The New Statesman


The New Statesman

:"For the current affairs magazine, see New Statesman. For other uses, see New Statesmen."infobox television
show_name = The New Statesman


genre = Satirical sitcom
creator = Laurence Marks
Maurice Gran
executive_producer = David Reynolds
John Bartlett
Michael Pilsworth
Allan McKeown
caption = Series title card
runtime = Approx. 24-25 minutes
starring = Rik Mayall
Michael Troughton
Marsha Fitzalan
theme_music_composer = Alan Hawkshaw
country = flagcountry|United Kingdom
network = ITV/BBC1
picture_format = 4:3
first_aired = 13 September 1987
last_aired = 30 December 1994
num_series = 4
num_episodes = 26 (+3 specials)
imdb_id = 0094519 |

"The New Statesman" was an award-winning British sitcom of the late 1980s and early 1990s satirising the Conservative government of the time. It was written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran at the request of, and as a starring vehicle for, its principal actor, Rik Mayall. Many people consider the show a hybrid of "Yes Minister" and another Rik Mayall sitcom, "The Young Ones."

The show's theme tune is an arrangement by Alan Hawkshaw of part of the "Promenade" from "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

The programme was made by the ITV franchise Yorkshire Television between 1987 and 1992, although the BBC made two special episodes; one in 1988, the other in 1994.

Cast list

*Rik Mayall as Alan B'Stard
*Michael Troughton as Piers Fletcher-Dervish
*Marsha Fitzalan as Sarah B'Stard
*Rowena Cooper as Norman/Norma Bormann (Series 1; she was credited as "R. R. Cooper" in order to keep her gender uncertain)
*Charles Gray as Roland Gidleigh-Park (Series 1)
*Vivien Heilbron as Beatrice Protheroe (Series 1)
*Steve Nallon as Mrs Thatcher (Series 1-2)
*John Nettleton as Sir Stephen Baxter (Series 1-2)
*Nick Stringer as Bob Crippen (Series 1-2)
*Berwick Kaler as Geoff Diquead (Series 2)
*Terence Alexander as Sir Greville McDonald (Series 3-4)

Characters

Alan Beresford B'Stard

The main character was a selfish, greedy, dishonest, devious, lecherous, sadistic ultra-right wing Conservative back bencher. The show was mostly set in B'Stard's antechambers in the House of Commons and featured Piers Fletcher-Dervish (played by Michael Troughton, son of Patrick Troughton) as B'Stard's twittish upper-class side-kick.

B'Stard was MP for the then fictional constituency of Haltemprice. In 1997, re-drawn boundaries led to the constituency of Boothferry in East Yorkshire being re-named "Haltemprice and Howden". By an amusing twist of fate, the seat's first incumbent was David Davis, a Conservative leadership candidate in 2001 and 2005. B'Stard happened to share a middle name with Norman Tebbit although he bore no other similarities to him.

Alan was the youngest MP at the age of 31 and personified the greed and uncaring nature of the worst excesses of new money Thatcherites. B'Stard was married to the devious Sarah, a vain, bi-sexual nymphomaniac who wanted nothing more than for Alan to die so she could become a rich widow. The couple cheated on each other in perpetuity but remained in a marriage of convenience; Sarah because of Alan's money and Alan because Sarah's father controlled the local Tory Party and held Alan's seat in his gift.Alan's schemes grew wilder and more bold as the series progressed taking in bribery, murder and provoking Trade Union disputes to make a profit. Later, B'Stard would intentionally mismanage the Tory election campaign so Labour would be blamed for an economic crisis, stage his own assassination to bring back hanging (and make £1,000,000 in the process) and in the last episode create splits in both the Tory and Labour Parties and named himself Lord Protector.

Whatever crises and scandals swirled around the evil B'Stard, he would always come up smelling of roses. When accused of engaging in sex acts with minors, Alan successfully sued "The Times" newspaper; when he plotted to get his hands on the stolen millions of Robert Maxwell who was hiding in Bosnia he was hailed as a humanitarian hero. Even when Alan was sentenced to death he managed to escape the noose and retain his position in Parliament. B'Stard's greatest triumph came when he managed to get himself released from incarceration in a Siberian gulag following his assassination attempt on Gorbachev and returned to the UK a hero.

B'Stard would habitually use others to aid his quest for money and power. Sidney Bliss the local Pub Landlord (and former Hangman) was completely in his power in the hope of regaining his position. Many others from old Nazis, Cabinet Ministers and even Salman Rushdie would regularly pay to buy his silence.

In the stage show it was revealed that Alan had been the architect of New Labour when he realised the Tories were done for (effectively ignoring the last episode of the series), picking a young guitar playing hippie named Tony Blair and grooming him to be PM. B'Stard transformed Labour into a second Conservative Party, eradicating socialism and effectively running the country from his palatial office at Number 9 Downing Street. The show saw an older Alan, fabulously rich after orchestrating Black Wednesday, still up to his old tricks playing America and Al-Qaeda off each other in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction. By now, Alan is onto his 4th wife (Arrabella Lucretia B'Stard), although the show's first run saw Sarah still firmly in place.

Until very recently Alan wrote a weekly opinion column in the "Sunday Telegraph" where he would detail his involvement in current events and even contributed to a "Telegraph" special of the Blair years where he hinted at being behind the deaths of John Smith, Mo Mowlam and Robin Cook. In the stage show, Alan's involvement in the death of David Kelly was also hinted at.

The newspaper column was written to suggest that the stage show was written by B'Stard himself to communicate his triumphs to the ordinaries. After Gordon Brown was named as Blair's successor, B'Stard's final column implied that, bored with the UK and unable to tolerate a Brown premiership, Alan would quit the country to take up a new position as Head of the World Bank, leaving the door open to a potential return. Other columns have implied that Alan has already begun to groom David Cameron, in preparation for the end of New Labour's era and an electoral return for the Conservatives.

Piers Fletcher-Dervish

B'Stard's sidekick in his machinations was the upper-class and old school (but incredibly dim-witted) Tory Piers. Piers was essentially a very kind-hearted and hard working MP, albeit one who rarely speaks in the house and is completely under Alan's control. Usually Piers is conned into Alan's scheme's through trickery or bullying although he would inevitably cock up the simplest of instructions. It was even claimed that Piers only became a Barrister at Law and MP (for the Wiltshire seat of Devizes, in his family for generations) through the intervention of his Teddy bear. Even when Piers married the redoubtable Clarissa he remained in B'Stard's power despite occasional flashes of rebellion. It was Piers's intervention in Alan's fake shooting that led to B'Stard being sentenced to death and his ability as a lover that helped persuade Sarah to rescue Piers and abandon Alan in Siberia. Upon Alan's release from the gulag and return to the UK, Piers (tipped to become the next Chancellor of the Exchequer) lived in fear of the vengeful B'Stard. B'Stard expolited this fear to the full and even threatened Piers' new born baby in order to get him to resign his seat to accommodate Sir Greville. In return however, Alan ensured that Piers rose to become European Commissioner for Internal Relations, but even in this exalted role Alan would hold the reins of power and used Piers' position to expand his fortunes.

arah B'Stard

Alan's vengeful, bi-sexual wife who equalled Alan in his capacity for adultery and deviousness. Sarah originally remained married to Alan purely for money but their relationship evolved as the series progressed. Though their hatred was always mutual, the dynamic in the couple's sexual relationship would often shift and change. In the first series Sarah could not contemplate sleeping with B'Stard although in the second it was Alan who tried to fight off his wife's attentions.

(In the first series, Sarah was having a lesbian affair with Alan's constituency agent, whom she had known at school. After that, actress Marsha Fitzalan asked the screenwriters to take out this aspect of her character and she was instead shown sleeping with other men, which included threesomes.)

By the time of the fourth series, the couple had lapsed into a form of 'psychopathic revenge lust', regularly sleeping together despite attempts to do each other harm. When B'Stard was due to hang, Sarah invited the Minister for Law and Order home for sex rather than to pardon him and gleefully abandoned her husband in the frozen wastes of Siberia 'because [she] could'. Following Sarah and Alan's divorce (a sub-plot of the original stage show), Alan B'Stard's "Sunday Telegraph" column made reference to her 'coming over all dead'.

ir Greville McDonald

Sir Greville was introduced in the final episode of series 2, portrayed as a corrupt Cabinet Minister who recruited an unwitting Piers as Junior Minister for Housing in order to 'nod through' some of his shadier Housing projects. Sir Greville had his first dealings with B'Stard in this episode who implied he would expose him unless he agreed a similar arrangement for B'Stard, and thus became a suspect for the audience in Alan's shooting at the episode's climax. By the time of Alan's 'Miraculous recovery', Sir Greville had been promoted by Thatcher to Minister for Law and Order and negotiated with Alan for the return of the gallows (earning himself a finder's fee of £50,000). Sir Greville found it particularly amusing when B'Stard was sentenced to death and in fact spent the night of Alan's planned execution with the condemned man's wife.

Greville can be viewed as an older and more restrained version of B'Stard. Just as quick to make shady money and with somewhat sordid personal tastes but with a stronger respect for Parliamentary institutions and the Conservative Party itself. Greville in fact places the good of the Tory Party far above the good of the country and says as much in the last episode.

By series 3, Greville is Secretary of State for the Environment and has devleoped a love-hate relationship with B'Stard which eventually evolves into a mutual respect. Series 4 found Greville out of Parliament after the 1992 election when local voters disagreed with his decision to place a nuclear waste plant in the middle of his own constituency. After some persuasion from B'Stard, Greville takes over Piers' seat and becomes Secretary of State for European Affairs, thus ensuring a wealth of opportunities to connive with Alan in Europe. The last episode saw Greville split with Alan and become part of The Progressive Federalists who were soundly thrashed by Alan's New Patriotic Party at the Polls.

Roland Gidleigh-Park

Roland was Alan's despicable Father-in-Law with whom B'Stard had to curry favour if he wanted to retain his seat due to Roland controlling the local Conservative Party. In some ways similar to Sir Greville, Roland is a much older but equally nasty version of B'Stard, albeit with an apprantly genuine interest in the constituency. On several occasions, Roland threatens to have Alan de-selected due to the absolute lack of interest B'Stard displays in Haltemprice. Roland chastises B'Stard for not holding surgeries, not asking questions in the House and taking no interest in local industry and claims his control over the local Party is a perfect miniature of Thatcher's Cabinet and gives him the power to wreck B'Stard's career. Despite these seemingly genuine concerns for his locality, Roland on many occasions demonstrates his thorough nastiness. It is revealed that as the young Master of Inglebury Colliery in 1926, he was prepared to use Mustard Gas on his workers to stave off the threat of revolution then dumped the gas under a Primary School. He was even prepared to let B'Stard dump nuclear waste in the same location for the right price. Roland is particularly unpleasant towards the French (which he puts down to an unpleasant experience with a French woman called Giselle in 1940, the last time he touched anything French) and swears he will never use words again if he discovers them to have French origin. Roland also reveals his sinister nature by stating he turned down the chance to have Leon Brittan as MP for Haltemprice due to him being Jewish, and Sarah later reveals that he knew Hitler socially although they never discussed politics. Roland is seen in only series 1 but after Alan's shooting Sarah is seen on the phone to her father, the two of them asking each other if they were responsible for the crime.

Memorable quotes

On the future of the NHS:

:"It used to be very simple; you were poor, you got ill, "and you died"."

On the woman's right to choose:

:"It should be "the State's" right to choose. Ugly, stupid, poor people shouldn't be allowed to have children."

When being spoken to by a mugger:

:"Sorry, I don't speak unemployed!"

In the middle of a speech by the leader of the opposition:

:(stands) "I... Have a Dream!.... more later" (sits)

Political ideals

Over the course of the series, stage shows and newspaper columns, Alan opined on numerous topics, most of which demonstrated his contempt for the working class and indeed anyone not of the political and financial elite (the ordinaries). During an argument with a constituent, B'Stard declared that he believed he was helping British industry by driving a Bentley and having his suits hand made by British craftsmen. B'Stard's arrogance even extended to stating that there was nothing wrong with the education system that couldn't be put right with £2,500 a term, and that NHS waiting lists could be abolished by shutting down the health service, thereby eradicating poor people and eliminating poverty. B'Stard continued this train of thought through his defection to New Labour when he was instrumental in arranging a post code lottery for cancer treatment so that "only the right people get better".Alan at one time proposed inverting the rallying cry of the American War of Independence by stating that, "No representation without taxation," was a more fitting clarion call, believing people such as himself (the "enterprising, over-taxed minority") to be called on far too often to bail out other members of society. Alan used the same argument when proposing to cut off all social security payments to elderly people as he believes they should have considered how they would look after themselves instead of wasting their money on "ghastly holidays in Blackpool".

Audience reaction

The sitcom was one of the most critically successful ITV comedy series of its day, and developed a strong following: the audience laughter was so loud and persistent that it apparently caused the show to overrun and the writers had to shorten the scripts to compensate. However, it was also regarded as " very " cruel and irreverent, treating all its subjects with black humour and violent slapstick.

Return

In March 2006 Marks and Gran revealed that B'Stard would return in a stage show, having defected to the Labour Party as they are "young, sexy and more right wing than the Tory Party". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4825834.stm] The Prime Minister refused to comment. [http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200506/cmhansrd/cm060322/debtext/60322-04.htm#60322-04_wqn3] The show ran at Trafalgar Studios 1 at the top of Whitehall in London and then went on tour.

Episode list

This is an episode list for the British sitcom "The New Statesman".

eries 1

#"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (September 13, 1987) - Alan is elected MP for Haltemprice after orchestrating a car crash which takes out his opponents on election eve. The Chief Constable, Sir Malachi Jerricho, however, suspects B'Stard was behind it and has prepared a dossier of evidence against him. Instead of arresting Alan, Jerricho blackmails him into introducing a bill allowing the Police to carry guns, and when Alan wins the ballot for Private Member's Bills, he is in a position to do it. Amazingly, Alan's bill passes and becomes law but Jerricho refuses to give up his hold on B'Stard, revealing himself to be a religious fanatic who believes the gun law to be God's will and who conducts conversations with 'Jesus' in the snug of the local Pub. Alan uses this to dupe Jerricho into believing the Bishop of Haltemprice to be the anti-Christ, for which a grateful Jerricho hands over the dossier in thanks and sets off to kill the Bishop. B'Stard though, has arranged for the police to apprehend Jerricho before he commits the act and after the troubled man resigns and enters a monastery, Alan forms a friendship with the new Chief Constable. A smug Alan then makes a fortune selling defective guns to the Yorkshire constabulary.
#"Passport to Freedom" (September 20, 1987) - Sarah (Alan's wife) inherits shares in OCELOT motors and plans to divorce Alan, while Alan forgets his passport on the way to a conference in Germany. Realising Alan will lose his seat if Sarah divorces him as his Father-in-law is Chairman of the local Tory Party, Alan breaks into the Prime Minister's office and uses her personal note paper to write a fraudulent letter to OCELOT, then leaks it to Bob Crippen, a Labour MP. Crippen exploits the letter's content (involving the reduction of wages and de-unionisation) to the full in Parliament, and when Alan intentionally goads him with his contempt for car workers, Crippen calls for an immediate strike which results in the collapse of the company's share price and its bankruptcy, thus leaving Sarah with no choice but to stay with him.
#"Sex is Wrong" (September 27, 1987) - Piers persuades Alan to accompany him to a meeting of The Campaign for Moral Regeneration by telling him of the pornographic exhibits they are forced to witness; exhibits which Alan promptly steals. Alan impersonates Sir Steven Baxter in order to get funds from a wealthy and prudish aristocrat who has written a pamphlet entitled 'Sex is Wrong' to finance a porn publication which includes both the pamphlet and the stolen pictures. Things come to a head at the Conservative Party conference when the author is shocked to discover the truth of Alan's dealings and threatens to tell Mrs Thatcher. In blind panic, Alan makes a rousing speech at the Conference advertising his pornographic book as a guide to resist the evils of pornography and immorality, complete with evils to highlight what the campaign was up against. The men of the conference flock to buy copies of the book and Alan turns a huge profit. Amazingly, the book's author is completely taken in by Alan's speech and finds herself having feelings she has never experienced before. She goes to Alan's hotel room later that evening, intent on getting her money's worth from Alan...
#"Waste Not, Want Not" (October 4, 1987) - Back in the early 1980s, Alan took money off the Argentinians to hide a consignment of nuclear waste, however his storage depot is to be demolished and he and Norman/a need to find a new dumping ground. Coupled with this, Alan has a tremendous row with his Father-in-law who just might happen to know of a large, unused hole nearby... After both Norman/a and Sidney Bliss refuse to have anything to do with Alan's plan to dump the waste in the disused colliery, which now runs under a Primary School, Alan is left to do the dirty work himself. At the bottom of the pit though, his Father-in-law is lying in wait with a revelation.
#"Friends of St. James" (October 11, 1987) - Alan is guest of honour at his old school and delivers a speech condemning the NHS and proposing the eradication of the poor to alleviate poverty. Whilst there, Alan is tricked by his old school fag who claims to be President of St. James's Island into opening a bank on the island. Alan immediately drums up support in the commons for a trip to the island with the intent of establishing a bank (which Alan intends to collapse soon after with the proceeds going to himself), but realises he has been conned whilst in mid-flight. In desperation, Alan poses as a hijacker on the plane and is hailed as a hero when he 'fights off' the attackers who unfortunately 'escape' with all the money.
#"Three Line Whipping" (October 18, 1987) - Alan nearly misses a television interview to discuss the results of a by-election while at a brothel and is humiliated on Live TV when he doesn't know who won. In his anger, B'Stard attacks a taxi driver who has been taunting him and apparently kills him. When Piers refuses to burn the taxi (with the cabbie's body inside it), Alan is forced into disguising himself as a taxi driver and trying to find a way to dispose of the corpse. Whilst in disguise, Alan spots a chance to ingratiate himself with Mrs Thatcher who is forced to take a taxi home when her car breaks down. Alan interrupts the PM's conversation with the Chief Whip about what to do with Alan to insist that he and all other working class folk adore B'Stard. After crashing the cab, Alan discovers that the cabbie is in fact not dead but unconscious and persuades the police that the crazed cabbie had taken him prisoner, laughing as the innocent taxi driver is dragged off by armed police. Back at his office, Alan discovers that due to the influence of a certain 'taxi driver', the Prime Minister is rather keen on him, and the Chief Whip is powerless to discipline him for his TVAM fiasco.
#"Baa Baa Black Sheep" (October 25, 1987) - A furious Roland Gidleigh-Park, drags B'Stard over the coals for his indifference to his constituency and informs him he is to be de-selected at the next constituency party meeting. Alan needs to find a quick way to make himself locally popular and irreplaceable as MP. Norman/a, now just awaiting the final sex change operation, informs him of an American burger company, Lamb Burger Guzzler, that wants to site in England and is looking for the best place to provide large quantities of Sheep. Once regional differences are taken into account, Haltemprice and Wales are the only cost effective choices. B'Stard uses Norman/a to pose a prostitute and disgrace the Secretary of State for Wales, who subsequently dies of a heart attack when discovering Norman/a to still be a man. With Wales out of the picture, Alan still needs to convince Mr Guzzler that Haltemprice is the place to site and discovers him to be a strict Christian fundamentalist who refuses to discuss business except over dinner and with their respective wives in tow. Sarah refuses to help Alan so Norman/a is roped in as substitute and the pair are shocked when the Guzzlers try to tempt them into a swinger party. Unable to do anything but refuse, B'Stard states that his religious faith compels him to decline, whereupon the Guzzlers inform them that they were merely trying to tempt Alan to test his character as the Welsh Secretary had previously written to him to warn him that Alan was a 'dirty dog'. A delighted Guzzler agrees on Haltemprice and an even more delighted Alan can't wait to inform Roland.

eries 2

#"Fatal Extraction" (January 15, 1989) - After a TV show in which he declares abortion should be for the state to choose as "ugly, stupid, poor people should not be allowed to have children", Alan discovers oil on Hackney Marshes. The left-wing leader of Hackney Council hates Alan however and refuses him a long lease. Alan retaliates by introducing a clause to the Poll tax bill exempting anyone whose income falls below £20,000 per year from paying the tax, but by not paying, forfeiting his or her right to vote. The result of Alan's proposal would see the electoral roll drop to pre-1832 levels. The Chief Whip, in despair, tries to persuade Alan to see the implications of his idea but he is adamant he will not budge. Unfortunately however, Piers has unwittingly informed the leader of Hackney Council that over £1 billion of oil lies under the marshes and she takes advantage of it herself. A depressed Alan drops his clause but cheers himself up by blackmailing the Chief Whip who, while consoling Alan, reveals himself to be a closet homosexual.
#"Live From Westminster" (January 22, 1989) - Alan takes the introduction of TV cameras in the House of Commons as a chance to improve his standing. B'Stard becomes a household name, amassing an immense fortune selling inflatable dolls of himself, blues albums and pictures. Alan is even invited onto the panel for a TV Quiz show in which he manages to insult the other presenters and guests. Alan is reigned back in though by Mrs. Thatcher who instructs Sarah to write her memoirs of Alan's schemes for serialisation in the Sunday Papers, potentially ruining his career. Accepting admonishment by Thatcher, Alan does have a small triumph by arranging for Piers to blow up the press plant where all the copies Sarah's paper are held and using the event to advertise Fire safety equipment.
#"The Wapping Conspiracy" (January 29, 1989) - The press finds out that Alan has become patron of the "Young Ladies' Recreational Association" in order to get close to a number of nubile girls. Instead of public glory however, Alan is named by the Times newspaper as a degenerate pervert. The resulting law suit filed by Alan sees the journalist who broke the story admit in court that he made the story up and faked the pictures because he hated Alan for being so handsome and rich; a revelation which wins Alan £500,000 in damages. Whilst celebrating however, the journalist turns up at Alan's flat and explains to Sarah and Piers that he and Alan were in cahoots at Alan's suggestion, planning to make up an actionable libel, sue the paper and split the damages. The evil B'Stard however, denies ever making such an arrangement and after secretly recording the conversation, threatens to sue the journalist for even more damages.
#"The Haltemprice Bunker" (February 5, 1989) - Seeking some quick publicity and ready cash to invest in his friend's share scheme taking advantage of General Pinochet's slave labour programme, Alan joins a Nazi hunt. Alan has a distinct advantage however as he has been blackmailing an old Nazi in his constituency for years and now decides the time is right to turn him in. Alan is initially deaf to the old man's pleas (stating that murdering 37000 civilians instead of 50,000 doesn't constitute a plea for clemency) but relents when the Nazi offers him £500,000 in Nazi gold. B'Stard makes quick arrangements to transport the old man out of the country in return for the gold but Piers, angry at B'Stard's insults, has double-crossed him by arranging for the press to be waiting at the Train station. Even when caught in this situation, Alan manges to turn it to his advantage by acting shocked when the evil old Nazi declares his love for the Führer and pushing him off the platform into the path of an oncoming train. Alan convinces the press that he thought him to be a harmless old man and is not even arrested for murder. Angry at the lack of publicity, Alan's friend informs him that the press are under strict orders from Number 10 not to print derogatory comments about Tory MPs, "except perhaps, Edward Heath".
#"California Here I Come" (February 12, 1989) - Alan goes to Hollywood to cut a deal with a top TV producer but ends up in jail for possession of drugs.
#"May The Best Man Win" (February 19, 1989) - Piers plans to get married, his fiancee threatening to take Piers out from Alan's manipulative influence.
#"Piers Of The Realm" (February 26, 1989) - Attending a horse race, Alan makes an all-too-rare visit to his constituency. Alan's surgery sees him charge a farmer £500 for his advice and con an old lady out of her £350,000 home. On returning to Westminster, he discovers that Piers is no-longer a mere back-bench MP, but a junior Minister for the Environment Secretary Sir Greville MacDonald. Alan is furious and spends the episode deepening his enemies hatred of him. He secretly films Sarah's affairs then sells the tapes on the East German porn market, burns Piers's teddy bear and angers Sir Greville through blackmail when he discovers that the Minister is using Piers to authorise his business ventures. When Alan leaves the Department of the Environment after his meeting with Sir Greville, an unknown assailant guns him down.

pecials

"Comic Relief" (February 5, 1988).

"Who Shot Alan B'Stard?" (January 14, 1990) - The world of politics is in shock after the shooting of Alan B'Stard at the end of the last series. The assassination attempt has coincided with the House of Commons vote on capital punishment and politicians are nervous. With the House deadlocked, one MP's vote could decide all - time for a certain Mr. B'Stard to vote for the hangman's return.Alan milks his 'miraculous recovery' at the hand's of spiritual healer Chief Amlumi for all it is worth, setting up bogus charities, winning the contract to restore the gallows and doing the chat-show circuit. One chat show host, Kerry Grout, is however in league with B'Stard's wife and accuses Alan on a live TV show of being a fraud to which a flustered Alan retaliates with a threat to Grout's life. Unfortunately this is captured by the cameras. With Grout and Sarah desperate for proof against Alan, they enlist the help of Piers to demonstrate the fake shooting of B'Stard. Unfortunately, Piers accidentally shoots Grout dead and jumps into the Thames in his panic. When Alan is then discovered next to Grout's body he is arrested and sentenced to death. The first victim of his own policy, to be hung by his own gallows.

Even Piers's return and admission of guilt is rejected by court and Alan is led to the gallows in fear. Just as Sidney Bliss pulls the lever however and Alan drops through the trap door, he is saved by the cheapness of his own contractors. In an effort to reap maximum profit, Alan's company, Britnoose, had constructed the gallows from balsa wood which collapses under Alan's weight.

This apparent 'Act of God' reprieves Alan in law and he is free to return to his devious ways.

eries 3

#"Labour Of Love" (January 6, 1991) - An apparently politically bankrupt Alan is dismayed when an even more right-wing MP (Victor Crosby) wins the Accrington by-election and usurps Alan's position. The Daily Express are quick to dump B'Stard and offer his column to Crosby who excites the Right Wing press with opinions such as the compulsory speaking of English throughout Europe. Alan sets up an elaborate framing of the new upstart by stealing secret government plans to abolish the Poll Tax by putting VAT on mortgage repayments from Sir Greville and passing them to the Labour Party, making it look as if Crosby's the culprit. When Crosby is exposed, Alan is welcomed back into the Tory fold by Greville and also gets his Daily Express column back. Alan's first opinion mirrors a paper he found in Crosby's desk entitled '"Towards a new economic miracle - The Case for Slavery", Alan is back, indisputably the most right wing Member of Parliament.
#"The Party's Over" (January 13, 1991) - Alan is summoned by Sir Greville and informed that an economic crisis is looming and the Tories want to have an election as quickly as possible before the oil runs out. Alan is picked to run the campaign and the Tories' lead rockets over Labour. B'Stard is shocked though when Sir Greville tells him that actually the Conservatives want to lose so that Labour will be blamed for the collapse of the economy so the resulting backlash will sweep Labour into the gutters of history and bring the Tories back into office. Greville tells Alan that the whole point of appointing Alan to run the campaign was that the public would all vote Labour in response, but instead Alan has proved a vote winner. Alan hits upon the idea of appointing Piers to run the most honest campaign in political history, which results in a collapse of Tory support. Alan then though sells the information about oil supplies to Labour and the Lib Dems and they in turn run honest campaigns which sees their support likewise collapse. When the news is leaked to the press the election is called off and oil shares hit an all time low. However, Alan has orchestrated the entire event after blackmailing the Governments Scientific adviser into lying about the level of oil and now instructs him to admit he made an error to the press. Oil shares rocket through the roof in response and Alan turns an enormous profit for pulling off the greatest stock market scam of the century.
#"Let Them Sniff Cake" (January 20, 1991) - Animal rights campaigners issue death threats against Alan, who is also involved in drug dealing (guest starred John Sessions).
#"Keeping Mum" (January 27, 1991) - The evil Alan introduces a clause to the social security bill cutting off all payments to old age pensioners, an act which sees hundreds of old folks homes evicting residents in anticipation of the bill becoming law. Alan though is unrepentant and declares that they should go and live with their families like in the good old days. All this coincides with the death of Piers father and the exposure of his mothers pyromaniacal tendencies. Alan is angered by learning that Piers is now a Baronet but his mood is worsened when his own mother, an apparently destitute old woman, turns up demanding to live with Alan like his proposed new law says. When his mother ruins a dinner party hosted by Alan and Sarah with the Duke and Duchess of York in attendance, Alan attempts to kill her, but instead, she reveals herself to be the wealthy owner of an old folks home, severely inconvenienced by Alans new clause. She demands a quarter of a million pounds from Alan to ensure she is not forced to live with him for ever. Alan displays his most disgusting side by arranging for Piers mother, who has a habit of setting buildings on fire, to be the new tenant of his mother's home, giving her a paraffin soaked dress as an extra present in the hope that she will usher in the demise of his own mother. Its is implied that Alan and his Mother have a love hate and incestuous relationship when at the episode's climax, the two share a lingering kiss.
#"Natural Selection" (February 3, 1991) - It looks as though Alan has finally tried the patience of his constituency party too far when he is informed at his annual cocktail bash that he is to be deselected. The man set to replace him is Ken Price, a local owner of a building company who has wowed the selection committee with talk of caring Conservatism for the 90s. Alan sets out to ruin Price by befriending a junior Minister from the Treasury, Julian Whittiker, the leaking false statements to the press that Whittiker and Norman Lamont plan to abolish mortgage interest tax relief in the budget, destroying the building industry in the process. Such an act would destroy Price, whose business is set to go public, who finds out about the news on TV when engaging in love play with Sarah at Alan's request. To make matters worse, Sarah has arranged for Kens fiancee to burst in on them unexpectedly and Price is faced with the prospect of bankruptcy and the loss of his woman, the pressure of which lead him to hang himself. A gloating Alan glosses over being responsible for a mans ruining and death, plus the forced resignation of Julian Whittiker, to instead celebrate at being granted his seat back.
#"Profit Of Boom" (February 10, 1991) - Alan is busy promoting capitalism in the Soviet Union when he is targeted by the KGB and the British Secret Service who are desperate to re-kindle the Cold War (due to their slashed expense accounts). Alan convinces them that assassinating Gorbachev is the only sure fire way to achieve this, and a cool £100 million is his price. B'Stard arranges for Piers to present Gorbs with The B'Stard Foundation Plaque of Peace which is secretly an explosive device, but Piers forgets to give it to him and instead other innocent people are killed in the explosion. Alan and Piers are sentenced to 100 years hard labour in a Siberian gulag but Sarah soon arrives with the Head of the Secret Service who has arranged release papers for one of them. B'Stard gleefully begins to climb onto the truck but is told instead that Sarah has arranged for Piers to come home, him being able to pleasure her for hours on the trip back to civilisation. A broken B'Stard asks Sarah why she is doing this, to which she replies, "Because I can". The series ends with Sarah and Piers driving off and a solitary B'Stard standing freezing in the snow of the gulag as the credits roll silently.

eries 4

#"Back From The Mort" (November 22, 1992) - Alan is released from the gulag and returns to the UK a hero. Joy is short-lived however as Alan finds he has lost his seat, his businesses are ruined and his wife has stolen his money and set up with an MEP for East Germany. Alan manipulates Piers into giving up his seat for Sir Greville's return to Parliament and elevation to Secretary of State for European Affairs and sees Piers created European Commissioner for Internal Relations. Meanwhile Alan arranges for his wife's lover to meet with a grisly end, gets his money back from Sarah and has his eye on the now vacant seat of Obersaxony East Germany. Tomorrow belongs to Alan....
#"H*A*S*H" (November 29, 1992) - Alan attempts to make money from the possible legalisation of cannabis but falls foul of established drug dealers in the EC. Sarah meanwhile has a score to settle.
#"Speaking In Tongues" (December 6, 1992) - Alan invents a scheme to make money, using the European Community translators. As usual, Piers is the key........
#"Heil And Farewell" (December 13, 1992) - Alan manipulates a growing neo-Nazi group and the son of a former Communist dictator into handing over their fortunes to him. B'Stard is at his most ruthless as he arranges for the murder of over 700 people just to save his own skin.
#"A Bigger Splash" (December 20, 1992) - Robert Maxwell is holed up in Bosnia with half a billion pounds. Alan thinks this makes it the perfect time to launch a personal humanitarian mission to the region using the surprisingly successful Fletcher-Dervish peace talks.
#"The Irresistible Rise of Alan B'Stard" (December 26, 1992) - Alan is in despair, Britain's fortunes are falling, and with them, his shares. With B'Stard set to lose his fortune again, he hatches his most audacious plan yet. B'Stard makes secret arrangements for an independent movie to be produced by a French director as a tribute to the Falklands war but filmed on the Channel islands while he stirs up anti-European feelings at home. At B'Stard's urging, Piers proposes the taxing of all off shore savings accounts, causing up-roar in the Tory Party. A special Party Conference, whipped up by an on-fire Alan, votes to leave the EU and Tory Party splits. Sir Greville becomes involved in the new Progressive Federalist Party while Alan becomes leader of the New Patriotic Party. With the Pro European Tories heading for a coalition victory with Labour at the resulting General Election, Alan dupes Piers into proposing anti Trade Union laws, likewise splitting Labour. The election looks too close to call until reports come in of French soldiers invading the Channel Islands (Alan's movie having been mis-interpreted) and a nationalist back-lash leads to Alan's Party storming to power, although Alan himself has not stood for a seat in Parliament. The series ends in sinister fashion as Paddy O'Rourke who is technically now Prime Minister informs Alan he can't be PM unless he is in Parliament, Alan snaps and immediately declares himself Lord Protector and the United Kingdom is his 'plaything'. When The Queen rings to inform Alan she is ready to kiss hands, he sneeringly responds, "Well then tell her to come here."

pecial

"A B'Stard Exposed" (December 30, 1994) - Brian Walden Alan B'Stard MP has returned to domestic Parliament following a Welsh By-election conspicuous by the absence of any opponents. They were found after polling day at the bottom of a coal mine. B'Stard is grilled by veteran broadcaster Brian Walden and reveals his vision for 21st century Britain. During the interview, Alan is tricked into revealing his plans to create his own political party and later pays for Walden's silence.

tage show

"Episode 2006: The Blair B'Stard Project" - Alan B'Stard has created New Labour after making billions on Black Wednesday, installing a failed singer as Prime Minister and secretly running the country from his bunker at number 9 Downing Street. The show sees Alan attempting to settle a divorce from his wife while playing Al-Quaida and the Americans off each other in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction (which are being carefully hidden by Alan).Aided by his PPS Frank, the last socialist in the Labour Party and Flora, an ex-Young Conservative turned Blairite lackey, Alan arranges the fake kidnapping of Tony Blair and the ruining of Gordon Brown in order to place himself in ultimate power. The show ends with Alan being named Lord Protector with the declaration, "And Alan takes EVERYTHING".

"ALAN B'STARD'S EXTREMELY SECRET WEAPON" - The stage show returns, heavily re-written in late 2006, touring into 2007. Alan is plotting to become one of a shadowy elite of politicians who control the world's oil supplies.

"The Sunday Telegraph"

Tying in with the original run of the stage show and continuing at present, British Broadsheet newspaper "The Sunday Telegraph" runs a weekly opinion column penned by Alan B'Stard himself (in reality his creators, Marks and Gran). In it, Mr B'Stard writes as the founder of New Labour and effective ruler of the country, commenting on the week's events in politics, often referring to his frustrations with Tony and the rest of the cabinet. Interestingly, the column is written to suggest that the stage show is actually written by B'Stard himself as a method of communicating his achievements to 'the ordinaries', thus creating a 'fiction within a fiction' situation. One column incidentally mentioned how after Alan's divorce from his wife (a sub-plot of the original stage show), the ex-Mrs B'Stard "came over all dead".

ee also

* "Yes Minister"
* "The Young Ones"
* "Bottom"
* "Believe Nothing"

External links

*" [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/n/newstatesmanthe_7774820.shtml The New Statesman] " at the bbc.co.uk Guide to Comedy
*" [http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/11294 The New Statesman] " at the British Film Institute
*
*imdb title|id=0094519|title=The New Statesman
* " [http://www.phill.co.uk/comedy/nsman/ The New Statesman] " at British TV Comedy


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