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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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New season of comedy pilots for Tuesday nights on Radio 4

BBC Radio 4

In a new collaboration between BBC Radio and Television, Happy Tuesdays showcases a series of new comedy pilots for Tuesday nights on BBC Radio 4.

Some of the most exciting comedy talent around will be given the chance to try out new ideas and formats. The most promising pilots could be developed into a series for radio or television.

From Tuesday 20 July, at 11pm, for five weeks, Happy Tuesdays presents the writing talent of Renton Skinner, Justin Moorhouse and Jim Poyser, Will Smith, Beth Chalmers and Amy Shindler and Gareth Gwynn and John-Luke Roberts, in their first-ever radio shows to be broadcast on Radio 4.

The stellar cast for the season includes: Olivia Colman, David Mitchell, Katy Wix, Rufus Jones, Anne Reid, Morwenna Banks, Geoffrey Whitehead and many more.

First up is Renton Skinner's Angelos Epithemious's Real Lives. Ex-burger van owner Angelos is given the opportunity to present his own show on Radio 4 as an experiment to get "new voices" onto the radio.

He has decided to examine the big issue of environment and invited two experts along – a spokesperson from Greenpeace and an environmental activist – to share their views. The cast stars Renton Skinner, Katy Wix, Katherine Jakeways, Rufus Jones and Tom Verrall.

The second programme, on Tuesday 27 July, is Everyone Quite Likes Justin, a new sitcom by Justin Moorhouse and Jim Poyser, starring Justin, Anne Reid, Paul Copley, Lloyd Langford and Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street).

Justin starts dating again but everything seems to have changed since he last tried. Instead, he manages to get embroiled with toy trains, Phantom Of The Opera and a greyhound that will never win a race.

On Tuesday 3 August, it's Mr & Mrs Smith, Will Smith's audience sitcom about a failing relationship. The cast ibcludes Morwenna Banks, Sarah Hadland, Paterson Joseph, Geoffrey Whitehead and Will Smith.

After a whirlwind romance, Will and Annabelle got married but, a year in, things are a little creaky. So, following Will's unimaginative anniversary present – a draining rack – Annabelle has signed them up for a course of marriage counselling.

Tuesday 10 August presents Pauline Pepys's Dowry, by Beth Chalmers and Amy Shindler. London is a terrifying place to be single with a best friend who's your worst enemy, and living with your brother and his wife who hates you. Worst of all, it's 1660 and there's a plague.

Pauline Pepys's Dowry stars Olivia Colman as Pauline Pepys, David Mitchell as Samuel Pepys, Sharon Horgan as Charlotte, Katherine Parkinson as Elizabeth and Rebekah Staten as Jane.

The final show in the series, on Tuesday 17 August, is Gareth Gwynn and John-Luke Roberts's Antiquity, a very silly Goon-style sitcom set in an antique shop, starring Tim McInnerny. The script editor is Arthur Matthews and other cast will be confirmed shortly.

Happy Tuesdays follows the successful Happy Mondays season broadcast on Radio 4 in 2008. Happy Mondays provided a platform to the writing talents of Jon Culshaw, Stephen K Amos, Rhys Thomas and Katherine Parkinson, among others.

From that season of comedy pilots, The Odd Half Hour and The Secret World were commissioned for series on Radio 4. The Secret World returns for its second series on Thursday 1 July at 6.30pm, and The Odd Half Hour will return for a new series in the autumn..

BBC Radio 4 Publicity

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