Star Wars legend Mark Hamill was lured to join the cast of Channel 4 comedy Man Down because he was a big fan of the comedy’s late star Rik Mayall.
The man famed for being Luke Skywalker will play a new character in one episode of the upcoming third series of the anarchic Greg Davies comedy. And one of the main reasons he could be recruited up was because he is such a fan of Mayall and his comedy Bottom, according to the comedy’s writer and Star Greg Davies.
“Mark Hamill is a massive Rik Mayall fan, which I think helped our cause [hiring him],” Greg Davies told RadioTimes.com. “He absolutely loves The Young Ones and Bottom. It’s so strange, imagining Luke Skywalker watching Bottom.
“He was great fun, very game – and a huge fan of British comedy, as it turns out.
“I thought he was really nice and incredibly chatty, and keen to do lots of different types of acting work. He’s very keen to be Luke Skywalker and then to do lots of other things. He told me that he also wanted to a little part from us was because it was so far removed from a dignified Jedi.”
Davies and Channel 4 are keeping Hamill’s role a secret but have confirmed that the Star Wars actor will not be playing himself and will cameo in a later episode of the third series which returns to Channel 4 on July 13.
Hamill will be joined by Steven Berkoff, another illustrious newcomer to the comedy which charts the painful travails of Davies’ hapless school teacher Dan.
Other new faces in the series 3 cast include Peep Show’s Isy Suttie and Blackadder star and Time Team presenter Tony Robinson, who plays the new boyfriend of Dan’s Mum (played by Gwyneth Powell).
Regular stars from the previous two series – Roisin Conaty and Mike Wozniak – will return as Dan’s best friends Jo and Brian with Jeany Spark also returning as Emma, Dan’s fellow teacher and the woman he adores. However her character has now fled to the US.
Stephanie Cole returns as Aunt Nesta – the antagonist role that was filled by Mayall in series one before the actor’s untimely death in June 2014.
Man Down series 3 returns to Channel 4 on Wednesday July 13