the back-room boys

backroom boy

Someone who advises a public figure or maintains a professional role that does not garner public attention. Originally used to describe scientists and technicians who worked without public knowledge or recognition in the United Kingdom during World War II. Primarily heard in UK. Although he is a skilled political strategist, he lacks the charm and charisma necessary to run for office himself and, therefore, is likely to stay a backroom boy for the rest of his career.
See also: backroom, boy

the ˈback-room boys

(British English) scientists, researchers, etc. who do important work but do not have direct contact with the public: It’s thanks to the back-room boys more than to the sales team that the product is such a success.
See also: boy
References in periodicals archive ?
Special praise is due to Bobby Moncur, the undoubted North East footballer of the year, and to the back-room boys, Joe Harvey, and coach Dave Smith.
Unfortunately, as a result of that utter lack of sensationalism - concentrating on the back-room boys in the white coats and the stoic, laconic plod who never gave up - the whole thing felt like a cross between an Open University broadcast and a Crimewatch reconstruction directed by Ken Loach.
Montgomerie also revealed a surprise fourth vice-captain, Sergio Garcia accepting an invitation to join Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn among the back-room boys.
IT'LL be interesting to see which way the viewing vote gets split as the tangled personal lives of the back-room boys and girls at Westminster go up against New Street Law.
The back-room boys have come up with an incredibly light braid rod which delivers exceptional action.
Woodward pledged his support for the back-room boys who work behind the scenes.
BALLINGARRY, one of the back-room boys in the all-star Ballydoyle team, enjoyed his own share of the limelight when landing the Grade 1 Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday.
Thankfully the back-room boys at Jaguar resisted the temptation to go overboard with styling revisions.