A two-minute Christmas-themed television sketch, featuring Paul Eddington as the Rt Hon. Jim Hacker, Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey Appleby, and Derek Fowlds as Bernard Woolley, was broadcasted on BBC One as part of a Christmas special named The Funny Side of Christmas.
Sir Humphrey has a special end-of-year message for the Minister, delivered in what is even by his standards an especially circumlocutory style. His message is transcribed here:
Jim Hacker: Are there more, Bernard?
Bernard Woolley: Before you go home for the holiday, Minister, Sir Humphrey has something to say to you.
Sir Humphrey: Oh thank you, Bernard. Minister, just one thing. I wonder if I might crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation which has, over the years, become more or less established practice within government circles as we approach the terminal period of the year, calendar, of course, not financial, in fact, not to put too fine a point on it, Week Fifty-One, and submit to you, with all appropriate deference, for your consideration at a convenient juncture, a sincere and sanguine expectation, indeed confidence, indeed one might go so far as to say hope, that the aforementioned period may be, at the end of the day, when all relevant factors have been taken into consideration, susceptible of being deemed to be such as to merit a final verdict of having been by no means unsatisfactory in its overall outcome and, in the final analysis, to give grounds for being judged, on mature reflection, to have been conducive to generating a degree of gratification which will be seen in retrospect to have been significantly higher than the general average.
Jim Hacker: What’s he talking about?
Bernard Woolley: Well, Minister, I think Sir Humphrey just wanted to crave your momentary indulgence in order to discharge a by no means disagreeable obligation…
Sir Humphrey: At the end of the day, Minister, all due things being considered…
Jim Hacker: Hum…don’t, don’t, just forget the…
Sir Humphrey: Yes, Minister?
Jim Hacker: Are you saying “Happy Christmas”?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, Minister!