Yes, Prime Minister resumes office in coalition with Gold after 24 year hiatus

29 MARCH 2011, LONDON – UKTV’s flagship comedy channel, Gold, has commissioned the return of Yes, Prime Minister (6 x 40 mins) in a brand new series which will see the Rt. Hon Jim Hacker back in office as PM, leading a coalition government confronting the greatest economic crisis in a generation, with European economies going down the toilet, a tempting energy deal from an unusual source, a leadership crisis with his coalition partners, a Scottish independence referendum and the greatest moral dilemma he has ever faced. 

The lauded satire, with new episodes produced by BBC Productions exclusively for Gold, will return in a contemporary setting, scripted by the original writing team, Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay, and based on their hit play. This is the first commission to follow Gold’s announcement that it will inject “double-digit millions” into original content as it seeks to add to its ‘crown jewels of comedy’ schedule in 2012, its 20th year on air.

The ultimately powerful but beleaguered Prime Minister Jim Hacker – assisted by his impenetrably loquacious advisor Sir Humphrey Appleby and Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley – were last seen on screen in 1988 in the BAFTA winning series which was, famously, the favourite comedy of then incumbent Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The series garnered high critical acclaim and influenced latter satirical writers and performers such as Stephen Fry and Armando Iannucci.

UKTV’s Director of Commissioning, Jane Rogerson commented, “The political landscape in Britain today is the perfect setting for Yes, Prime Minister to return. I’m thrilled that Gold has enticed Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay to pen a brand new series, and can’t wait to see this constitutional treasure back on screens across the country.”  

Steve North, General Manager, Gold, added, “Gold is making a great investment into iconic and original British programming and what better place to start than with the timely return of the nation’s greatest satire: Yes, Prime Minister. I’m a huge fan of the original and it’s a real treat to be able to bring this utterly brilliant series to a whole new generation”.

Mark Freeland, Head of BBC In-House Comedy said “The much extended tour of Yes Prime Minister in theatres up & down the country proved that this iconic comedy has lost none of its satirical bite. The one liners hit home like the crack of the Whip. BBC In House Comedy is delighted to team up with Gold to bring this classic back to our screens with all new episodes”.

Yes Prime Minister has been commissioned by UKTV’s Director of Commissioning, Jane Rogerson, and ordered by Gold’s General Manager, Steve North. Executive Producer for Gold will be Sarah Fraser.

For more information, please contact:

Zoё Clapp, Head of Communications – 020 7299 6259 / zoe.clapp@uktv.co.uk

Laura McTurk, Publicity Manager, Entertainment, 020 7299 6261 / laura.mcturk@uktv.co.uk  

@uktv_press 

Notes to Editors

About UKTV (www.uktv.co.uk)

Formed in 1997, UKTV is an independent commercial joint venture, between BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and Scripps Networks International.

Attracting  39  million viewers each month, the network consists of 10 distinctive channel brands  – Watch, Gold, Dave, Alibi, Yesterday, Blighty, Eden, Home, Really and Good Food  – offering a broad range of quality programming across entertainment, lifestyle and factual programming. UKTV currently operates 20 broadcast streams when its eight multiplexes and two HD channels are taken into account, and 11 highly successful websites.

Promising to creatively connect its audiences with great programming, UKTV’s successful programming strategy combines quality content from the BBC with high profile original commissions and key acquisitions.  

All UKTV channels are distributed on Sky and Virgin Media. Dave, Really and Yesterday are also available on Freeview.  

About Gold (www.goldtvchannel.co.uk )

Dedicated to celebrating the best of British comedy, Gold is the nation’s favourite comedy channel. Much-loved comedy series such as Only Fools and Horses, Vicar of Dibleyand Outnumbered sit alongside successful commissions including Fry and Laurie: Reunited, Royle Family Behind the Sofa and new acquisitions such as Gavin and Stacy and Getting On. The perfect tonic to make you laugh whatever the time of day, Gold shows universally funny content that everyone can enjoy so stick something funny on.

Where to find Gold: Sky channel 110, Virgin TV channel 126, and Top-Up TV channel 17.

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