On Now : Afternoon Drama
Terri-Ann Brumby - The Benefit of Time
Image for A Tolerable Life De-Happified

Sorry, this episode is no longer available on BBC iPlayer Radio

A Tolerable Life De-Happified

Bleak Expectations, Series 4 Episode 1 of 6

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 11 November 2010

In this new series of Mark Evans' Victorian epic, Pip must enlist the help of his former nemesis to fight a new evil spreading terror and cake-crumbs through the streets of London.

Sir Philip ..... Richard Johnson
Young Pip Bin ..... Tom Allen
Gently Benevolent ..... Anthony Head
Harry Biscuit ..... James Bachman
Grimpunch ..... Geoffrey Whitehead
Ripely ..... Sarah Hadland
Pippa ..... Susy Kane

Writer ..... Mark Evans
Producer ..... Gareth Edwards

In Volume Four Chapter the First "A Tolerable Life De-Happified", our hero Pip sees his former nemesis - the badly named Gently Benevolent - thwarted and locked up in a prison within a jail within a gaol spelled the other way, and apparently repentant of his crimes. But late one foggy night when Pip is attacked with a bowl of sinister custard he realises a new form of evil is stalking the streets of London, and he is obliged to ask for help from his erstwhile foe. Can Benevolent now be trusted? And who is the sinister evil figure?

Meanwhile, Pip's wife Ripely has become obsessed with cutlery, and the purchase of some diamond-handled dodo knives looks likely to force Pip into bankruptcy. And his best friend Harry Biscuit claims to be having terrible problems with an angry badger, but is it all as it seems?


Gareth Edwards



  1. Image for Comedy of the Week

    Comedy of the Week

    Brighten your week with an episode of the latest Radio 4 comedy. Every Monday we bring you a…

Buy online

Available on: CD or Audio download

From suppliers including:, BBC Shop, iTunes

Where to buy

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss