Graham Linehan: “I’d really love to do a Douglas spin-off of The IT Crowd”

The creator of the cult comedy would like to give Matt Berry's vile boss his own show

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Reynholm Industries boss Douglas Reynholm could return in an IT Crowd spin-off, if the show’s creator Graham Linehan has his way.

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Linehan has told RadioTimes.com that he would never revive The IT Crowd, but said that he wants to make the foulmouthed company boss, played by Toast star Matt Berry, the central character of a new show.

“I’d really love to do a Douglas spin-off of The IT Crowd,” said Linehan. “I could easily spend an hour, or half an hour, with Douglas. He’s my favourite way of making fun of people that I really loathe, like Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump.

“I basically just have happen to him all the things that I’d love to happen to them, and it’s basically a really enjoyable process.”

Berry has most recently starred in fellow Channel 4 show Toast of London, which he created with Arthur Mathews, who also co-wrote Father Ted, with Linehan.

“Matt is one of my favourite people to work with,” Linehan said. “He’s just got funny bones, and he’s got the most extraordinary voice. This is just a half-formed thing at the moment, and also I’ve got to wait and see if Matt would be interested in revisiting the character.

“At the moment I’m happy to watch him in Toast and he’s obviously carving out a new role for himself as a writer and star as well, so I’ll stay out of the way at the moment and pounce when he’s taking a rest.”

The IT Crowd came to a close with a one-hour special, in 2013, which ended with Berry’s character being consigned to the basement of Reynholm Industries, after swapping jobs with IT geeks Jen, Moss and Roy.

Linehan said that making the final episode was “really, really tough to do,” and that he would never bring the show back. He added: “Everyone seems to be going their own ways. One thing I’ve always hated is finishing a show and then just bringing it back for just one more, and then bringing it back again for just one more. Then suddenly they’re all millionaires, and all that sort of stuff. I just don’t like that.”

Linehan’s latest project is Count Arthur Strong, a television version of the Radio 4 show about an ageing music hall performer, which makes the leap from BBC2 to BBC1 this week.

The Irish writer called on BBC bosses to give the programme – which was nominated for a Bafta last year – time to amass an audience.

He said: “I think in the past my shows have always been slow-burners. Father Ted and The IT Crowd took a while to build up audiences, and The IT Crowd only really came to life after we finished. We got a cult audience but never a huge one.

“These days you can’t do that slow build any more, people just don’t seem to have the patience for it. Commissioners are understandably nervous because they need to see the figures, they think there’s something wrong, when usually all the audience is saying is that they didn’t know it was on. They need to hold their nerve because figures these days are so much lower than they used to be.”

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Series two of Count Arthur Strong begins on BBC1 on Tuesday 6th January at 10.35pm