As a result, the remake will not be shown on the BBC:
The new series of Yes, Prime Minister was made for a rival channel because the BBC asked its creators to make a pilot episode, it has emerged.
Co-writer Jonathan Lynn said the BBC had been given first refusal on the revival out of “courtesy”, because it aired the award-winning original.
But he called the request for a test episode “extraordinary”, as “there were 38 pilots available on DVD”.
The first new episodes for 25 years will be aired on digital channel Gold.
Lynn told comedy website Chortle that the BBC “said it was policy” to order a pilot episode before commissioning a full series.
“So we said our policy was to not write a pilot.”
The original Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister tell you more about the actual workings of parliamentary democracy than a full semester undergraduate course. I hope the new series can recapture the magic (if you can call showing the awful workings of government bureaucrats and politicians “magic”).
The new series was filmed last summer and is based on a recent stage production, which launched in 2010.
Digital network Gold said the Rt Hon Jim Hacker would return as the leader of a coalition government, with plots focussing on the economic crisis, a leadership crisis with his coalition partners and a Scottish independence referendum.
David Haig will take the lead role, with Henry Goodman as Sir Humphrey. Both have appeared in the stage version of the show.
They will be joined by Dame Maggie Smith’s son, Chris Larkin, as Bernard Woolley, and Robbie Coltrane as a guest star.