Yes, Prime Minister: the Twitter reaction

From audience laughter to poor scripting, here's the Twittersphere opinions on the Gold remake of the popular political sitcom

The new series of Yes, Prime Minister – starring David Haig and Henry Goodman as Jim Hacker and Sir Humphrey – aired for the first time last night on UK Gold. A few viewers were puzzled as to why the BBC chose not helm the remake of its much-loved original series, but it soon became clear why…


Tom Randall agrees – but expresses his thoughts in a less forgiving manner.

The scores of 140-character Twitter reviews pouring in must have made for uncomfortable reading over at UK Gold. Adam Sadler kicked-off the damning responses: 

Many fans of the original BBC production, which starred Paul Eddington and Nigel Hawthorne in the lead roles, were quick to question the decision to revive the political comedy. @GeorgeHBone’s exasperation appears to have diminished his use of varied vocabulary… 

Lizzie Charlton was one of many who disagreed with the casting of Haig and Goodman as the PM and his wily Permanent Secretary:

And Paul Harrison was certainly feeling the void of Nigel Hawthorne who passed away in 2001…

Ray Gange didn’t hold back in his protection of the original 1980s satrical sitcom. 

@StillHarpingOn was happiest at the end of the 40-minute broadcast…

That certainly doesn’t bode well for Gold. But labelling it worse than the likes of Splash! and Celebrity Wedding Planner – was it really that bad, Mark Casci?

Indeed, after searching through the scores of disappointed tweeters, it appears that some viewers approved of last night’s reboot. @markhigginsuk positively gushed about the script – which was penned by original writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn. 

And @AngelM16 was applauded the return of Sir Humphrey’s long-winded, deliberately complex speeches…

However, many viewers found the remake’s merits were ruined by the studio audience laughter that persistently accompanied every gag. @MovingToMontana lamented:

So formulaic was the applause that tweeters were soon terming the responses “canned”. Indeed, Simon Batchelor was so exasperated, he was overcome outbursts spontaneous chortling while making his point…

Meanwhile @alandelmonte was quick to highlight the mismatched jokes with the response they received. 

And if viewers weren’t bemoaning the background merriment, they were questioning the decision to write a script so close in character to the West End stage production of the show:

Fans of The Thick of It were also quick to compare Yes, Prime Minister to Armando Iannucci’s political satire – and the comparisons failed to flatter the Gold remake.  


So sadly, despite its lucrative bank of hardcore original fans, it seems the new version Yes, Prime Minister has failed its first test. @JimTDuffy’s opinions seem fairly representative of the Twitter masses: