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Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Lynn’

PR Premiärminister Margaret Thatchers favoriter på TV lär ha varit de politiska satirserierna ”Yes, Minister” och ”Yes, Prime Minister”.

Thatcher spelade t.o.m. sig själv i en specialskriven sketch (se ovan) när Jonathan Lynn och Antony Jay, skaparna av BBC:s populära TV-serier, skulle tilldelas ett pris av National Viewers and Listeners Association.

Varför var Thatcher så angelägen om att framföra sketchen? Det var bra PR helt enkelt.

Lynn skrev om händelsen på CNN:s hemsida där han också passar på att förklara varför just politiker är så förtjusta i TV-serierna.

The first time I met Margaret Thatcher, she was already a fan of mine, or so she said. With my co-writer Antony Jay, I had created and written the first seven episodes of ”Yes, Minister,” a BBC TV comedy series about the British government.

[…]

Referring to our show, Mrs. Thatcher was quoted, ”Its closely observed portrayal of what goes on in the corridors of power has given me hours of pure joy.”

[…]

”Yes, Minister” became known as Mrs. Thatcher’s favorite TV show, and this worried me because the program was carefully neutral from a political point of view. I started telling people that Tony Benn, the leader of what was known as ”the loony left,” liked it a lot, too.

My queasy feeling, as one politician after another queued up to praise us, vanished as I realized why: Politicians love to watch anything about themselves on TV, and they are only interested in politics. Also, because our program showed how the Civil Service really runs Britain — our version of checks and balances and the separation of powers — we had unintentionally given politicians an alibi. The public understood for the first time that if politicians didn’t keep their promises, it might be because they were obstructed by the Civil Service.

[…]

A scarcely believable message arrived at the BBC from Number 10, saying that Mrs. T would present the award, that she had written a sketch and wished to perform it with our actors Paul and Nigel. It transpired that the scarcely believable message was not, in fact, to be believed: The sketch was written by her press secretary, Bernard Ingham.

I learned recently that she rehearsed the sketch with Ingham and her private secretary no fewer than 23 times.

Why were they not running the country instead, you might ask? Answer: She was losing popularity and, though not very amusing herself, she knew the power of humor. She was co-opting the show to make people like her more.

Ingham wasn’t a comedy writer, but as a publicist, he knew his stuff.

Läs mer: “Javisst, herr minister” av statsvetaren Mikael Sundström vid Lunds universitet.

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