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Reluctant Persuaders

RELUCTANT PERSUADERS

By Edward Rowett

Nigel Havers, Mathew Baynton, Josie Lawrence and Rasmus Hardiker star in a brand new 4 part sit com Reluctant Persuaders starting Tuesday, September 15th at 6:30pm on BBC Radio 4.

For three decades, Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) was one of the big beasts of advertising, the self-proclaimed “British David Ogilvy”. He worked hard, played hard, and lived hard. But he fell harder. Driven out of every reputable agency in town for drinking all their whiskey and sleeping with all their wives, he used the remains of his fortune to found Hardacre’s, the best (and only) advertising agency on the M25. Now he’s so confident that his name alone will take him back to the top, he’s happy to leave all the actual work to the creative department.

Joseph Starling (Mathew Baynton) and Teddy Beech (Rasmus Hardiker) – the entire creative department – have never been at the top of anything. Arts graduates in a tough economy, they took the first jobs they could find, and know precisely nothing about advertising. However, armed with a BA in English and a Gentleman’s Third in Graphic Design, they’re ready to take on the world. If only someone would tell them what it is they’re supposed to be doing…

Amanda Barnes (Josie Lawrence) is the agency’s new arrival, one of Campaign Magazine’s 50 Account Managers To Watch…in 2006. Unfortunately, after several years out of the industry, Amanda is discovering it isn’t that easy to get back on at the same level you got off at. Nevertheless, she is determined to work her way back to the top, even if she has to drag Hardacre’s behind her single-handed.

Together with their permanently disinterested receptionist Laura (Olivia Nixon), Hardacre, Joe, Teddy, and Amanda must work together to cater to the smallest, strangest, and most sinister clients in town, and prove they’ve got what it takes to get ahead in advertising.

 

Find out more and catch up on IPlayer Radio

 

Episode Synopses

 

Episode I – Lemon

Welcome to Hardacre’s, the worst advertising agency in London, and setting of Edward Rowett’s new series Reluctant Persuaders.

The agency is shaken by the arrival of a new accounts chief, Amanda Brook (Josie Lawrence), who is determined to rebrand and re-launch the agency as a legitimate business.

Inept creative team Joe and Teddy (Mathew Baynton and Rasmus Hardiker), 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 (Nigel Havers) is appalled to discover Amanda expects him to do slightly more than play golf and drink whisky all day.

And receptionist Laura (Olivia Nixon)…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?

 

Cast:          Hardacre…………………. Nigel Havers

                   Joe…………………….Mathew Baynton

                   Amanda………………..Josie Lawrence

                   Teddy…………………Rasmus Hardiker

                   Laura…………………………Olivia Nixon

                   Guy………………………...Nicolas Burns

                   Sarah……………….. ……..Holly Morgan

                   Barman/Announcer……….Mark Evans

 

Episode II – We Try Harder

In Episode Two change is afoot at Hardacre’s, London’s worst advertising agency. New accounts chief Amanda Brook (Josie Lawrence) is well underway with her plans to turn the agency around, insisting they take any work they can get. Creative team Joe and Teddy (Mathew Baynton and Rasmus Hardiker) 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 (Nigel Havers) 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.

 

Cast:          Hardacre………………………………….. Nigel Havers

                   Joe……………………………………..Mathew Baynton

 

                   Amanda………………………………….Josie Lawrence

                   Teddy………………………………….Rasmus Hardiker

                   Laura and McCutcheon’s Assistant……Olivia Nixon

                   Jeremy, Pete and McCutcheon……Nick Mohammed

 

Episode III – The Best A Man Can Get

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 (Josie Lawrence) finds herself reduced to pleading for the business of old friend/nemesis, India (Felicity Montagu).

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

They find themselves unexpectedly assisted by creative director Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers), 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, Hardacre On Advertising, and he sets out to find a copy for Joe and Teddy.

 

Cast:          Hardacre…………….Nigel Havers

                   Joe………………Mathew Baynton

                   Amanda…………..Josie Lawrence

                   Teddy……………Rasmus Hardiker

                   Laura…………………..Olivia Nixon

                   India………….....Felicity Montagu

                   Bookshop Assistant…Mark Evans

 

Episode IV – Vorsprung Durch Technik

In the final episode of the series of Reluctant Persuaders 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 (Josie Lawrence), the agency is to be featured in an article in industry bible Campaign; 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 (Mathew Baynton) divorce lawyer, who seems to have developed a sideline as a blacksmith. Or their campaign for Hardacre’s (Nigel Havers) mysterious gentlemen’s club. Or why Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker) 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…

 

Cast:          Hardacre……………………...Nigel Havers

                   Joe………………………..Mathew Baynton

                   Amanda…………………..Josie Lawrence

                   Teddy……………………Rasmus Hardiker

                   Laura……………………………Olivia Nixon

 

Production Credits:

 

Written by…………………………………………………Edward Rowett

Based on an original idea by Edward Rowett and Robert Frimston

Directed by……………………………………………………..Alan Nixon

Script Edited by………………………………………………..Rob Grant

Produced by……………………………………………Gordon Kennedy

Executive Produced by………………………………………..Chris Pye

Studio Engineered by…………………Jerry Peal and Kevin Mathew

Edited by………………………………………………………...Jerry Peal

Production Managed by………………………………Sarah Tombling

Production Photography by…………………………...Richard Bailey

Production Facilities…………………………………….RADA Studios

Production Company………………………...Absolutely Productions

BBC Executive……………………………………………Sioned Wiliam

 

For more information and press enquiries contact:

GORDON KENNEDY-                   07768374889

                                                gordon.kennedy@absolutely-uk.com

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