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Context Headscratchers / YesMinister

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1* How old is Bernard supposed to be? He's portrayed as callow and naive, but is obviously in his mid forties at the beginning of the show's run (and if ActorSharedBackground holds with him as is does for Hacker and Sir Humphrey, he shares Derek Fowlds's 1937 birthdate). The only explanation I can think of is that it was a midlife career change, but that's never hinted at in the show.
2** According to the novelisations, Bernard is supposed to be in his late twenties-early thirties and a rising young star in the Civil Service building his career fresh from university. So it is a variation of DawsonCasting. The poorer picture quality of television sets and broadcasts in the 1980s did much to hide the actor's real age.
3* All three of the principal characters are married, but none of them ever wear wedding rings. This could be an oversight, or simply a cultural norm from the Eighties.