Set in the fictional Central Asian Republic of Tazbekistan, David Mitchell plays newly arrived British Ambassador Keith Davies and Robert Webb his seasoned second in command, Deputy Head of Mission, Neil Tilly.
They are a team under constant, competing pressures: pressures from London keen to ensure UK PLC doesn’t miss out on lucrative business contracts in an emerging oil rich nation; pressure from his under-funded, under-resourced embassy struggling to maintain an image of Britain as an important global political heavyweight; and pressure to maintain good relations with a rigid, autocratic local regime with a dubious human rights record.
Ambassadors, produced by That Mitchell & Webb Company and Big Talk Productions for BBC Two, is a new comedy drama series written by James Wood (co-creator of Rev) and Rupert Walters (Spooks) starring award-winning comedy actors David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Ambassadors features an ensemble cast led by Keeley Hawes (Spooks, Ashes To Ashes, Upstairs Downstairs) as the ambassador’s wife, Jennifer; Matthew Macfayden as POD – nicknamed the ‘Prince of Darkness’ – Davis’s superior at the Foreign Office in London; and Yigal Naor (House Of Saddam) playing Karzak, the president of Tazbekistan.
Susan Lynch, Amara Karan and Shirvani Ghai make up the key members of Davis and Neil’s embassy staff: Caitlin – head of consular; Isabel – trade and political secretary; and Natalia – head of public relations.
Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game Of Thrones) plays Tanya, Neil’s Tazbek girlfriend, who runs the local ex-pat bar. Debbie Chazen (The Smoking Room) appears as the embassy housekeeper, Ludmilla.
Special guest stars include Tom Hollander (Rev, Pirates Of The Caribbean, In The Loop) as Prince Mark, a minor royal and trade envoy on a key mission to help secure an important oil contract for Britain; Michael Smiley (Good Cop, Ripper Street) as Jackson, a grim-faced vetting officer for the foreign office who grills the staff on their loyalty to Queen and country; and Elliot Cowans (Lost In Austen) as Stephen Pembridge, a self-important actor flown in to celebrate the Best Of British Festival in Tazbekistan.