Rev.. Rev Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander). Copyright: Big Talk Productions.


BBC Two sitcom about a vicar. 19 episodes (3 series), 2010 - 2014. Stars Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman, Steve Evets, Ellen Thomas and others.

Rev.. Rev Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander). Copyright: Big Talk Productions.


Sitcom starring Tom Hollander as a vicar promoted from a sleepy rural parish to a failing inner-city church

2010 - 2014
19   (3 series)
Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman, Steve Evets, Ellen Thomas, Miles Jupp, Simon McBurney, Lucy Liemann and Jimmy Akingbola
James Wood and Tom Hollander
Peter Cattaneo
Kenton Allen, Hannah Pescod and Polly Buckle

Rev is a contemporary sitcom about the daily frustrations and moral conflicts of Reverend Adam Smallbone - a Church of England Vicar who was 'promoted' from a sleepy rural parish to the busy, inner-city world of St Saviour's, in East London. It's a world he has little experience of, and at first it shows - it really shows.

It is an impossibly difficult job being a good, modern, city vicar. And, equally, it's a very hard job being married to one. Alex - Adam's long-suffering wife - does her best to support him, but she's got her own career as a solicitor to worry about. And she is no-one's idea of a conventional vicar's wife.

Anybody can, and does, come into St Saviour's - and into Adam's life - from scheming MPs trying to educate their children on the cheap to Colin, a heavy drinking, unemployable lost soul who is Adam's most devoted parishioner.

Then there's Mick, the local crackhead in need of £20 to visit his "dying mother" in Southend - she's died three times in the last 12 months.

Every day throws up a moral conflict for the vicar. Adam's door must always be open to urban sophisticates with ulterior motives, the chronically lonely, the lost, the homeless, the poor and the insane. All are welcome at St Saviour's and Adam can't turn any of them away - even if they're clearly lying, mad or just very annoying.

In addition to caring for his flock, Adam has to worry about the financial burden of running a huge, decaying building - with a smashed stained glass window - and a dwindling congregation. He has to contend with hopeless volunteers, ambitious church rivals, the sinister attentions of the Archdeacon and the romantic attentions of Adoha, a renowned "cassock-chaser" and church regular. Even his supposedly supportive Lay Reader Nigel is a pedantic careerist who thinks he should be running the place himself.

Heavily researched and supported by anecdotes from a number of working city vicars and Church insiders, Rev lifts the lid on how the modern Church actually functions and what life is really like in a dog collar.

Series 2: Adam Smallbone is still trying to negotiate the moral maze of life within his East London parish. No longer a novice at St Saviour's since his move from rural Suffolk, surviving one winter has by no means made him an experienced urbanite and now it's time to tackle summer in the city - before he can mark the end of the year by celebrating his first Christmas in London.

Adam continues to endure the "support" of hopeless volunteers as he navigates the perils of inner-city parish life. Heavy drinking lost soul Colin remains reliably erratic; cassock-chasing Adoha's passion for her priest is reaching fever pitch; and pedantic lay reader Nigel goes out of his way to be no help at all. Of course, they all want something - all the time. Even Mick the local crackhead needs more than cash now.

As Adam struggles to meet everyone else's demands, his wife Alex's patience is running perilously thin. She needs something too - and what she wants is life-changing...

Series 3: The third series starts with Alex gives birth to their daughter in dramatic circumstances. The church is also under great financial pressure, and ultimately at risk of being closed down. Eveything in Adam's world looks set to come to the boil.

Production Details

It's hell being a vicar
Production company
Also known as
  • Handle With Prayer (Working title)
  • The City Vicar (Working title)
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Monday 28th June 2010 on BBC Two at 10pm
Last new broadcast
Monday 28th April 2014 on BBC Two at 10pm
Length of episodes
30 minutes
Last repeat
Wednesday 8th July 2015 at 10:00pm on BBC2 Wales

Website links


Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • View location details
  • See ratings for 16 episodes

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?