Martin Clunes has poured cold water on the possibility of a return for 90s sitcom Men Behaving Badly. His former co-star Neil Morrissey recently expressed an interest in resurrecting the show, but Clunes told RadioTimes.com emphatically that if Morrissey wanted to bring it back, “he’s doing it on his own!”
”We have always said we would only do it if all four of us wanted to do it,” added Clunes of the laddish flatshare comedy which starred himself, Morrissey, Leslie Ash and Caroline Quentin.
Asked if he would like ever resurrect it, he said “I don’t think so… [Gary and Tony] would be 52 now!”
Clunes also said that the recent sex cases surrounding Operation Yetwree would mean that the portrait of older men lusting after younger women could be even more inappropriate, even in a comedy.
“What if it were bad? That is the fear,” he added.
Morrissey recently told Good Morning Britain that the possibility of a new series of the hit comedy, which ran from 1992 to 1998, is still being discussed.
“I am always tempted. Oh gosh yeah, I would do it at the drop of a hat,” he told Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway.
When asked whether Clunes was the potential sticking point, Morrissey said: “It could be, I don’t know, he’s a very busy boy. It would come down to scripts and it would come down to people wanting it in the first place. Yeah well let’s see, I’d love to do it.
“It keeps getting mentioned, once every couple of years someone brings it up again… If the market needs it I suppose people will want to try and do it. But we’ll see. I doubt they could afford Martin anymore.”
Written by Simon Nye, the series had an inauspicious start on ITV when it first starred Harry Enfield and Clunes as flatmates Dermot and Gary.
However, it took off when it was snapped up by the BBC and moved to a post-watershed slot on BBC1, with Enfield’s character Dermot replaced by Morrissey as Tony. It was voted the best sitcom in the BBC’s history at BBC Television’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 1996.
The plot largely focused on Gary and Tony’s attempts to avoid commitment, and drink as much lager as possible, with Tony’s lustful obsession with Leslie Ash’s neighbour Deborah a recurring plot strand. Caroline Quentin played Gary’s long-suffering girlfriend Dorothy.
Clunes was speaking to RadioTimes.com following the launch of his new three-part drama project Arthur & George, an ITV adaptation of Julian Barnes’ novel based on a real life criminal case involving Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in which Clunes plays Doyle.
Loosely based on the true story of the Great Wyrley outrages of 1903, the plot focuses on Conan Doyle’s attempts to clear George Edalji, a half-Indian solicitor who was imprisoned for a series of bizarre attacks on livestock in the small Staffordshire community.
Arthur & George airs on ITV in March