Apart from the absurd 1980s haircuts, Inbetweeners fans will be thrilled to hear that Joe Thomas and James Buckley’s characters in BBC2’s new comedy offering, White Gold, are pretty much identical to Simon and Jay.
White Gold sees the pair join forces with Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick (ooh, friend!) to form a team of double glazing salesmen in Thatcher-era Essex. And it’s no surprise that it has (very loud) echoes of The Inbetweeners, given that the series is penned by the C4 comedy’s co-writer, Damon Beesley.
Here are five moments we picked out of White Gold’s debut episode which could have been in The Inbetweeners… Disclaimer: most of them are James Buckley/Jay related.
1. When James Buckley unleashed his genitals
We were a modest three minutes and 14 seconds into the first episode of White Gold when James Buckley’s character Fitzpatrick unzipped his suit trousers to unveil his manhood. This is textbook Jay, and following the indecent exposure, his boss Vincent (Westwick) described him as “deeply unlikable, smarmy and charmless”. Sound familiar?
2. When James Buckley lied a lot
Here are a few of Fitzpatrick’s most creative tall tales from the episode: “President Reagan has a fallout shelter made entirely from our windows” and “The science tells us these UPVC window frames will be around long after the human race is extinct”. Inbetweener Jay was very well versed in the art of bulls***ting, with the notable difference that it was always about his sexual exploits – not plastic window casing. Although the latter is arguably more erotic.
3. When James Buckley told a mum joke
Yet another Jayism in White Gold was the moment Fitzpatrick told a mum joke – the highest form of wit. In the Monday morning sales meeting, Vincent asked Joe Thomas’s Lavender to present his figures, saying, “Don’t be shy Lavender.” This of course left an irresistible opportunity for Fitzpatrick to quip, “Yeah, his mother wasn’t.” Whheyyyy!
4. When Joe Thomas furrowed his eyebrows a lot and was generally a nice guy
Just as Simon was the cripplingly polite antidote to Jay in The Inbetweeners – Lavender is the morally sound gent to Fitzpatrick’s unscrupulous salesman in White Gold. Vincent described him as “honest, decent and well-educated”, and in a recent Radio Times interview, Joe Thomas said that his new White Gold character was a bit like Simon’s dad.
Like Simon, Lavender is a pretty hapless chap, and his eyebrows were permanently furrowed throughout the debut episode – but he did win a bet, which is not very Simon at all.
Joe Thomas also wrote the second episode, so we can look forward to plenty more Simonisms next week.
5. Someone wet themselves
The Inbetweeners was bursting (yes, bursting) with wee-oriented jokes – who could forget when Neil got so slewed he wet the bed on the trip to Warwick. In White Gold, Vincent had a similar accident after holding it in for hours while doing what he does best: selling double glazing. It seems The Inbetweeners have rubbed off on him, too. And no, not like that. Christ.
White Gold continues on BBC2 at 10pm on Wednesday