Thatcher’s favourite comedy still going in the West End

Yes, Prime Minister, the comedy that started on television in the early days of Margaret Thatcher, is making its third West End move, from the Apollo back to the Gielgud Theatre on September 20 for eight weeks.

"It’s a remarkable achievement to keep a topical show going for so long," says producer Mark Goucher. "We’ve had to add some new jokes about taking a News of the World editor to Heathrow, and about Greeks bearing gifts — Greeks can’t afford gifts any more."

The stage version of the show by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn was first seen at Chichester and went on
a 20-week tour of the UK.

"When it started there was an election and a coalition government looming, so it was very clever of the writers to stay ahead of the game," says Goucher. "It’s been hugely successful with a largely domestic market — tourists prefer musicals."

It stars Simon Williams as tricky civil servant Sir Humphrey and Richard McCabe as PM Jim Hacker. "After nearly 30 years it’s still bang on the money," says Goucher.

* Who will succeed Prince Andrew as trade envoy? "Now that Prince Andrew has gone I’m happy to offer my services," says comedian Julian Clary. " There’s very little I don’t know about trade. Ask anyone."

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