Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • My first guest is a great friend of mine and a colleague,

  • And we have enjoyed "The Good Life" together.

  • But now I suppose I ought to introduce him as the prime minister.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, the right honorable

  • Paul Eddington.

  • ( applause )

  • Oh Paul, it is nice-- I don't need that.

  • You've changed, Harry.

  • I have, but it was a very quick operation.

  • I recommend it.

  • Is that one of a prime minister's suits?

  • - No, no, this is my own. - Is it really?

  • It's a bit causal for the prime minister. I'd be a bit more formal.

  • If Nigel-- now you're not to worry about this question

  • But I want the truth. If somebody came to you

  • And said, "Please, Paul, just for one year,

  • Please, please would you...

  • Be P.M. of England?"

  • What would your answer be?

  • Oh, I think no, really.

  • I mean, it'd be very tempting. A tempting offer.

  • I find it awfully difficult to resist a challenge

  • But I-- no, I don't think it, no.

  • - No, I'd hate all that. - Would you really?

  • I mean, do you find-- I mean, what I'd like to know--

  • All that bowing and scraping, I couldn't bear it.

  • And all that power, dreadful.

  • Who do you base James Hacker on?

  • - Me. - Really? Seriously?

  • People sometimes have asked me

  • Do you base it on this minister or that minister?

  • But no, I thought, now there's a person

  • Who's interested in politics,

  • Knows nothing about administration.

  • What would happen if he suddenly found himself in that position?

  • And I think, well that's me, you see?

  • I'm interested in politics but know nothing about administration.

  • I'd have to rely on my civil servants and that sort of thing.

  • He's a lovely character. Do you ever--

  • Do you get muddled with the character--

  • With the politics that you believe in and the character?

  • I mean, do ever get to the point when you say

  • "Look, I don't really think we can say this?"

  • No, not really. There is--

  • On one occasion I felt the author's impartiality

  • Was slipping a tiny little bit

  • When they made a bit of a mock of nuclear-free zones and things like that.

  • Well, I'm a pacifist. I make no secret of the fact that I'm a supporter of C.N.D.

  • And I said to them, "Look, this is going a bit far, isn't it?

  • I don't mind saying this, but it doesn't sound

  • Quite as impartial as you usually are."

  • And they did tone it down a tiny little bit,

  • But on the whole, almost never.

  • No, never do I do anything like that.

  • The program usually isn't about politics.

  • - It's about administration. - Yes it is.

  • Have you ever been tempted to exploit the situations

  • That James Hacker finds himself in at all?

  • In what way do you mean? You mean, people ask me to behave

  • - As if I were Jim Hacker? - Yes, yes.

  • Well no, not really. The funny thing is...

  • The person in the street

  • Whom you'd expect to think of me as a politician--

  • Do they come up to you and say-- and talk to you

  • As if you are the actual prime minister?

  • No they don't. I rather expected and I quite hoped

  • That they might do so and rush up to me and say,

  • "Look, would you do something about the such and such bill?"

  • But they don't.

  • The people who are really taken in

  • Are the politicians.

  • Really?

  • Didn't you have to go to a rally or something in Australia?

  • - That's right, yes. - And talk as if you were actually a politician?

  • It's rather nice, I get all the fun without any of the responsibility.

  • When I go to a foreign country, they roll out the red carpet

  • And lead me straight to the head of state, you see?

  • - Do they? Do they do that? - Yes.

  • And on this occasion, I was--

  • I met a whole lot of ministers coming out

  • Of their first cabinet meeting in Canberra.

  • I was introduced by a friend of mine

  • Who said, "You know the minister, don't you?"

  • And one of them said, "What is your portfolio?"

  • Under the impression, I suppose, that I was not just a minister

  • But actually an Australian minister.

  • Wherever I am, I'm a minister.

  • Now, our real prime minister actually likes your show.

  • So she says, and who am I to disbelieve her?

  • Don't ever do it. It would be dangerous.

  • Hasn't she appeared with you

  • Or haven't you appeared with her or something?

  • Wasn't there a skit or something?

  • Yes, the whole thing's got a bit mixed up in most people's memories.

  • - They think she played-- - tell us.

  • They think she actually played a part in one of the episodes.

  • It wasn't like that. I was--

  • The whole show once was given an award by mrs. Whitehouse.

  • I can't remember why now. I suppose for being the cleanest show on the air.

  • The night before we were going to be given this award,

  • The head of comedy at the BBC rang me up at the theater where I was appearing

  • And said, "You know this award tomorrow,

  • You know mrs. Thatcher wants to present it?" I said, "Yes."

  • "She wants to play a small scene with you."

  • I said, "You must be joking."

  • "No," he said, "I'm on my way to Number 10 now

  • To pick up the scripts and I'll come and talk to you about it after."

  • Of course he said, "You're free to refuse if you want to."

  • - When was this, Paul? - I didn't refuse when it came to it.

  • - When was this? - Yes.

  • About 18 months ago. A couple of years ago.

  • Was she very good?

  • She was excellent. She was wonderful. She was wonderful.

  • Were you nervous at all? She's a bit daunting, isn't she?

  • I was once in the same room with her and I--

  • Luckily we had an audience who were very eager to laugh.

  • That's all very current. That's what you're doing now and it's absolutely wonderful.

  • And there's a new series coming in now, isn't there?

  • But I want to show you something

  • Which is rather wonderful.

  • It's you, not me. Don't get excited.

  • - It is a wonderful thing. - What are you going to show me?

  • It's a very early clip.

  • ...That fine young gentleman, Pierre Bordeaux.

  • He sings well,

  • Plays the guitar, dances prettily.

  • ( audience laughing )

  • ... And jolly good company for your old uncle.

  • I know all that, uncle. You don't have to throw him at me.

  • You are a silly fool, Pierre.

  • Pierre, my boy. How are you?

  • I was just saying to Mary here

  • How well you played the guitar.

  • I know how well you play, Pierre,

  • But sometimes you play too often.

  • And the cold, cold English never play at all.

  • Look at master Cox, there.

  • All he does is make love to his apples.

  • ( audience applauding )

  • What a handsome, wonderful man.

  • That must have been painful. Right in his cox's orange pippin.

  • Now listen, did you enjoy that? 'cause you sounded so beautiful.

  • I was the champion bowman of France in that episode.

  • This was a long long time ago.

  • - 30 years ago. - You didn't have an accent.

  • I had a little. Did you notice the accent?

  • No, I so was taken with the way you looked.

  • I remember that episode particularly

  • Because we--

  • We used to shoot the bow and arrow a lot in that thing. You would, wouldn't you?

  • And any spare moments we've got hanging around we used to shoot the bow and arrow.

  • We got quite clever at it. I was very good.

  • But, in that particular episode,

  • I hadn't actually picked up a bow and arrow for about six months.

  • For some reason I got the arrow on the wrong side of the bow.

  • Not in that clip you just saw, but in another one.

  • There was a close-up of me doing this

  • And as I shot it,

  • The arrow went "fatoing!"

  • And we took ages to film this bit

  • And the camera crew had gotten dustpan lids

  • And all sorts of things. It took a whole day to do it.

  • The next day I saw the rushes and I thought, "My god,

  • I've got the arrow on the wrong side of the bow."

  • And this was shown all over the world to millions and millions of people.

  • Did you enjoy it? Did you enjoy doing "Robin Hood"?

  • - I had a wonderful time. - Must have been a wonderful thing to do.

  • Used to ride on horseback every day.

  • Before you did "Robin Hood"

  • You started out, somebody told me long ago

  • As a window-dresser in Birmingham.

  • It gets around, doesn't it?

  • - That's right, yes. - Is that true?

  • Were you very very young?

  • That was my very first job. I was 16.

  • It was the only job apart from the theater I've ever done.

  • I wanted to be an artist, you see, very badly.

  • Really? I didn't know that. A lot of this I do know.

  • I was brought up amongst painters and sculptors

  • And I thought it would be lovely to be an artist.

  • And my grandfather was an artist, you see?

  • And so I thought, I don't fancy starving in a garret very much.

  • - No. - So it ought to be--

  • It must be commercial. I've got to make money at it.

  • Well, you obviously make a lot of money now.

  • Is it wonderful having worked so incredibly well actually,

  • 'cause you've been at the national and everywhere else.

  • - You've done everything. - I work jolly hard.

  • You do wonderful things and you're wonderful on the stage.

  • Is it wonderful now being able

  • To do exactly what you want?

  • Yes, it is wonderful.

  • And what I want at the moment is nothing and here I am doing it.

  • What are you going to do after--

  • Nothing. Nothing at all. I've retired.

  • Oh no, don't. That's no good at all.

  • You've got to come back and work with me on the stage.

  • Oh, Paul, thank you very much for coming. Thank you.

My first guest is a great friend of mine and a colleague,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 UK minister wonderful arrow paul pierre prime minister

Paul Eddington interview (optional English subtitles)

  • 25 1
    高孟阳 posted on 2019/12/13
Video vocabulary