Yes, Prime Minister

Series 1 - 1. The Grand Design

The Grand Design
Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

As Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) settles in to 10 Downing Street in this superb series from 1986, he makes a horrifying discovery: there’s nobody to cook him lunch. Almost as bad, he realises that while he has the power to press the nuclear button, he’s not sure he’ll know when to press it. On top of which he’s told it probably won’t work when he does.

So, courageously, he decides to cancel Trident. Cabinet secretary Sir Humphrey (Nigel Hawthorne) is used to “masterly inactivity” from PMs, so this prompts one of those wonderful nonsensical speeches that made this series so special. A classic – and it’s as relevant today as ever.

About this programme

1/8. On his arrival at Number 10, Jim Hacker is confronted by a confusing nuclear deterrent problem, made more difficult by Sir Humphrey's constant meddling. The new PM soon realises his powers do not stretch to domestic affairs. Political comedy, starring Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne.

Cast and crew


James Hacker
Paul Eddington
Sir Humphrey Appleby
Nigel Hawthorne
Bernard Woolley
Derek Fowlds
Chief of Defence Staff
Frederick Treves
Chief Scientific Advisor
Oscar Quitak
Malcolm Warren
Barry Stanton