Sir Antony Jay, Co-Author Of Yes Minister (1930 – 2016)

  • Date: 24/08/16
  • The Daily Telegraph

Sir Antony Jay, co-creator of political comedies Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, has died at the age of 86.

Antony Jay is 2011

Antony Jay in 2011, photo Rex

A representative said: “Sir Antony Jay CVO CBE died peacefully on Sunday evening after a long illness. He was surrounded by his wife and family.”

Jay began his career in the BBC’s current affairs department and was a founding member of the Tonight team, later becoming editor of the programme in 1962.

His career included scripting documentaries Royal Family and Elizabeth R: A Year In the Life of a Queen, for which he was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) for personal services to the Royal Family.

Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds in Yes Minister Credit: Television Stills

But it was with Yes Minster and Yes, Prime Minister, which he wrote with Jonathan Lynn, that Jay will be best remembered. Starring Paul Eddington, Sir Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds, the former ran from 1980-1984; the even more rapturously received Yes, Prime Minister lasted from 1986 to 1987.

Finely crafted satires of Westminster that highlighted the undue influence wielded by civil servants in the corridors of power, both series proved a hit among politicians, most notably the then PM Margaret Thatcher.

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booker bbc

GWPF press conference, 8 December (from left to right: David Henderson, Sir Antony Jay, Benny Peiser, Christopher Booker, Lord Lawson)

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