Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.Ann Landers
Absolute Power (2003–2005) is a British comedy series, set in the offices of Prentiss McCabe, a fictional public relations company in London, run by Charles Prentiss (Stephen Fry) and Martin McCabe (John Bird). Its name is taken from a quote by the historian Lord Acton that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
- Charles Prentiss: Well, if you want loyalty, buy a dog.
- Alison Jackman: Do you have any ethics at all?.
- Charles Prentiss: Now there's a theological question.
- Alison Jackman: Surely one agency can’t possibly represent two people going for the same job. There must be rules about this sort of thing. Like, I don’t know, estate agents not acting for buyer and seller.
- Charles Prentiss: Not only can you represent the buyer and the seller, but you can steal all the light bulbs, pee in the sink and then go and live in the house after they’ve bought it. PR means never having to say you’re wrong. But…at the risk of sounding like your Uncle Albert, this is our little secret, alright?
- Julia Stour (editor of the Daily News): It's a tabloid, three words is virtually "War and Peace".
- Charles Prentiss: [Referring to a name on adultery suspect list]She's been dead for five years.
- Alison Jackman: I thought she went to live in Portugal.
- Charles Prentiss: A not dissimilar experience.
The Nation's Favourite
- Charles Prentiss: Lionel Blackmore could start a punch-up in a room full of nuns.
- Martin McCabe: Charles, Helena is costing us precisely ₤535.68 an hour before VAT, I think the least we can do is to pay attention.
- Charles Prentiss: Oh, I'm sorry, Helena, I didn't realise QC's needed people to listen in order for them to talk.
- Charles Prentiss: [To Alison] Look, if you’re going to speak too, you’re going to make this take a lot longer.
- Charles Prentiss: Humour, where would we be without it? In Germany, probably.
The House of Lords
- Charles Prentiss: Besides, Priestley’s new office is so far away from the centre of power that if Number Ten got nuked, he’d merely looked tanned.
- Charles Prentiss: [To job applicant] Well, thank you for coming in and being so time-consuming.
- Charles Prentiss: I love the smell of a career burning in the morning.