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If Youíre So Clever, Why Arenít You Rich?
Radio 4
Series One 1995 (six episodes)
Series Two 1996 (six episodes)
Series Three 1998 (four episodes)

The question of the title was that faced by the three main characters in this sitcom by Paul Shearer and Richard Turner.  Giles, Judith and David (played in the original series by Richard E Grant, Amanda Root and Peter Capaldi) are three products of one of Britainís finest universities, who have spent the past few years settling decisively to the bottom of the heap.  Respectively an embittered wastrel estranged from his well-heeled parents, an unsuccessful actress with an increasingly dodgy CV, and an insanitory dullard who brings in the bulk of the trioís meagre earnings by translating washing machine manuals, they hate each otherís company, but are thrown together by their straitened circumstances in a dank flat in unlovely Streatham.  The pattern of hope and disappointment played out in each episode would be more tragic than comic, if the unfortunate characters were not deeply dislikeable in themselves.  Amanda Root returned in Series Two, but Giles and David were now played by Douglas Hodge and Paul Bigley; Tony Slattery replaced Hodge as Giles in the third series.

© JB Sumner 1998