Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sir Antony Jay RIP

Antony Jay, writer and broadcaster, died on Sunday at the age of 86. He will undoubtedly be best remembered for "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" which he co-created with Jonathan Lynn and was both one of the funniest TV programmes ever created and one of the most perceptive (everyone I knew who had any connection to government at the time said that if people realised how much truth there was in the programme they would be astonished).

Those programmes were, however, far from being his only achievement: he was also involved with some very perceptive studies of the way teams of people work and wrote several excellent books about how companies operate, particularly "Management and Machiavelli" and "Corporation Man" which respectively compared the functioning of late 20th century corporations to that of Renaissance states and showed how the behaviours and team strategies built into our genes as a result of early human evolution still affect the way modern companies and organisations work.

Jay co-founded Video Arts with Jonathan Cleese: this company produced a wide range of training videos such as "Decisions, Decisions" and "Meetings, Bloody Meetings."

He was married to Rosemary Watkins and they had two sons and two daughters.

Antony Jay will be missed both for his humour and his insight into how people operate.

As I have already posted and repeated the opinion poll and Britain in Europe "Yes (Prime) Minister" clips several times on this blog in the last few months, here to remember him is another classic clip, "The Empty Hospital."

Rest in Peace.

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