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Publisher's Summary

Pierce Egan's renowned 19th-century comic novel adapted by Dan Tetsell is a rollicking real tour of the sprawling post-Regency metropolis in the years before the Victorians turned up and made everything boring. 

Comedy drama showing the 'fast life' of Regency London, starring Mark Gatiss, Greg Wise and James Bachman, and Geoffrey McGivern as Pierce Egan. 

We travel through London town all in the company of garrulous author Pierce Egan, cocksure urbanite Corinthian Tom, his naive Somerset cousin Jerry Hawthorn and their drunken compatriot Bob. 

Tom and Jerry visit a cockfight, try to buy a horse, meet a sporting legend and lay a wager on which is better, London or the West Country. Meanwhile, garrulous narrator Pierce Egan takes literary critic William Hazlitt to his first boxing match. The lads of Regency London drink with the lower orders in the East End and generally get up to mischief around town. 

When Pierce Egan falls on hard times, will his adventures help him make his fortune or will this be the end of the trio's life together? 

When first published the popularity of Pierce Egan's book amounted to a craze, as society tried to guess the real life characters featuring in the tales. The celebrity obsession of the Regency period is depicted in this cleverly adapted comedy. 


In Training for a Swell 

The Fancy 

Mr Lushington 

High and Low Life 

The Show Folks 

An End to Life in London 


Pierce Egan - Geoffrey McGivern 

Corinthian Tom - Greg Wise 

Jerry Hawthorn - Mark Gatiss 

Bob Logic - James Bachman 

Old Hawthorn - Christopher Douglas 

Corinthian Kate - Amanda Abbington 

Mrs Belcher / Fishwife - Laura Shavin 

Mr Primefit / Sir Richard / Actor - Dave Lamb 

Plausible Jack/ Jarvey / George Sala - Ben Graves 

William Hazlitt/Tom Cribb/ Hustle - Alex MacQueen 

Mrs Egan - Alys Torrence 

Lady Wanton - Morwenna Banks 

Fanny - Margaret Cabourn Smith 

Theodore Holt / Dick Trifle- Giles Taylor 

Mr Jonah / Pickpocket - Neil Edmond 

Production Credits 

Written by Pierce Egan 

Adapted by Dan Tetsell 

Music: Ben Walker 

Producer: Tilusha Ghelani 

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 1st May, 8th May, 15th May, 22nd May, 29th May, 5th June 2006 

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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