Alex Shearer

Flying the Flag: The Complete Series 1-4

Flying the Flag: The Complete Series 1-4

A BBC Radio 4 comedy drama

Summary

All four series of the Eastern bloc embassy sitcom starring Dinsdale Landen

Set in a British embassy somewhere in Russia, as the Cold War draws to a close, this entertaining sitcom follows Her Majesty's Ambassador Mr Mackenzie as he navigates the idiosyncrasies of life behind the Iron Curtain. Together with his First Secretary, William Frost, and personal assistant Helen Waterson, he manages matters ranging from dissidents to diplomatic dinners, all while maintaining his urbane, unflappable demeanour.

Engaging with Communism is challenging enough, but the era of glasnost and perestroika brings new problems - including tourism, press freedom and an outbreak of political sickness in the People's Republic. However, Mackenzie battles on bravely, striving to dispense his own unique blend of British foreign policy and maintain the upper hand. Whether he's dealing with drug barons, hijackers, a Briton being held hostage or a container ship full of toxic waste, it's all in a day's overwork for the Ambassador. Not even an imminent revolution can faze him: but all distinguished careers must come to an end, and eventually it's time for Mackenzie to pack his diplomatic bags.

But as he contemplates a bleak future in Britain, with no servants - and no knighthood - he finds himself facing one final crisis. Can he salvage some personal profit from someone else's disaster?

Written by Alex Shearer, this wry observation of East-West diplomacy stars Dinsdale Landen as Ambassador Mackenzie, with Peter Acre as William, Moir Leslie as Helen, Christopher Benjamin as Colonel Surikov and Stephen Greif as US Ambassador Spiro Weinberg.


Production credits
Written by Alex Shearer
Produced by Pete Atkin and Neil Cargill

Cast
HM Ambassador Mr Mackenzie - Dinsdale Landen
William Frost - Peter Acre
Helen Waterson - Moir Leslie
Brown - Milton Johns
Bryant - Stuart Organ
Colonel Surikov - Christopher Benjamin
Yakov Korovin - Michael Bilton
Mikael Korovin - Jonathan Kydd
US Ambassador Spiro Wineberg - Stephen Greif
Eugenia - Sue Broomfield
Brown - Milton Johns
Mrs Poonskey - Margaret Ward
Mrs Newton - Susie Brann
George Sommers - Peter Howell
Harris - Stephen Rashbrook
Olav/Captain Warner - David Goodland
Morris - John Baddeley
Keith Branley - Richard Pearce
Nesterov - Peter Craze
Brodsky - Paul Gregory
Frank Burton - Alan Dudley
Gerald Calder-Browne MP - Richard Tate
Henry Treebling - John Grieve
Dr Hutchings - Norman Bird
Grub - Julian Dutton
Duncan Bridges - Peter Whitman
Princess Sharon Eckersley - Elaine Lordan
Dave - Simon Schatzberger

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 21 April-26 May 1987 (Series 1), 10 March-28 April 1988 (Series 2), 20 November-25 December 1990 (Series 3), 16 June-4 August 1992 (Series 4)

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