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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, 21st April-26th May 1987 (Series 1), 10th March-28th April 1988 (Series 2), 20th November-25th December 1990 (Series 3), 16th June-4th August 1992 (Series 4)

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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