We dug in CSW archives for the definitive countdown of CSWfavorite made tangerines. Illustrations by John Leviers
First impression: First episode of Armando Iannucci’s political satire The thickness of it
Age: Actress Joanna Scanlan was 44 when she accepted the role in 2005
Use: Communications Director
Department: The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship (DoSAC, formerly DSA)
Interests: Call the midwife (has been known to hum the theme during meetings), leave on time, bring her dog up England has an incredible talent
Key information: Was previously Head of Press for Waitrose. Survived five Secretaries of State, but still dreams of kicking it all off and opening a tearoom in Ludlow.
Most likely to say: “I’m sorry if you think I’m obstructing, but I can’t and I won’t do what you’re asking.”
First impression: JK Rowling’s 1998 novel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Age: 65 (approx.)
Place of origin : Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon
Department: Misuse of muggle artifacts
Organization: Ministry of Magic
Interests: Muggles, flying cars, spending time with family, wizarding equality
Key information: While working for the Ministry of Magic, Arthur worked on the Muggle Protection Act, which helped protect non-magical people from the dangers of anti-Muggle discrimination.
Most likely to say: “Tell me, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?”
First impression: The 2003 movie love in fact
Age: Late 20’s
Place of origin : Wandsworth (the dubious end)
Use: The Prime Minister’s Tea Lady
Organization: No. 10
Interests: Politics, in a way
Key information: Natalie is a new housekeeper to the Prime Minister, specifically the one who serves him his tea and cookies. Her first meeting with the PM could have gone better: she called him by his first name and accidentally let out a few swear words. It couldn’t have been so bad, though, since she still got to smooch him in the end.
Most likely to say: “I had a terrible premonition that I was going to fuck the first day… Oh, shit!”
“Diplomacy is about surviving until the next century – politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon” Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister
First impression: “Open Government” episode of Whitehall’s flagship sitcom Yes Minister
Age: The late Sir Nigel Hawthorne was 48 when he started playing Sir Humphrey
Place of origin : Haslemere, Surrey
Use: Permanent Secretary; cabinet secretary
Organization: Department of Administrative Affairs, later the Cabinet Office
Interests: Preserving the status quo
Key information: Sir Humphrey is known for his elitism, his deviousness and his ability to deploy deliberately obscure language when talking to his minister Jim Hacker in order to get the result he wants.
Most likely to say: “Diplomacy is about surviving until the next century – politics is about surviving until Friday afternoon.”
First impression: Number 1 of Sensational comics1942
Place of origin : Themyscira
Use: Prior to her position as an agent who controls dangerous metahumans, Diana served as an army nurse, intelligence officer, astronaut, and UN employee, to name a few.
Organization: Department of Metahuman Affairs
Interests: Lassos, feminism
Key info: Diana Prince is the alter-ego of superheroine Wonder Woman, a persona she adopted after realizing she wanted a life away from the fame of her heroic deeds. During her time as an agent in the Department of Metahuman Affairs, her mission is – ironically enough – to capture Wonder Woman.
Most likely to say: “I know who raised me…and why I was raised.”
First impression: Paul Torday’s 2007 novel, Salmon fishing in Yemen
Age: Actor Ewan McGregor was 40 when he played Dr Alfred Jones in the 2011 film adaptation of the book
Use: fishing specialist
Department: National Fisheries Center of Excellence
Organization: Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Key information: Fishing expert Alfred Jones is contacted by Harriet, a financial adviser whose wealthy client has the unlikely idea of bringing fly fishing to the Yemen desert. Dr Jones resists, but the FCO and Prime Minister have their own reasons for wanting the plan to go ahead…
Most likely to say: “When things get tough in my life, I talk to my fish.”
“I’m sorry if you think I’m obstructing, but I can’t and I won’t do what you’re asking” Terri Coverly, the thickness of it
First impression: In the 1994 song Blur, Jack Tracy
Age: He is over 40
Place of origin : Just a train ride from Walton
Use: “Work in the public service”
Interests: He’s a golf fanatic (but his putt is erratic)
Key info: Tracy Jacks is a very dissatisfied civil servant, who ends up giving up her “steady job” and suffers a kind of nervous breakdown – along with running around naked and bulldozing her house.
Most likely to say: “That’s so overrated!”
First impression: George Orwell’s 1949 novel, One thousand nine hundred and eighty four
Place of origin : Oceania
Department: Archives Department
Organization: Ministry of Truth
Interests: Revolution, rebellion, books and gin
Key info: Although he works for a totalitarian government as a re-author of historical documents, Winston dreams of revolution and freedom. Secretly, his political curiosity drives him to learn more about its oppressive government and to commit acts of rebellion.
Most likely to say: “Down with Big Brother” are the famous words Winston repeatedly scribbled in his journal
First impression: Russell T Davies TV Drama, Torchwood: Children of Earth: Day One
Age: Actor Peter Capaldi was 51 when he started playing John Frobisher
Use: Permanent Secretary since 2003. The 90s were spent working as Director of Crime Policy
Organization: home office
Key info: Considered indispensable by the government, John Frobisher served as a liaison for the collusion between 456, a drug-trafficking alien race, and the British government. Things went downhill even further when he ordered the assassination of everyone involved with the group, including Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood.
Most likely to say: “I have been authorized to offer you one child for every million inhabitants of planet Earth. That’s about 6,700 in total.
First impression: Although Shalt Not Kill, the first episode of the BBC spy drama Spooks
Place of origin : London
Use: Head of Section D
Department: Fight against terrorism
Interests: his work, Ruth Evershed
Key info: A former soldier and MI6 agent, Harry Pearce joined the Counter Terrorism Department and is credited with saving the lives of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and John Major. When he’s not busy being the face of the War on Terror, you’ll find him harassing anyone who walks into his office without knocking first.
Most likely to say: “We can never win the war on terrorism. We can contain it. We can prevent its worst consequences, but we can never defeat it. So when we get an offer to talk, no matter how shy, we accept it. We must.”
And an honorable mention goes to our favorite servant of the Crown…
First impression: Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel, Casino Royale
Place of origin : CLASSIFIED
Use: Commander Royal Navy, CMG, RNVR and Senior Operations Officer
Department: 00 Branch
Interests: Gadgets, women, cigarettes and martinis (shaken, not stirred)
Key information: Bond – equipped with both license and seek-to-kill – jets around the world for national security missions
Most likely to say: “Only M would want me to be court-martialed for illegal use of government equipment.”
This story first appeared in CSW in April 2015