The Men From The Ministry
Radio Times Descriptions
Since the early days of the BBC, the Radio Times has listed
details of all BBC radio and television programmes broadcast in the UK. Back
numbers of the Radio Times provide a rich resource of information about early
programmes. The listings for The Men From The Ministry typically gave
the title and the names of the actors appearing in each episode. Occasionally,
this information was supplemented by brief descriptive introductions. The
following are transcripts of some of those introductions.
|6/2 The Bare Necessities (7.7.70)|
|Tonight the Permanent Under-Secretary - naked save for bowler hat
and umbrella - visits a girls' public school and asks the Headmistress why she
has got her clothes on. Has he gone mad? No. It's the perfectly logical
conclusion to our heroes' handling of a new motorway scheme. |
|6/4 The Moving Target (21.7.70)|
|LAMB: 'I say, One, isn't this the week the Prime Minister pulls my
trousers off and you launch a space rocket, and Sir Gregory gets a bullet-
proof bowler hat to protect him from a mad assassin?' |
LENNOX-BROWN: 'Yes. Well you get these quiet weeks sometimes ...'
|6/7 Trouble In The Air (11.8.70)|
|Why are Lamb and Lennox-Brown so interested in the mysterious girl on
the Transatlantic Jet ? Why are they wanted by the police ? Why is Lamb
frightened ? Well, why not ?
|6/8 Miss Chatterley's Lover (18.8.70)|
|During Mr. Lennox-Brown' absence on annual leave, a Scotsman, Mr.
Dougal, takes charge of the Department (and Lamb).
|8/3 How Now, Brown Cow ? (25.7.72)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: (reads) 'Princess Caroline of Hamburg arriving
Southampton Wednesday 1400. Have Ministry officials meet her with
suitable transport ...'|
LAMB: I say, a real Princess! And the Arts Council wants us
to meet her!
LENNOX-BROWN: There could be an OBE in this.
|9/1 That's My Pigeon (6.3.73)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: President Grotti may wish to travel in an open
coach. And with all these pigeons about... |
LAMB: He'd end up a very spotty Grotti.
|9/2 Don't Let Them Needle You (13.3.73)|
|MILDRED: These anti-flu jabs are for our own good. |
LENNOX-BROWN: That's a matter of opinion. If the Good Lord meant us to
work every day, he wouldn't have given us flu in the first place.
|9/3 Find The Lady (20.3.73)|
|LAMB: I'm gathering statistics on the economy, One. I thought
I'd give the Minister a breakdown. |
LENNOX-BROWN: I really believe you could, Two.
|9/4 Bridge Under Troubled Waters (27.3.73)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: Look at this note: 'Leave our village alone! Keep
your rotten noses out of our business, or you won't live to collect your
pensions! Signed, A Well-Wisher.' |
MILDRED: Perhaps you'd better lay off, sir. Treat this problem like all
the others - file it behind the radiator.
|9/5 A Private Affair (3.4.73)|
|MILDRED: I reckon it's daft - building the new London airport in
the North of Scotland. |
LENNOX-BROWN: It's the nearest to London they could get it without upsetting
|9/6 Food For Thought (10.4.73)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: These doughnuts don't conform to Ministry standards.
The dollop of jam is off-centre. |
LAMB: I'm prepared to force mine down. But I shall certainly bring it up at
the Board of Trade.
|9/7Getting It Taped (17.4.73)|
|SIR GREGORY: We've got to keep this department abreast of the times. |
LAMB: Oh we do, Sir Gregory. We've had a typewriter for quite a while now.
|9/8 Safe And Unsound (24.4.73)|
|LAMB: Is that the design for the new army helicopter ? |
LENNOX-BROWN: Yes, they've got teething troubles. The rotor blades stay still
and the plane keeps spinning round.
|9/9 The Export Caper (1.5.73)|
|LAMB: We've got to see these foreign chaps import food from us. |
LENNOX-BROWN: No problem there. European countries will be only too delighted
to buy our British delicacies - like deep-frozen Shepherd's Pie and
|9/10 Flushed With Success (8.5.73)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: These Ministry washrooms are a disgrace! Fancy a man in
my position having to carry a sink plug around in his pocket ! |
MILDRED: In the girls' room there are cracks all down the walls. Luckily you
can't read most of 'em.
|9/11 Under The Weather (15.5.73)|
|MILDRED: Something puzzles me, sir. It's officially a drought, but
we've had lots of rain. |
LENNOX-BROWN: Never mind the rain, Mildred. If the Met Office computer says
it's a drought, then a drought it is.
|9/12 Monkey Business (22.5.73)|
|LAMB: We mustn't fall out, even if we have both applied for the same
post. Let's just say 'May the best man win!' |
LENNOX-BROWN: Quite. And when I've got the job, I'll still talk to you.
|9/13 Cheesed Off (29.5.73)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: There are holes in the floor - that's where the mice are
coming from! You'll have to stuff them with cement! |
LAMB: But they'd never keep still long enough, would they ?
|10/1 Plane Madness (17.6.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: They're rather cross about this lost equipment. Not
many offices can mislay a typewriter and a duplicating machine. |
LAMB: I miss that, you know. I used it to press my trousers.
|10/2 Vipers In The Bosom (24.6.74)|
|LAMB: These bulbs must go somewhere quiet, where they won't
be disturbed. |
LENNOX-BROWN: Let's get some earth and plant a few in my In-tray.
|10/3 Great Guns (1.7.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: You mean we're to talk to the Army and sort out this
dispute ? |
SIR GREGORY: That's right; if you've got that into your head, you have it in
|10/4 I Want My Mummy (8.7.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: The centre-piece of the whole exhibition will be the
mummy of Queen Tumtitti. She was after Tutankhamun, of course. |
LAMB: But I suppose he married someone else. It's always the way.
|10/5 One Man's Meat (15.7.74)|
|SIR GREGORY: We have plans to meet the world food shortage.
Scientists are creating substitute protein from things like nylon and rayon.
LENNOX-BROWN: Astonishing. We'll soon be wearing our socks all day and
eating them at night with peas and gravy.
|10/6 Ballet Nuisance (22.7.74)|
|LAMB: I know you've been helping the Arts Council, but do you
have to wear that velvet beret and big floppy bow tie ? |
LENNOX-BROWN: Naturally. You are just jealous because I'm moving in artistic
circles - and you, as usual, are moving in ever-decreasing ones.
|10/7 Sky High (29.7.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: The Permanent Under-Secretary's a bit like Jekyll and
Hyde, isn't he.
LAMB: Yes. Half the time he's difficult and irritable and quite unpleasant.
Then something snaps and he turns really nasty.
|10/8 A Break For Sir Gregory (5.8.74)|
|LAMB: This could be one of the best forms we've devised. |
LENNOX-BROWN: We'll use our specialty. 'If address has changed and you have
not received this form, tick here and return at once!'
|10/9 Health and Deficiency (12.8.74)|
|LAMB: We've suggested people shout eat more spinach. That'll bring
colour to their cheeks. |
MILDRED: Yeah, but who wants green cheeks ?
|10/10 Big Deal (19.8.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: Sir Gregory's presented us with another rotten job. I
nearly gave him a nasty look. |
LAMB: What's the point ? He's got one already.
|10/11 They Fry By Night (26.8.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: We're worried about the cost of living, Mildred. |
LAMB: You know, we used to have a little money left at the end of the month.
Now we have a lot of month left at the end of the money.
|10/12 In The Picture (2.9.74)|
|LENNOX-BROWN: Our Clean Up Britain campaign is really catching on.
Look at this headline in the paper ! |
MILDRED: I say ! 'Obscene Plays - Prime Minister to act' !
|10/13 She'll Have To Go (9.9.74)|
|LAMB: Never mind Mildred, I'm sure you'll find a job somewhere else. |
MILDRED: But it won't be like the Ministry. I might have to work !
|14/14 The Christmas Spirit (rebroadcast 26.12.90)|
|The only Whitehall office working over Christmas is the General
Assistance Department; handling everything from the Wet Fish Survey to the
Nuclear Button. But there's the office party ... |
|10/7 Sky High (rebroadcast 10.06.95)|
|Deryck Guyler and Richard Murdoch venture out of the office to visit
a building site. A big mistake ... |
|13/1 Mission Inedible (rebroadcast 17.06.95)|
|Disaster at the Ministry when the tea and biscuit fund runs dry.
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This page was compiled by Gary Schajer, Vancouver, Canada.