Yes, Minister cast now – tragic deaths, bar stabbing and career-ending car crash

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Yes, Minister centres around a team of clueless politicians doing their very best to make things as confusing as possible for the general public.

The bumbling, unsympathetic officials were seen clashing often – leading to much confusion and plenty of head-scratching all round, but viewers loved watching it all unfold at home.

The hit 80s sitcom ran for three series from 1980 to 1984, catapulting a number of the stars into stardom as the series focused on the ministerial career of Jim Hacker, played by Paul Eddington.

So popular was it that a sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran for 16 episodes from 1986 to 1988, as Hacker managed to bag the role of PM.

Superbly written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, the political satire was loved by millions and made household names of many of the leading names.

The show received several BAFTA Awards and landed sixth place in the Britain's Best Sitcom poll, and was even dubbed the favourite programme of Margaret Thatcher, who was Prime Minister at the time.

Many of the show's stars went on to enjoy great success, but sadly some are no longer with us.

Here's what happened to the much-loved cast.

Paul Eddington

The popular actor worked all his life in the industry, but it wasn't until his late-40s until he got his big break.

Finally landing the role he needed in The Good Life, his career really took off.

Playing Jim Hacker, he joined the Department of Administrative Affairs, and later landed the top job as he became the Prime Minister.

Landing a CBE in the 1987 New Year Honours, he died eight years later at the age of 68.

He sadly died halfway through the production of BBC Radio series The Sceptred Island, and actor Peter Jeffrey had to take his place last minute.

Nigel Hawthorne

Back in 2001, we lost another of the beloved cast members.

Multi -BAFTA winning Nigel Hawthorne played the no nonsense Sir Humphrey Appleby, the Permanent Secretary Department of Administrative Affairs.

In 1999, the actor was knighted in the New Years Honours List.

But just two years later we lost the popular star. He suffered a heart attack aged 72 following several operations for pancreatic cancer.

Diana Hoddinott

Playing Annie Hacker, the wife of bossy Jim Hacker, she was always outnumbered by the politicians.

She stayed with him all the way to the top, continuing her role in the show's sequel Yes, Prime Minister.

Back in 2000, she starred in The Man Who Cried, before getting another part in The Gathering Storm just over two years later.

Her last known role came in the The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, back in 2004.

Derek Fowlds

TV fans were left saddened last year when we lost one of our favourites.

Derek Fowlds was known to millions for playing Bernard Woolley in the show – as well as stern officer Oscar Blaketon in ITV police drama Heartbeat for 18 years

He died at the age of 82 from pneumonia last year after an incredible career, which also saw him star as "Mr Derek" on the Basil Brush show in the 70s.

"You couldn't have met a nicer person ever" said his assistant Helen Bennett.

John Savident

Agreeing to the role of civil servant Frederick Stewart, fans were quick to fall in love with the brash Permanent Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Known as "Jumbo to his friends" as he said, Frederick became Fred in the years to come – as he landed the role of his career.

Butcher Fred Elliott was a Coronation Street whirlwind before he called time on his years on the soap in 2006.

But in 2000, John was stabbed by a man he met in a Manchester bar. Michael Smith was sentenced to seven years in prison for the attack which thankfully wasn't fatal.

Neil Fitzwilliam

The role of Frank Weisel was the actor's big TV break.

His one-liners made him a big favourite with viewers, but he wasn't exactly well received by his stuffy colleagues.

Playing the loveable political adviser – often pronounced 'weasel' – really got his career going.

But a few years later, tragedy struck and it changed his life forever.

Following a terrible car accident he sustained a brain injury, and had to fend for his acting career.

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