Yes Minister, The Compassionate Society, 1981

Yes Minister is perhaps one of the cleverest sitcoms ever written.  Like many of the classics it brings together brilliant writing with exactly the right casting.

The Compassionate Society remains a personal favourite.  It’s all about the NHS and the internal market.  Years ahead of it’s time,

It’s the first episode of the second series, broadcast in early 1981, that’s over thirty years old.  It was also one of the episodes adapted for radio.

It’s also the last time that Bernard Woolley closes the episode with the words” Yes Minister”


Jim Hacker is concerned about a brand new, fully staffed hospital that has no patients., but it does have 500 civil servants and ancillary workers.

Enraged, Hacker insists that the number of civil servants and ancillary workers be cut to 200 and the hospital filled with patients.

However, it’s not long before he learns just how powerful the Unions are.






Jim Hacker – Paul Eddington
Sir Humphrey Appleby – Nigel Hawthorne
Bernard Woolley –  Derek Fowlds
Arthur Cox – George


Channel: BBC1
Written By: Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lyne
Original Transmission Date: 23rd February 1981




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