Sir Humphrey Appleby, Bernard Woolley and Jim Hacker brilliantly played by Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds and Paul Eddington were so real that although its decades old you can still see the characters in your head as they try to out do one another. Very very funny and how Nigel Hawthorne remembered those lines i will never know. The book follows Hacker from day one and sees a gradual understanding as to what his ministerial role is while trying to outwit the civil service who dont want him to have a role at all. The "Published" memos, interviews and diary entries also add to the realism. I think that this is a timeless comedy and the writing duo of Jonanthan Lynn and Anthony Jay deserve plaudits for they scripts and how the main characters are portrayed.