The Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue

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What to expect

James Grout stars as a hapless vicar who discovers that life behind suburbia’s net curtains is more exciting than he’d expected

After being mugged by a pair of pensioners outside the Darby & Joan Club, the Reverend Timothy Carswell has had enough of his rough, tough inner-city parish. Convinced that someone so meek would be better suited somewhere quieter, the Bishop packs him off to a nice, sedate, residential neighbourhood where nothing ever seems to happen.

However, unbeknownst to the vicar, his apparently respectable new parish is a hotbed of passion, paranormal experimentation and geriatric prostitution. Under the thumb of his dour Scottish housekeeper, Mrs Muir, who keeps him busy writing long, tedious sermons, he fails to notice the many crimes being committed under his very nose – including burglary, arson and even murder. But when his congregation is stolen by the charismatic American preacher, Elijah Hornblower, he finally realises that something is afoot – and he’ll have to fight fire with fire if he wants to keep his flock…

Written by acclaimed dramatist Stephen Sheridan, this dry, darkly funny sitcom stars James Grout as Rev Carswell, with Sarah Thomas and Elizabeth Mansfield as Mrs Muir.

Production credits
Written by Stephen Sheridan
Produced by Lissa Evans

Cast
Rev Timothy Carswell – James Grout
Miss Tilling – Margaret Courtenay
Miss Tapp/Emily Ford – Jean Heywood
Dr Warlock/Bishop – Christopher Good
Mrs Muir – Sarah Thomas/Elizabeth Mansfield
Mrs Knatchbull – Maxine Audley
Cudlipp/Mugger/Critchley – Fraser Kerr
Mugger’s accomplice/Miss Shaw – Auriol Smith
Edwin – Robert Lang
Jeremy – Christian Robinson
David – Tobias Best
Mr Rainbird – David Bannerman
Constable/Eric – Ian Lindsay
Mrs Garland – Rosemary Martin
Arnold – Cyril Shaps
Captain Van Thal – Donald Pickering
Hilary – Jacqueline Tong
Miss Willow – Patricia Hayes
Keith – Brian Bowles
Maria – Sarah Souster
Guy/Jehovah’s Witness – Angus Wright
Simon Garland – Daniel Strauss
Mr Vaughan – Michael Turner
Mr Shaw – Ronald Herdman
Rev Hornblower – Garrick Hagon
Mr Widlake – Brian Miller
Mrs Widlake – Bernadine Corrigan

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 26 February-2 April 1991

© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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