BBC’s controversial ‘Rev’ returns tonight

Rev, a BBC comedy about an inner-city vicar that was described as “heretical” by one of its creators, returns to TV screens for a second series tonight.

Series one portrayed vicar Adam Smallbone protecting his dwindling flock from ‘bigoted evangelical hypocrites’ and middle-class families who were trying to get their kids into a popular church school.

Series two will feature Revd Smallbone being given ecstasy, because in research the show’s creators found vicars described believing in God in ways only heard when people have taken hallucinogenics.


Tom Hollander, who plays the main character and is a co-creator of the show, told arts website that he wanted to get “under the skin” of whether the clergyman actually believes in God.

Mr Hollander said he asked vicars: “‘What does it feel like to believe in God?’ In most cases they started talking in very wafty abstract ways. I thought, wow, I only hear people talking like that when they have taken hallucinogenics.”

The new series starts tonight on BBC Two at 9pm.


Co-creator James Wood has said previously: “The one word I would pick to describe the show would be ‘heretical’.”

Rev has been described by the Bishop of Willesden, Pete Broadbent, as “a load of wet liberals working out their angst about CofE and not being very funny”.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury said the first series was “really rather good”.

Watch a behind the scenes film on the first series of Rev