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The Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue


The BBC radio 4 situation comedy Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue was written by Stephen Sheridan and starred James Grout as the Reverend Timothy Carswell a timid vicar who discovers that his apparently respectable new parish is a hotbed of murder, passion and geriatric prostitution.

Episode Guide For The Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue



1. Moving On

The hapless Rev Timothy Carswell is mugged by some pensioners outside the Darby and Jones Club and to help him recover his Bishop thoughtfully moves him to another Parish. Here he discovers that life behind the net curtains of suburbia is not what he expected. He doesn't help by delivering his first sermon for four and a half hours. The congregation do not want to pry into his life - but why have they a copy of his birth certificate and a tape recorder? Still he has got his knitting to keep him sane! Though he won't get much done as he has to help the fraud squad with a small matter of a forged 10 note.



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2. Entertaining Edwin

An old school friend of the Reverend Timothy Carswell invites himself to stay and reminds him of his old nickname, sparky and continues to light matches on his head! He soon helps himself to the Reverends clothes, bed and even Mrs Muir's supper.
Two of his parishioners plan to burgle the Rev Timothy Carswell house - with the help of their dad. It's illegal but keeps them off the street! The boys think charging their grandmother 2000 interest on their loan will teach her the value of money and that head teachers should be paid more because the value of his stolen goods is appalling!


3. Raising The Dead

The Reverend Timothy Carswell gets 500 lines of "I must not disobey my house keeper" for disobeying Mrs Muir. He helps his position by helping her to break her leg. He dreams of being a free man and even staying up until half past ten! The Reverend Timothy Carswell starts his campaign to persuade Mrs Muir to take early retirement. He suffers the bruising as best he can. He posts her a letter and sends her to Scotland to recuperate with her Scottish relatives. Can he really be so lucky?


4. Miss Willow And The One-Eyed Gentleman

When animals go mad - the sermon this week is about the Reverend Timothy Carswell's rabid tortoise. Miss Willow gives up sherry so she can buy a telescope and surveillance cameras to spy a bit better on the neighbours. She fattens up the Captain with her home made cakes but all he is interested in is her commode.

5. Mrs Garland's Good Deeds

The over 70s keep fit club gets rather out of hand. Well it would with the Reverend Timothy Carswell in charge of recruiting the keep fit trainer. Ken Critchley takes them on a 5 mile cross country run in the rain but softens when he finds love with a resident of Rosewood Avenue. Margrey Garland, the general dogsbody of the street, is his intended and her henpecked son mounts a campaign to stop the wedding.


6. The Resurrection Of Reverend Carswell

Who has the biggest marrow on Rosewood Avenue and gets awarded the silver cucumber award? American evangelists descend on Rosewood Avenue to put the fun back into religion with the help of can can dancers. Meanwhile some of the Reverend Carswell's parishioners decide to open a brothel and have already ordered a king size bed and arranged for a red light to be fixed outside. The Reverend Carswell preaches helping others but seems to have been awarded the title of the randiest vicar after a police raid. Still it helps keep up the church congregation numbers!

Cast Details


James Grout as the Rev. Timothy Carswell

Margaret Courtenay as Miss Tilling

Sarah Thomas as Mrs Muir

Jean Heywood as Miss Tapp

Christopher Good as Doctor Warlock and the Bishop

The writer was Stephen Sheridan and the producer was Lissa Evans.


Broadcast Dates


The Secret Life of Rosewood Avenue ran on BBC Radio 4 from 26 February to 2 April 1991. There was only one series. It has been repeated on BBC Radio 7 in June and July 2006 on a Friday afternoon. It has never been released on talking book or audio CD.


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