in politics and economics!

    Reply
  • Abraham Mireles

    it ain't so bad. 

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  • JimFC Gregg

    This is discussed in "Yes Minister – the View from Whitehall". youtube v=KcQB__qHpY4#t=1m30s

    It was the idea of Lord Butler and Bernard Ingham, her press secretary. Butler and Thatcher wrote it together (from the documentary it's unclear if Ingham also contributed).  However, Butler and Ingham had a very tough time persuading her to do it. Even at the last minute she had misgivings.

    I think it's okay, not awful. I think the main problem with it is that Thatcher isn't an actress. She was okay, but a pro would've made a big difference.

    Reply
  • The Clear Summer

    … I guess it just FEELS like the real thing because we have the same actors saying the line. 
    Still, Mrs. Thatcher must be the luckiest fangirl in the world. 😛 I just get the feeling that she got a little carried away with talking to Sir Humphrey and forgot that it was actually Sir Nigel Hawthorne sitting there instead… 

    Reply
  • Sue Jones

    Very funny..
    Screwing the working classes was unfunny tho..

    Her and Blairs bodies should be put in acid asap (I even dig her up for free)

    Reply
  • Oscar Barclay-Binning

    So a shit writer and actor as well as a shit Prime Minister… Ah well. I feel sorry for Hawthorne and Eddington, it's like when a kid draws a shitty picture of what is apparently a flatulent goose on crack and of course, it has to go on the fridge.

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  • harry

    Sir Humphrey's degree was in Classics. I don't know what kind of garbage fan fiction she was writing but she couldn't even stick to the show's canon.

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  • Thomas Edgerley

    A PM with a sense of humour.

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  • greatgatsb9o921o

    The IRON LADY!

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  • Willie Finn

    Maggie enjoyed it, at any rate….doubt if the other 2 did. It got a few laughs. Helped that she was a fan.

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  • Maiden Utah

    A great PM and a vanguard of art & culture as well.

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  • Robert Creighton

    was tv still in black n white in 1984??  I'm amazed I thought colour had been around since the 60s

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  • hammertapping

    its funny enough in itself.
    saying its "So unfunny it's painfully funny!" as you do in your description indicates your own narrow minded partisan lack of humor.

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  • Stephanie Hammett

    Well that was adorable <3

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  • Tavi

    I think the first part was reasonably funny. But the double first thing (knowing that he got a 1st in Classics) was a disappointment 🙁

    Reply
  • Evan Lilley

    This is weird and unusual. The source of material that the show was based on was now writing and acting it's own fan fiction. It would be like aliens coming to earth and getting William Shatner to act in their own fan-fiction script of Star Trek, Conan Doyle rising from the grave to appear in "Sherlock", or Hitler being a guest on "Top Gear".

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  • EGRJ

    How is Thatcher keeping a straighter face than the two men who do this for a living?

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  • Phyllis Davison

    Allegedly Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne, neither of whom were fans of the Conservative government, were appalled when they learned only the day before that they were required to participate in this "command performance", but neither of them felt they could refuse. They both look decidedly uncomfortable and appear to be taking part through gritted teeth. One reason for this was that the "Yes Minister" had jumped through hoops so that it was not clear what Hacker's political party was, and here they were being associated with a Tory Prime Minister. Both actors look as if they wished they were elsewhere.

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  • Fred Shanbour

    Not only was it funny, but a grand idea! Abolish economists, as did John James Copperthwaite. (indirectly) Brilliant!

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  • Robert Clark

    but Sir Humphrey read classics

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  • FD S

    0:44 – Welp… someone certainly didn't like Thatcher.

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  • GeoMcEvan

    A better actor than Prime Minister. Really, she's not that bad at it. Miles better than Blair was when he got conscripted into doing TV stuff to look cool.

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  • Erica Sewnod

    For one I like the fact Mrs Thatcher wanted to be involved, wrote a script for the three of them. It doesn't matter with the accuracy. It's funny.

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  • deebadubbie

    Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!

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  • Ishmael Skyes

    Thatcher and Whitehouse on the same stage – where are you providence, where are you giant 1 ton comedy weight?

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  • DokktorDeth

    This idiot, thankfully no longer vulgarising the earth with her bestial presence, should leave important issue areas such as popular entertainment to those best able to discharge their talents. A true obscenlty.

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  • Jane Smith

    Good for her. Yet another reason we need more female prime ministers.

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  • Ishmael Skyes

    Ye gods – that's Mary Whitehouse in the bg!

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  • A Rem

    Another perfectly good thing she managed to cock up, she was consistent.

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  • Laurence Dunne

    Wow….glad she was in politics because she wouldn't cut it as a sitcom writer

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  • Mark Taylor

    In a way, this humanises the old bat. Here she is, showing for all time, what a big fucking fan girl she was. Not just content to write her own 'fan fiction', but act it on live TV complete with the proper actors.

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  • 谢正其

    M.Thatcher, the luckist fan of <<yes, minister>>!!!!!! i am soooooo jls

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  • Fawzie Kefli

    It was Jim Hacker who graduated from the LSE. Presumably in economics.

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  • Zachary Reynolds

    Mary Whitehouse… spits

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  • Jack Tanton

    I actually found that quite amusing 🙂

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  • Francis Moran

    Thought it hilarious. As in so much of what she did, Lady Thatcher was brilliant. Of course she could withstand the type of nasty barbs to which successful conservatives – real conservatives – (almost all ARE successful) are used from those arrogant snotty-nosed leftist twits that didn't like this Prime Minister precisely because she was so damn successful.

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  • Odysseus Rex

    If Thatcher really wrote that herself, good for her!

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  • wwbdwwbd

    Look at that old wicked bitch trying her utmost to bask in reflected glory and glamour. Thankfully, she's burning in a place for which W. Bush and Blair are also destined.

    Reply
  • Marty Robbins

    I must crave your momentary indulgence to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation of expressing ones opinion towards this sketch, whilst an intriguing proposal it lacks sound principle. In short, it s not very funny

    Reply
  • abdelfattah dekhissi

    The best PM this country had .we may wait another hundred years to get thr chance to have a PM like her
    As for yes minister it will always be the number 1 comedy in the Uk

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  • Ran Sherman

    this is quite clever, well done. say what you will about her political ways, but she clearly have a good comedic sense.

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  • fasthracing

    Somewhat cringe worthy

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  • Ollie Yang

    Not funny at all.

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  • Choc Ice

    You'd think they could have found a colour camera for this in 1984

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  • David Griffiths

    Harmless enough idea I suppose but this was presumably rehearsed once or twice. At that point having tested it they might have realized it was just not a good one. The decision may have been political in nature and intended to take the show down a peg or two for shining a light on the failings of the governmental structure. This is an elitist minority interest show, which is a great thing as much TV content offers nothing to challenge the mental capacity of the viewers and is therefore mostly a mediocre and soporific reward for the days work. Thatcher must have had mixed feelings about it, as I recall she presented herself as a strident, self righteous crusader, yet this show illuminates with plentiful spoons of sugar that the organization she was a creature of does not accord with such a public facade.

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  • Michael Hartman

    We enjoy most what we can relate to ourselves. The fact that Yes, Minister was Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's favorite program implied a great deal about the upper levels of government. The weight of that grain of truth might be frighteningly large.

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  • slothfulcobra

    An abuse of power to act like an idiot on national TV with your dumb unfunny sketch

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  • Clemens Schlage

    I bet it was also Maggie who stole the jewels

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  • Kristijan Ahčin

    Not at all unrealistic or unreasonable prime munister 😉 brilliant. Baroness was indeed the bedt woman for the job. Now look at Low energy Theresa even juncker can manhandle me May…and you may want to…..mumble mumble mumble.

    Reply
  • danzigvssartre

    …then I want you to abolish all unions.

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  • DM 00

    Hawthorne and Eddington really showed their chops here. The script was nothing much at all and they somehow made it work. Well they made it punch way above its weight anyway.

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  • Vargoroth

    It's kind of funny how much this feels like fan fiction. Thatcher just happened to be important enough for the actors to obligate her wish to play a side role.

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  • Derek Nippl-e

    I always wondered how Maggie would have reacted to Hacker’s rejection of the propsed BCC Metadioxin contract. She was a research chemist by profession.

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  • John King

    The problem with the sketch was that in Yes Minister, the Prime Minister was never seen. We were told it was a man, but other than that, we have no idea of his name or what he looked like. It was all left vague. Also left vague was the political party Hacker belonged too. No party was ever mentioned, and the opposition party was just called the opposition. This sketch ruined the facade and made it all about THATCHER.

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  • v achose

    its great to see that pervious PMs would even go to have a good fun in tv shows where nowadays PMs avoid it as much as possible as the public cant take a joke anymore.

    Reply
  • patrick lamshear

    If Margret Thatcher was Prime Minister to day britix would be over and done with,no more pissing about with Europe.

    Reply
  • mkz42279

    Dear God! What a horrible sense of humor Thatcher had!

    Reply
  • Cicero Lounge

    Double first in Politics and Economics 🙂

    Reply
  • pw10a2sal

    The real news were funny, 1 million pounds were stolen in less than a minute. WOW and I am italian….. XD

    Reply

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