This wonderful show using bureacracy as the basis for comedy ran from 1962 to 1977, and delighted audiences all round the globe, and is often quoted as being the 'first' Yes, Minister, although Jay and Lynn took the civil service situation to far greater satirical and believable heights. Richard Murdoch starred as the number two in the General Assistants department throughout it's 15 years, with Wilfred hyde-White as the number one for the first two seasons, and Deryck Guyler from series three onwards.

There were a total of thirteen series and they could boast Johnny Mortimer, Brian Cooke and Edward Taylor amongst the writers. Although not exactly satire, they were often topical, and gave the other end of comedy to much that was on the radio at the time, no quick fire gags, just a quaint look at the world that was disappearing in all places apart from Whitehall and the Civil Service.

This guide has been re-researched and expanded recently and now presents what I beelive to be the most comprehensive log of the series. If anyone can help with shows that are not marked with a star or is willing to provide the first line of the recording for ease of cataloguing, I would be very grateful, and they can contact me through the normal channels.

SERIES 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | TS

Series One.

Originally broadcast at 8.00pm on the light programme, it was repeated at 3.10pm on the Home Service. The entire series was written and produced by Edward Taylor, and had a regular cast of Wilfred Hyde-White, Richard Murdoch, Roy Dotrice, Diana Olsen, Edwin Apps, David Graham, and Norma Ronald.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec DateTS.Archive No.
1*The Great Footwear Scandal30.10.62
2*The Big Rocket6.11.6228.10.62T27721
3*Strictly for the Birds13.11.62
4*French Cricket20.11.62
5*The War with the Isle of Wight27.11.62
6*Moderately Important Person4.12.62
7*The Rhubarb Pirates11.12.62
8*A Matter of Form18.12.62
9The Magic Carpet25.12.62
10*The Spy in Black and White1.1.62
11*Island in the Sun8.1.62
12Problem in the Park15.1.62
13The End of the Road22.1.63

1964 Christmas Special transmitted at 7.30pm on 24th December entitled A Present For Norman. This show was never repeated and the two leads were Richard Murdoch and Eric Barker. It is also worth noting that it is with this episode that Johnny Mortimer and Brian Cooke became involved.

Series Two.

The second series saw additional writers of Johnny Mortimer and Brian Cooke, however, Edward Taylor continued to produce the show. Hyde-White, Murdoch, Dotrice, Ronald and Graham stayed and were joined by Joan Sanderson. The shows were aired on Sundays at 9.00pm, on the Light programme and repeated on the following Tuesdays at 8.00pm on the Home Service.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec DateTS.Archive No.
1Pirates of Lakeview Reservoir25.7.65
2*Something about a Soldier1.8.65T30003
3The Trouble with Cecil8.8.65
4Mahboni Lies Over the Ocean15.8.65
5*The Man Who made it Rain22.8.65
6*Train of Events29.8.65
7*Degrading Business5.9.65
8*The Butcher of Glensporran12.9.65
9Counter Spies19.9.65
10*A Question of Dundancy19.9.65
11*A Back-dated Problem26.9.65
12*The Hole3.10.65
13*The Day the Martians Came17.10.65

Series Three.

This series saw the arrival of Deryck Guyler as number one, with Murdoch staying as number two, Ronald stayed, as did Graham, and they were joined by Ronald Baddiley. The writers remained the same as series 2 and Taylor still produced the show. The same arrangement of the broadcast on the Light programme (at 9.30pm), followed by a repeat on the Home Service (at 7.00pm) was used as well.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec DateTS.Archive No.
1*Rebel in Regents Park11.12.66
2*A Terrifying Weapon18.12.66
3The Post Office Pantomime25.12.66
4All at Sea1.1.67
5Bowler Hats and Machine Guns8.1.67
6On the Run15.1.67
7A Gift for Sir Gregory22.1.67
8The Whitehall Circus29.1.67
9*Customs of the Country5.2.67
10*Getting the Bird12.2.67
11The Girl in the Case19.2.67
12The Thing on the Beach26.2.67
13*A Slight Case of Demolition5.3.67T30909
14The Fastest Ship in the World12.3.67

Series Four.

Apart from David Netthein joining the team, everything stayed the same for the forth series with the programme going out on Radio 2, at 2.30pm, followed by a repeat on Radio 1 and 2 at around 8.00pm the next day.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec DateTS.Archive No.
1Battle of the River Thames18.2.68
2The Tubby Submarine25.2.68
3A Matter of Breeding3.3.68
4The Great Showbiz Fiasco10.3.68
5Up the Poll17.3.68
6Waterway to Go24.3.68
7Dam Nuisance31.3.68
8The Fastest Brolly in the West7.4.68
9Lamb takes a Gambol14.4.68
10Four Men in a Wellington21.4.68
11Out of this World29.4.68
12*Muddlers in Law5.5.68
13What has four Wheels and flies?12.5.68

Series Five.

The cast remained the same and the programmes were first aired on the World Service at 7.30pm and later repeated on Radio 4 at the same time.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateWS Tx DateWS No.Rec. DateTS/Archive No.
1A Rotten System25.3.6915.2.69129.12.68TS1
2A Brush With and Old Master1.4.698.3.694
3All Play and No Work8.4.6915.3.695
4A Sticky Business15.4.6922.3.69621.2.69TS3
5The Home-Brewed Non-Vintage Bomb22.4.6922.2.692
6The Ship That Wagged Its Tail29.4.691.3.69312.1.69TS2

Series Six.

This series was broadcast on Radio 4 at 7.30pm. There was little change between this and the last series with respect to the cast and writing. The majority of this series were broadcast on the World Service a few months earlier.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateWS Tx DateWS No.Rec. DateTS/Archive No.
1Bye-bye Mildred30.6.708.3.70619.1.70/8.3.70TS6/T34613b01
2*Bare Necessities7.7.7015.3.70726.1.70TS7/T34613b02
3Storm in a Teacup (Tea Urn)14.7.7022.3.7082.2.70TS8
4*The Moving Target21.7.7029.3.7099.2.70TS9
5Oil Well that Ends Well28.7.701.2.701
6*The Bigger the Better4.8.7022.2.70429.12.69TS4
7Trouble in the Air11.8.701.3.70512.1.70TS5
8Miss Chatterly's Lover18.8.708.2.702
9The Pudding From Outer Space25.8.7015.2.703
10A Little of what you Fancy1.9.70
11*A Bird in the Hand8.9.7017.8.70TS12
12Bringing the House Down15.9.7010.8.70TS10
13Fair Exchange22.9.7014.8.70TS11
14Bill Stickers is Innocent29.9.70T34614

Series Seven.

The series continued in the same format , however there was a reduction in the number of shows. The programmes were still broadcast on Radio 4, this time on a Tuesday lunchtime at 12.25pm.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1*Rolling In It29.7.7114.6.71TS14/T34614
2*Lost In Space (a.k.a Up, Up and Away)5.8.71
3Thoroughly Modern Ministry12.8.7112.4.71TS16
4We All Make Mistakes19.8.7114.4.71TS15
5*The Fool-Proof Fool26.8.717.4.71TS17
6Rotten To the Corps2.9.71
7*Transatlantic Trouble9.9.71
8*The Finger of Suspicion16.9.7123.6.71TS19
9Just the Ticket23.8.7131.3.71TS13

Series Eight.

The series continued in the same format , however there was yet another reduction in the number of shows. The programmes were still broadcast on Radio 4, this time on a Tuesday lunchtime (12.25pm), and repeated on Thursday evenings at 6.15pm.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateWS Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1*The Conference Trick11.7.7224.5.72TS23/T34615
2The Night We Crept Into The Crypt18.7.7212.5.72TS25
3*How Now Brown Cow?25.7.7217.5.72TS24
4Sorry, Wrong Number1.8.72
5The Desk Job8.8.7222.5.72TS26
6Fowl Play15.8.7218.12.7128.11.71TS21
7*Something of Value22.8.7225.12.715.12.71TS22
8*Taking Leave of their Census29.8.7211.12.7128.11.71TS20

Series Nine.

The number of shows in this series reverted to its regular 13, retaining Graham and Taylor as writers and the transmission times of the previous series.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1*That's my Pigeon6.3.7314.12.72TS27
2*Don't Let them Needle You13.3.734.2.73TS28
3Find the Lady20.3.73
4Bridge Under Troubled Waters27.3.7311.2.73TS29
5*A Private Affair3.4.737.2.73TS30/T35333
6Food For Thought10.4.73
7*Getting it Taped17.4.73
8*Safe and Unsound24.4.7318.2.73TS36
9*The Export Caper1.5.7325.2.73TS31
10*Flushed with Success8.5.7328.2.73TS32
11Under the Weather15.5.737.12.72TS33
12Monkey Business22.5.738.2.73TS34
13Cheesed Off29.5.7328.11.72TS35

Series Ten.

The series was broadcast on Radio 4 at 6.15pm on Monday nights, with a repeat on Wednesdays.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1Plane Madness17.6.7420.5.74TS37
2Vipers in the Bosom24.6.7410.5.74TS38
3Great Guns1.7.74
4*I Want my Mummy8.7.746.5.74TS39
5One Man's Meat15.7.74
6Ballet Nuisance22.7.74
7*Sky High29.7.7431.5.74TS40/T36135
8A Break for Sir Gregory5.8.74
9Health and Deficiency12.8.7426.5.74TS41
10Big Deal19.8.74
11They Fry by Night26.8.74
12*In the Picture2.9.746.6.74TS42/T36135
13She'll Have to go9.9.7413.5.74TS43

Series Eleven.

Broadcast on Radio 4 at 6.15pm and repeated on the same channel, the series format and cast stayed the same as previously.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1Nothing but the Vest26.5.7529.4.75TS44/T36737
2*That's My Baby2.6.7524.4.75TS45/T36737
3All that Glitters9.6.75
4Torn to Shreds16.6.7522.4.75TS46
5Wool Over Their Eyes23.6.7520.5.75TS47
6This, VAT and the Other30.6.7529.5.75TS48
7The Great Trouser Troubles7.7.75
8The Cabinet Crisis14.7.75
9Chain Reaction21.7.7523.5.75TS49
10*All Change28.7.7527.5.75TS50
11A Merry Dance4.8.753.4.75TS51
12A Sense of Power11.8.75
13Postal Disorder18.8.7515.5.75TS52

Series Twelve.

By now the series was nearing the end and the run was reduced to 8 shows for this and the last series. The cast remained the same and Graham and Taylor continued to write. The format of broadcasting at 6.15pm and a repeat later in the week around lunchtime was retained, with all shows going out on Radio 4.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1*All Cisterns Go6.7.762.5.76TS53/T37870
2*A Problem Shared13.7.7621.3.76TS54/T37870
3*The Whitehall Castaways20.7.7621.3.76TS55/T52360
4*Off the Rails27.7.7625.4.76TS56/T52364
5Penny Wise3.8.7628.3.76TS57/T52361
6*A Turn For the Nurse10.8.762.5.76TS58/T52365
7*Seal of Office17.8.7628.3.76T52362
8*Birmingham is Revolting24.8.7624.4.76T52363

Series Thirteen.

The last series went out just like the previous, wth the repeat later in the week and all on Radio 4.

No.TitleR4 Tx DateRec. DateTS Archive No.
1*Mission Inedible4.7.7713.3.77TS59/T37876
2*Horse Play11.7.7713.3.77TS60/T52510
3*Big Big Big Ben Bungle18.7.7720.3.77TS61/T37876
4*A Motley Crew25.7.7720.3.77TS62/T52366
5*Not on Your Telly1.8.7727.3.77TS63/T52367
6*One Way Only8.8.7727.3.77TS64/T52368
7*Take Your Pick15.8.773.4.77T52369

Transcription Service Recordings.

A series of remakes were undertaken with the later cast by BBC Transcription services in the late 70s.early 80s. The scripts were chosen from the first 4 series and a total of 14 shows (13 regular and 1 Christmas Special) were recorded. All exist in the Transcription Archive and have been sold abroad, but none (except the Christmas Special) have ever been broadcast in the UK. I have indicated which I think the original shows were that these remakes were based on, but this is only on meagre descriptions I have received of the remakes. If anyone has any better information or can supply these shows, I would be grateful if they can email me.

No.TitleOriginalRec. DateTS Archive No.
1Boots (The Great Footwear Scandal)
2Pardon My French (French Cricket)1.413.4.80TS67
3Traffic Diversions (The End of the Road)1.1315.4.80TS68
4Watch This Space (The Big Rocket)
5Birds of a Feather (Strictly for the Birds)1.320.4.80TS70
6Where There's a Will22.4.80TS72
7The Country Caper22.4.80TS73
8Ban The Wotsit3.227.4.80TS74
9A Testing Time27.4.80TS71
10Pushing the Vote Out (Up The Poll)4.529.4.80TS75
11Gone To Earth29.4.80TS76
13A Great Convenience (A Slight Case Of Demolition)
14The Christmas Spirit (The Magic Carpet)1.915.4.80TS79
I would like to thank Richard Harrison, Roger Bickerton, Kurt Adkins (who provided information from Andrew Pixley) and Gary Schajer for their help and discussions in compiling this page. Additional thanks go to BBC Transcription Services and the BBC Archive for making it possible to access their catalogues, and some corerctions and clarifiactions were made by Ian Beard. Thanks.