Reluctant Persuaders

Episodes

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The agency is shaken by the arrival of a new accounts chief.

Episode 1

Welcome to Hardacres, the worst advertising agency in London, and setting of Edward Rowett's new series.

In this first episode, the agency is shaken by the arrival of a new accounts chief, Amanda Brook who is determined to rebrand and re-launch the agency as a legitimate business.

Inept creative team Joe and Teddy, two recent graduates who are still not entirely sure what it is they're supposed to be doing, find themselves fighting to save their jobs and prove they are not quite as clueless as they appear.

Meanwhile, creative director and advertising legend Rupert Hardacre is appalled to discover Amanda expects him to do slightly more than play golf and drink whisky all day.

And receptionist Laura...well, she doesn't care what happens.

The team must work together as they head to the Advertise NOW! Awards and find an answer to the question - how do you advertise yourself?

Rupert Hardacre - Nigel Havers

Amanda Brook - Josie Lawrence

Joe - Matthew Baynton

Teddy - Rasmus Hardiker

Laura - Olivia Nixon

Director: Alan Nixon

Producer: Gordon Kennedy

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

Welcome to Hardacres, the worst advertising agency in London, and setting of Edward Rowett's new series.

01022015092220150929 (BBC7)
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Rupert Hardacre enlists Amanda's help to win back one of his old accounts.

Episode 2

Change is afoot at Hardacre's, London's worst advertising agency. New accounts chief Amanda Brook is well underway with her plans to turn the agency around, insisting they take any work they can get. Creative team Joe and Teddy thus find themselves reduced to working on posters for industrial adhesives, cast iron stoves, and jewellery for dogs.

Horrified at seeing his name associated with such a low calibre of clients, creative director and advertising legend Rupert Hardacre resolves to bring in a better class of account. He enlists Amanda's help to chase down McCutcheon's Whisky, a client he worked with many years earlier.

While Hardacre and Amanda head off, Joe and Teddy are left at the office determined to prove that they can design a poster, hire a plumber, and interview a client entirely unsupervised. Their jobs may just depend on it.

Rupert Hardacre - Nigel Havers

Amanda Brook - Josie Lawrence

Joe - Matthew Baynton

Teddy - Rasmus Hardiker

Director Alan Nixon

Producer Gordon Kennedy

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

01032015092920151006 (BBC7)
20151007 (BBC7)
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The agency must grapple with the lowest form of advertising of all - the radio.

Episode 3

Things are getting desperate for the staff of Hardacre's, London's worst advertising agency. The work isn't coming in and accounts chief Amanda Brook finds herself reduced to pleading for the business of old friend/nemesis, India.

Back at the office, hopeless creative team Joe and Teddy devise a campaign for an anti-aging cream for men. Worse, they must grapple with the most difficult and least glamorous form of advertising of all - radio work.

They find themselves unexpectedly assisted by creative director Rupert Hardacre who descends from on high at Amanda's instruction to give the little people the benefit of his creative wisdom. The only trouble is, he seems to have forgotten most of it. Fortunately, he wrote it all down in a book entitled Hardacre on Advertising and he sets out to find a copy for Joe and Teddy.

Director Alan Nixon

Producer Gordon Kennedy

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

0104 LASTVorsprung Durch Technik2015100620151013 (BBC7)
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The team try to overcome their greatest challenge - exiting a lift.

The final episode of the first series of Edward Rowett's sitcom - and things are looking up for Hardacre's. They may still be London's worst ad agency, but business has begun to trickle in.

Moreover, thanks to a herculean effort by accounts chief Amanda Brook, the agency will be featured in an article in industry bible Campaign. It's a chance to answer their critics and take control of their image. A reporter is coming by today to interview the team, and Amanda needs them at their very best. Or - failing that - their least incompetent.

But the team has other things on their mind. Like Joe's divorce lawyer, who seems to have developed a sideline as a blacksmith. Or their campaign for Hardacre's mysterious gentlemen's club. Or why Teddy is covered in spiders.

Or what to do when the office lift breaks down, stranding Joe, Teddy, Amanda, and Hardacre between floors, with the woman from Campaign due any minute.

Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton, Josie Lawrence and Rasmus Hardiker.

Director: Alan Nixon

Producer: Gordon Kennedy

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

0201Live Young2017040620170413 (BBC7)
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Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This series finds the team a little higher up the proverbial ladder. No longer fighting to stay afloat, but now fighting to get ahead, this week the team are confronted with an unexpected challenge - a can of water.

Tasked by accounts manager Amanda (Josie Lawrence) with creating a campaign to sell water to impoverished millennials, copy-writer Joe (Mathew Baynton) and art director Teddy (Kieran Hodgson) face an unsettling question - can you convince people with no money to buy something they could have for free? And even if you can - should you?

As ever, they are alternately assisted and obstructed by their washed up creative director and self-professed advertising god, Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) and disinterested receptionist Laura (Olivia Nixon).

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

The team are confronted with an unexpected challenge - a can of water.

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Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, the team are unexpectedly in demand. The marketing manager of nutrition company Protein Team (guest star Richard Goulding) enlists their services for a huge poster campaign, aimed at selling protein shakes to women.

Yet no sooner is their ad up - featuring a slender woman, and an even more slender bikini - than Hardacre's find themselves at the centre of a media storm over misogyny, body-shaming, and the evils of advertising.

Wracked with guilt and determined to make amends, Joe (Mathew Baynton) clashes with his older and more cynical creative director Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) and accounts manager Amanda (Josie Lawrence), who are convinced that sex sells and all publicity is good publicity. But in an age of Twitter storms and third-wave feminism, are they behind the times?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

The team discover their Protein Team campaign has gone viral. And not in a good way.

Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, the team are unexpectedly in demand. The marketing manager of nutrition company Protein Team (guest star Richard Goulding) enlists their services for a huge poster campaign, aimed at selling protein shakes to women.

Yet no sooner is their ad up - featuring a slender woman, and an even more slender bikini - than Hardacre's find themselves at the centre of a media storm over misogyny, body-shaming, and the evils of advertising.

Wracked with guilt and determined to make amends, Joe (Mathew Baynton) clashes with his older and more cynical creative director Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) and accounts manager Amanda (Josie Lawrence), who are convinced that sex sells and all publicity is good publicity. But in an age of Twitter storms and third-wave feminism, are they behind the times?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

0203Give A Man A Fish2017042020170427 (BBC7)
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Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, the team are on the lookout for a charity prepared to accept their work.

While Joe (Mathew Baynton) is determined to do some good in the world, Amanda (Josie Lawrence) and Hardacre (Nigel Havers) are more interested in winning prestige and awards with a buzzy new charity campaign.

As Joe and Teddy (Kieran Hodgson) head out into the streets and soup kitchens of London, looking for the ground level stories that make a good campaign, Amanda and Hardacre spend an evening at a fundraiser organised by Hardacre's old brother in arms Bill Lessing (guest star Mark Evans). But where's he been for the last ten years? And what exactly does his charity do?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

Nigel Havers stars, as Hardacre's ad agency attempts to do some charitable work.

Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, the team are on the lookout for a charity prepared to accept their work.

While Joe (Mathew Baynton) is determined to do some good in the world, Amanda (Josie Lawrence) and Hardacre (Nigel Havers) are more interested in winning prestige and awards with a buzzy new charity campaign.

As Joe and Teddy (Kieran Hodgson) head out into the streets and soup kitchens of London, looking for the ground level stories that make a good campaign, Amanda and Hardacre spend an evening at a fundraiser organised by Hardacre's old brother in arms Bill Lessing (guest star Mark Evans). But where's he been for the last ten years? And what exactly does his charity do?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

0204 LASTThink Different2017042720170504 (BBC7)

Nigel Havers stars, as Hardacre's ad agency fight for the biggest account of their lives.

Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, things are looking up for Hardacre's. They're pitching for the biggest account of their lives - the cutting edge new smartphone, the Cosmos X10.

It's the day of the big pitch and Hardacre (Nigel Havers), Joe (Mathew Baynton), Teddy (Kieran Hodgson), Amanda (Josie Lawrence), and Laura (Olivia Nixon) are waiting to be called in. They may be waiting rather a long time, in fact, as they appear to have turned up six hours early.

As the day unfolds and the wait continues, it emerges that some of the team may have something to hide. Is there more at stake than meets the eye? And what does it have to do with Charles Blackwell (guest star Martin Jarvis), Hardacre's oldest and dearest nemesis?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

Starring Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton and Josie Lawrence. Welcome back to Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London, for the second series of Edward Rowett's award-winning sitcom.

This week, things are looking up for Hardacre's. They're pitching for the biggest account of their lives - the cutting edge new smartphone, the Cosmos X10.

It's the day of the big pitch and Hardacre (Nigel Havers), Joe (Mathew Baynton), Teddy (Kieran Hodgson), Amanda (Josie Lawrence), and Laura (Olivia Nixon) are waiting to be called in. They may be waiting rather a long time, in fact, as they appear to have turned up six hours early.

As the day unfolds and the wait continues, it emerges that some of the team may have something to hide. Is there more at stake than meets the eye? And what does it have to do with Charles Blackwell (guest star Martin Jarvis), Hardacre's oldest and dearest nemesis?

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4.

03Holidays Are Coming20181108

Nigel Havers stars as Hardacre\u2019s ad agency have a Christmas party.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

0301Ideas For Life2018100420181011 (BBC7)
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Hardacre's advertising agency lands its biggest-ever account.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

Nigel Havers leads London\u2019s worst ad agency trying to cope with their biggest account.

Welcome back to Hardacre’s, the worst advertising agency in London, as Edward Rowett’s award-winning sitcom returns for a third series.

The second series ended in euphoria, as Hardacre’s secured their biggest ever account – the Cosmos X10 smartphone. Now there's a reality check, as the team realise how woefully ill-equipped they are to handle a client of this magnitude.

Accounts manager Amanda Barnes (Josie Lawrence) immediately sets to work hiring new staff, while agency chief and creative director Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) heads into Soho to secure new and grander premises.

Meanwhile on the creative side, copywriter Joe Starling (Mathew Baynton) begins to doubt his ability to deliver work for an account this size, despite reassurance from his art director and best friend Teddy Beech (Rasmus Hardiker), leading Joe to take drastic action.

Cast:
Nigel Havers- Hardacre
Mathew Baynton- Joe
Josie Lawrence- Amanda
Rasmus Hardiker- Teddy
Holly Morgan- Singer/Waitress
Andrew Nolan- Irish Barrista

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4

0302Happiest Place On Earth2018101120181018 (BBC7)
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Hardacre's, London's worst advertising agency, go on a team-building day.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

Nigel Havers stars as Hardacre\u2019s ad agency go on a team-building day.

The mood at Hardacre’s advertising agency is black. After losing the biggest account of their careers – the Cosmos X10 smartphone – the team have slid back down the greasy pole and find themselves once again serving only the smallest and least interesting clients around.

While Joe (Mathew Baynton), Amanda (Josie Lawrence), and Hardacre (Nigel Havers) continue to feel sorry for themselves, Teddy (Ramus Hardiker) is determined to lift their spirits. Appointing himself chief morale officer, he sets out to brighten the mood at the agency with a succession of increasingly ill-advised morale-boosting schemes.

What starts with an innocuous Hawaiian shirt day soon snowballs into a team-building and bonding exercise none of the staff will ever forget.

Cast:
Nigel Havers - Hardacre
Mathew Baynton - Joe
Josie Lawrence - Amanda
Rasmus Hardiker - Teddy
Olivia Nixon - Laura
Holly Morgan - WPC and Crystal

An Absolutely production for BBC Radio 4

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Hardacre's ad agency contends with a dating app for making friends.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

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Hardacre's ad agency contends with a dating app for making friends.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

Nigel Havers stars as Hardacre\u2019s ad agency contend with a dating app \u2013 for making friends.

0304Because She's Worth It20181025

Hardacre gets a visit from an old friend while Teddy develops an obsession with thrillers.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

0304 LASTBecause She's Worth It20181025

Nigel Havers stars as Rupert Hardacre gets a visit from an old friend.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London

0305The Appliance of Science2018110820181101 (R4)

Hardacre's son Elgin joins the ad agency as a copywriter and reveals some strange beliefs.

Comedy by Edward Rowett set in Hardacre's, the worst advertising agency in London