James Buckley explains what went wrong with The Inbetweeners reunion: “I came across as a complete moron”

The actor who plays Jay tries to break down why the Jimmy Carr-hosted special didn't work

James Buckley (podcast screenshot)

The Inbetweeners star James Buckley has tried to explain what went wrong with the show’s reunion special, calling it a “disaster” and saying he “was just as disappointed as everyone else when that thing came out”.

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When The Inbetweeners: Fwends Reunited aired in January, viewers described it as “awkward” and criticised host Jimmy Carr for interrupting the cast as they were telling anecdotes about their time on the show.

On the latest episode of his podcast Completed It Mate, James Buckley – who plays Jay – had his say on the two-hour long special, which marked 10 years since the show began.

Buckley revealed that he “couldn’t watch” the episode, and said: “The thing that’s really difficult with it is that, in my job, I’m used to being criticised – especially with the small amount of talent that I have, I’m wide open for criticism…

“The worst thing is when people criticise you and you go, ‘Yeah, you’re right.’ It’s really hard to take.”

Buckley added that he had thought the reunion show would be “impossible to f*** up” and assumed the format of the special would be the main cast reuniting to reminisce on making the hit comedy. However, when he sat down with host Jimmy Carr, things took an unexpected turn.

“It became a thing that wasn’t a celebration of this good thing I did in my life, it was me being taken the piss out of for hours on end,” he said. “I didn’t have the personality or the intelligence to cope with it, especially when you’re up against someone like Jimmy Carr, who’s super quick and super funny. So I come across as a complete moron through the whole thing and also there was a bit where I got stuck.

“There would be a couple of times where I would say something and Jimmy would go, ‘Still bulls****ing.’ I got caught where I was acting up as Jay because there was an audience there of Inbetweeners fans and I got caught in this spot between Jay and myself where myself was going, ‘You’re acting like a f***ing idiot, you’re being a moron, you’re being a d***.’

“And there was this bit where it was like, ‘Well, they’re all here and they want you to be Jay, so do it.’ When the audience was there, I didn’t want to seem like a stick in the mud. I didn’t want to go, ‘Can we stop for a second because I don’t know what the f***’s going on here – you’re talking to me like I’m Jay from The Inbetweeners. I’m really not.’ So that was another one of the reasons why it was a disaster.”

Buckley also put the special’s failure down to it being “really rushed” and added: “I was just as disappointed as everyone else when that thing came out.”

The actor wants to reassure Inbetweeners fans that he and his fellow stars – Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison, and Simon Bird – are truly close friends in real life despite it appearing like they didn’t get along: “We’re really great friends and that’s another reason why The Inbetweeners worked. We were glued together for years and if we hadn’t got on The Inbetweeners wouldn’t have worked.”

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“I don’t ever want people to think those guys aren’t my friends,” he said.