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The New Statesman was an award winning British comedy program in which Rik Mayall played the evil Alan B'Stard, an utterly venal and corrupt Conservative MP who stopped at nothing to further his career, and/or make piles of money. Other characters included his wife Sarah, who was a very good (or rather evil) match for her husband, and Alan's spineless and much-abused flunky Piers Fletcher-Dervish.
The show ran for 4 seasons from the late 1980s to the early 1990s, and was revived as a theatre production in 2006.
The show provides examples of:
- Adult Child: Piers doesn't understand much of what goes on around him and keeps his teddy at his desk.
- Brick Joke: All the way through series one Piers talks about his seemingly strait-laced and rather prudish fiancée. When we meet her in series two, she turns out to be... not quite as imagined.
- Brother Chuck: Sir Steven Baxter, Norman, Roland Gidley-Park (jarringly, as he's Sarah's father), Sidney and Mr Cripin
- Butt Monkey: Piers
- Card-Carrying Villain: Alan has been known to switch parties based solely on which political platform will allow him to rip more people off.
- Chained to a Bed: An American television star invites Alan home and has him tie her up, but then realises she left her Quaaludes in her car and sends Alan down to get them. He gets arrested. When he finally makes it back over a day later, he can't be bothered to untie her before he leaves to catch his flight. She finds this hot.
Now there's a man who really understands bondage!
- Critical Research Failure: in at least one episode B'Stard refers to a Labour MP as "Mr. Crippen" (twice) while speaking in the House of Commons. British M Ps (and Peers) never refer to each other by name in the chamber (they say "the (Right) Honourable Member for [constituency]") and would immediately be told off by the Speaker if they did.
- Crosscast Role: Norma(n) is played by a woman throughout the first series, even during the first couple of episodes when he's still meant to be fully male.
- Distracted by the Luxury
- Dumb Is Good (Piers)
- Easy Sex Change: Alan's accountant Norman becomes more feminine in every episode of series one.
- Evil Laugh
- Evil Matriarch: Alan's mother is just as morally bankrupt and greedy as he is, perhaps the only person in the whole run of the show who meets him completely on his own level. For added ickyness, at the end of her episode there's way more than a hint that there's affinity in their equality even as they try to kill and screw-over one another.
- For the Evulz:. Sarah leaves Alan to rot in a gulag in Siberia for three years when she could have easily asked for his release, 'because she can'.
- Fun with Acronyms (How many charities can have the initials CASH?)
- And the "Santiago High Income Trust" from series two.
- Insistent Terminology: "B'Stard", not "bastard"
- Jerkass (Alan)
- Kavorka Man: Alan is very good-looking and well turned-out, but he treats women so badly and his personality is so repellent, it's amazing any female would be in the same room with him. Nonetheless, his stream of affairs is constant.
- Kick the Dog: Alan does this all the time. More often than not, however, it bites back.
- Large Ham: Alan during some of his speeches
- President Evil The series ended with Alan becoming "Lord Protector" of England.
- Retool: Twice. There was a major one between series one and two (several characters vanish without explanation, Sarah goes from being in love with Alan's (female) press agent to being a complete nymphomaniac (unusually, her bisexuality remained), more focus on Alan's money-making schemes and less on his political schemes). There was also a comparatively minor retool at the beginning of season four when the shift to the European Parliament allowed for complete change in sets, storylines and the majority of the cast outside Alan, Sarah and Piers.
- The Plan: One of them involved arranging the Falklands war to push up the price of corned beef.
- Playing Both Sides: According to the stage show, the war on terror was arranged by Alan manipulating both sides to his own ends.
- Secret Test of Character: In the final episode of Series 1, Alan is trying to set up a lucrative business deal with an American hamburger mogul and his wife. Near the end of the negotiations, the couple suddenly suggests a wife-swapping session to seal the deal, which is more than a little problematic since Norma is posing as Alan's wife and hasn't completely finished her gender reassignment surgery (more specifically, she still has a penis). As a result, Alan has to repeatedly insist that he is a devout Christian and wife-swapping goes against his religion. It eventually turns out that the American couple actually are devout Christians, and were just trying to make sure Alan was a moral enough person for them to do business with.
- Sleazy Politician: Everyone, with the possible exceptions of Sir Stephen Baxter and Bob Crippen. Piers gradually turns into this over the course of the series, though isn't very good at it, insisting on £5 bribes for important information for example.
- Strawman Political: Alan is notable for doing the tours of all three major parties; in the original series, he was a straw Tory; in the stage production, he was a straw Blairite; and in a sketch for a No 2 AV Party Political Broadcast, he was an obvious parody of Nick Clegg.
- Suddenly Bilingual: In one episode, Alan B'Stard is on trial, and one of his fake witnesses is pretending to be a chief of a native South American tribe. It turns out that the prosecuting lawyer can speak the language of that tribe, having been a fag for the tribe's high chief while they were both at Eton College.
- Surrounded by Idiots Alan's attitude towards
- The Starscream (Sarah)
- Unholy Matrimony Alan and Sarah, forever and ever.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist (Alan)
- Upperclass Twit (Piers)
- Villain Protagonist (Alan)