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Reluctant Persuaders

By Edward Rowett

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

The second series ended in euphoria, as Hardacre’s secured their biggest ever account – the Cosmos X10 smartphone. The third series begins with a reality check, as the team realise how woefully ill-equipped they are to handle a client of this magnitude. Copywriter Joe Starling (Mat Baynton) sees the triumph of his winning Cosmos pitch turn into a rod for his own back, as he doubts his ability to live up to his own success. He is aided, abetted, encouraged, and hampered by art director Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker), accounts manager Amanda (Josie Lawrence), and creative director – and self-professed advertising god –Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers).

Over the course of this third series, the world of Hardacre’s grows and deepens, introducing new characters and challenges for the team who, more than ever, must work together if they want to get ahead in advertising.

 

Episode 1 Ideas For Life

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

The second series ended in euphoria, as Hardacre’s secured their biggest ever account – the Cosmos X10 smartphone. The third series begins with 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-    Rupert Hardacre-                    Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                            Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-                       Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-                          Rasmus Hardiker

            Barista-                                    Andrew Nolan

            Singer and Crystal-                  Holly Morgan

 

Episode 2- The Happiest Place on Earth

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-    Rupert Hardacre-                    Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                            Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-                       Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-                          Rasmus Hardiker

            Police Officer and Crystal-      Holly Morgan

 

Episode 3 Connecting People

Hardacre’s ad agency find themselves competing for an unusual account: Befriendr, a dating-style app designed to help lonely city-dwellers make friends.

Amanda (Josie Lawrence) recruits Joe (Mathew Baynton), as the most normal member of the agency, to accompany her to the Befriendr launch event – a chance to network, and maybe even make some new friends themselves.

Meanwhile Hardacre (Nigel Havers) and Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker) – both banned from attending the event for not being normal enough – seek solace in each other’s company. Hardacre resolves to remake Teddy in his own image, teaching him how to be A Real Man, and in the process proving to Amanda just how normal Rupert Hardacre can be.

 

Cast-    Rupert Hardacre-        Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-           Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-              Rasmus Hardiker

            Laura, Gram Woman- Olivia Nixon

 

Episode 4- Because She’s Worth It

Work at Hardacre’s advertising agency is brought to a standstill when Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker) becomes obsessed with a series of literary thrillers – the continuing adventures of John Soldier in titles such as Kill And Let Die and The Deathman Cometh. Soon he has Joe (Mathew Baynton) and Amanda (Josie Lawrence) hooked on them as well, and all work is put on hold as the team obsess over the most exciting books they’ve ever read.

Meanwhile Hardacre (Nigel Havers) receives a visit from an old flame (guest star Frances Barber) and finds himself caught in a battle for her affections with a wholly unexpected opponent.

 

Cast-    Rupert Hardacre-        Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-           Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-              Rasmus Hardiker

            Laura-                          Olivia Nixon

            Laurie Patterson-        Frances Barber

            Book Launch Host-      Edward Rowett

 

Episode 5 The Appliance Of Science

Hardacre’s ad agency are pitching to the University of Oxfordshire, an online-only institution dedicated to internet learning. Their efforts are complicated by the arrival at the agency of Elgin Hardacre (James Northcote), hired by his father (Nigel Havers) as a copywriter – despite having no relevant skills or experience.

While Hardacre shows no interest in his son, and Amanda (Josie Lawrence) dismisses him as an idiot and resolves to fire him by the end of the week, Joe (Mathew Baynton) and Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker) take pity on Elgin and take him under their wings. In the process they discover that however bad Hardacre might be as a boss, he’s infinitely worse as a father – and Elgin in turn reveals some peculiar beliefs.

 

Cast-    Rupert Hardacre-        Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-           Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-              Rasmus Hardiker

            Laura-                          Olivia Nixon

            Elgin Hardacre-                       James Northcote

 

Episode 6 Holidays are Coming

It’s Christmas Eve, and Joe Starling (Mathew Baynton) sits alone in his favourite bar telling the barman (Mark Evans) his troubles. He’s quit his job at Hardacre’s advertising agency.

It’s a few hours earlier on Christmas Eve, and Hardacre’s are having a party. Rupert Hardacre (Nigel Havers) has pulled out all the stops to celebrate the agency’s most successful year ever. By creating a wildly popular TV ad for Walton’s department store, Hardacre’s have reached the Promised Land: the reputation of the agency is restored, and their future is secured. And it’s all thanks to Joe.

He, Hardacre, Amanda (Josie Lawrence), and Teddy (Rasmus Hardiker) gather to celebrate their achievement, get drunk, sing some karaoke, and ring in Christmas. For once, everything at Hardacre’s has gone right and everyone is happy.

So how has Joe ended up in that bar?

 

Cast-    Rupert Hardacre-        Nigel Havers

            Joe Starling-                Mathew Baynton

            Amanda Brook-           Josie Lawrence

            Teddy Beech-              Rasmus Hardiker

            Bar Tender                  Mark Evans

            Christmas Voice Over Gordon Kennedy

 

Credits

Written by                                       Edward Rowett 

Directed by                                      Alan Nixon

Script edited by                               Mark Evans

Studio Managed and Edited by     Jerry Peal

Production Managers                     Sarah Tombling, Alexander Lynch

Based on an original idea by         Edward Rowett + Robert Frimstone

Recorded at                                     Stratford Circus

BBC Executive                                  Sioned Wiliam

Photography                                    Richard Bailey

Graphics                                           Sean Jones

Original Music                                 Peter Baikie

Production Runner                          Thomas MacLean

Produced by                                    Gordon Kennedy

 

An Absolutely Production for the BBC

 

 

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