Mr Blue Sky (3 stars)

Second season of Andrew Collins' warmly cosy Radio 4 comedy, starring Claire Skinner and Rosamund Hanson

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Mr Blue Sky

When a recession hits, even optimists can feel the heat. In the opening episode of Mr Blue Sky’s second series lovable oaf Harvey Easter tries a few tricks to save the pennies. Such as walking to the newsagent rather than having his paper delivered, though taking to purchasing scratchcards seems like a potential pitfall to making ends meet. Especially when this becomes his gateway to a much bigger gamble. And you know when someone in a sitcom puts on a bet they probably shouldn’t that nothing can end well.

The first radio sitcom penned by Andrew Collins (he of Collins, Quantick & Maconie and Collings and Herrin podcast fame), it would take a cad with a heart of marble to hate this. Cast-wise it’s flawless, with Claire Skinner (replacing season one’s Rebecca Front) as the stoical and fussing Jax Easter pioneering the family’s economy drive and cutting down on her frappuccino consumption; the drily funny Rosamund Hanson is permanently bamboozled daughter Charlie planning nuptials with grime DJ boyfriend Kill-R (real name Derek Rosewater) played by Javone Prince and Justin ‘Jeremy Lion’ Edwards as Harvey’s cynical oncologist best buddy Ray.

You know you’re in the company of a warmly cosy comedy when talk of teenage drug-taking sounds quaint and potential marital infidelity feels homely. Then again, if sharp satirical fare to frighten the horses with is your bag, you probably shouldn’t be poking around Radio 4 of a late morning.

Radio 4, Mon 9 Apr, 11.30am.

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