Martin Clunes to play pedantic driving instructor in new BBC1 sitcom Warren

Despite not wanting to do another sitcom, the actor said the script was "so funny that I didn’t want anyone else to do it"

Martin Clunes in BBC1's Warren

Martin Clunes is to play a pedantic driving instructor in new sitcom Warren, the BBC has announced.

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The actor, best-known for playing Gary in Men Behaving Badly and the title role in ITV’s Doc Martin, said that the script was “so funny that I didn’t want anyone else to do it.”

Further casting has yet to be announced, but it will be produced by Hat Trick Productions who most recently brought us Derry Girls and, er, Cheap Cheap Cheap.

Speaking about taking on the role, Clunes said: “I had kind of told myself that I didn’t want to do another sitcom, but because this came from Hat Trick I thought it was worth a read and the script is just so funny that I didn’t want anyone else to do it.”

Written by newcomers Paul McKenna and Jimmy Donny Cosgrove, the story centres around Warren Thompson, who has to move from the south to Preston when his partner Anne’s father becomes ill.

Once there, he finds that he’s in an area he dislikes, doing a job he doesn’t enjoy and with two teenage stepsons he never wanted.

“Warren is not growing old gracefully, he’s very much rooted in the now with a modern voice and sharp edge,” a BBC press release read. “There are no happy endings for Warren as he grapples against the problems and misunderstandings of his own making.”

Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director for Hat Trick said: “Great scripts attract great actors and this was the case with Warren.

“Martin plays the central role to perfection and is supported by a fantastic cast. We can’t wait to make it.”

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, added: “BBC One mainstream comedy is our highest priority and the toughest nut to crack.

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“We have enormous faith in Warren as the pilot displayed the perfect alchemy of well-drawn characters, punchy funny lines, a terrific ensemble cast and in Martin Clunes a heavyweight comedy champion who we’re delighted to see step back in to the ring of a BBC One sitcom.”