The Hartlepool Spy. Image shows from L to R: Revd Ferrier (Vic Reeves), Mayor Palmer (Toby Jones). Copyright: BBC.

The Hartlepool Spy

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama set in 1804. 1 episode in 2018. Stars Michael Palin, Vic Reeves, Toby Jones, Gina McKee and others.

The Hartlepool Spy. Copyright: BBC.

The Hartlepool Spy

Toby Jones and Jim Moir play two men can't stand one another

Comedy Drama
BBC Radio 4
Michael Palin, Vic Reeves, Toby Jones, Gina McKee, Monica Dolan, Jason Forbes, Robin Berry and Laura Elphinstone
Ian Martin
Sam Ward

A comedy-drama by BAFTA and Emmy-winning writer Ian Martin, with a cast including Michael Palin, Jim Moir, Toby Jones, Gina McKee and Monica Dolan.

1804. Britain is at odds with Europe and at war with France, again. Paranoia is at boiling point. Sensational rumours flood the country. Napoleon's spies are everywhere. When times are tough, people look for strong leadership. Alas, the people of the North Eastern fishing town of Hartlepool have a corrupt mayor, Tucker Palmer and a narcissistic vicar, Rev William Ferrier. The two men can't stand one another, each (correctly) suspecting the other of lining his pocket at the expense of the parish, and each in competition for the favour of local land-owner aristo Lady Embleton.

One Sunday morning, Lady Embleton, Mayor Palmer and his formidable wife Mrs Palmer are in the front pew as Ferrier delivers an impassioned sermon about the vain delusions of those with earthly power, when news comes from the harbour. A French ship has been spotted and it's heading their way.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Tuesday 25th December 2018 on BBC Radio 4 at 2:15pm
Episode length
45 minutes
Last repeat
Monday 3rd February 2020 at 2:15pm