Set principally in the private office of a British government cabinet minister in the (fictional) Department for Administrative Affairs in Whitehall (the sequel was set in the Prime Minister's offices at 10 Downing Street), the series follows the senior ministerial career of The Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP, played by Paul Eddington. His various struggles to formulate and enact legislation or effect departmental changes are opposed by the will of the British Home Civil Service, in particular his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, played by Nigel Hawthorne. His Principal Private Secretary Bernard Woolley, played by Derek Fowlds, is usually caught between the two.
A huge critical and popular success, the series received a number of awards, including several BAFTAs and in 2004 came sixth in the Britain's Best Sitcom poll. It was the favourite television program of the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher.
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