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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 13:20 GMT
Yes, Minister could make US debut
Derek Fowlds, Nigel Hawthorne and Paul Eddington in the original show
The show was a huge UK hit in the 1980s
Classic comedy series Yes, Minister is the latest BBC comedy earmarked for export to the US.

The corporation has begun talks with possible US programme makers although there is no definite deal yet.

The 1980s political comedy could join a host of other British shows remade for the US, including The Office.

"We see it as a comedy version of The West Wing," said BBC Worldwide director of programmes and operations, Colin Jarvis.

Mr Jarvis said he had not been put off by Coupling being axed by US network NBC earlier this month.

"Has Coupling affected our strategy in the States? No, far from it," he said.

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Mr Jarvis said any American adaptation of the show would involve the collaboration of its co-writers, Jonathan Lynn and Sir Anthony Jay.

"I can see it working but I might be totally wrong. They (Lynn and Jay) may say they don't want it to happen. But it is one of the titles we are looking at," he said.

Mr Jarvis said it may be more difficult as it is an older show that has not had the advantage of being seen on BBC America before being picked up by a US network, such as The Office.

Yes, Minister first ran on BBC Two from 1980 to 1982 and later returned as Yes, Prime Minister - the final series finished in 1988.

The show was reportedly former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's favourite television programme at the time.

The comedy followed the scheming plans of Sir Humphrey Appleby (Nigel Hawthorne), a permanent under-secretary at the Ministry for Administrative Affairs.

The programme was remade in India two years ago.


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