It’s fair to say that E4 comedy The Inbetweeners was a bit of a phenomenon, spawning three series, two popular movie spin-offs and an endless stream of unprintable catchphrases to this day.
So it’s no surprise that even now fans are desperate to see Simon, Jay, Will and Neil embark on a new adventure in their awful yellow car, whether that be on TV or in another film.
Sadly though, it’s looking like this is an increasingly slim hope – at least according to actor James Buckley, who played wannabe ladies’ man Jay in the series and now stars in Dave comedy Zapped.
“Obviously what I get from everyone, every day is ‘can you do some more Inbetweeners?’” Buckley told RadioTimes.com on the set of Zapped, where he plays dimensionally-displaced office worker Brian.
“And unfortunately it’s just like physically impossible. Because we’re old! I can’t believe that’s even still a discussion. Because people go ‘you could do some more, can’t you?’
“No, we can’t. Because – well, look at us. We can’t play teenagers!”
Buckley in the new series of Zapped
Still, Buckley could offer an alternative – watch his BBC2 series White Gold, which had a pretty potent Inbetweeners pedigree when it arrived earlier this year (though was yet to air when we spoke to him).
“I’ve got a new TV show coming out called White Gold, and I’m basically just playing Jay again,” he laughed.
“It’s got me, [co-star] Joe Thomas, it’s written by [Inbetweeners co-creator] Damon [Beesley]….so inevitably it is gonna REEK of the Inbetweeners.
“Hopefully White Gold has enough Inbetweeners in it to give people an Inbetweeners fix, but being different enough to justify its existence.
“I guess what’s going to happen is people will go ‘Can you do some more Inbetweeners? Can you do some more Inbetweeners?’ and then they’ll see this and they’ll go ‘Pff. It’s just like The Inbetweeners.’ Yeah, well, I don’t know what to do for you!”
Hands up – he totally got us there.
Still, in Zapped Buckley says he’s hoping to get away from his Inbetweeners notoriety, with the actor keen to differentiate Brian (who was sent to a magical Game of Thrones-style fantasy world in the first series) from characters he’s played before.
Buckley and the cast of Zapped
“What’s important for me when we were doing this was I’m not on the pull. Or things like that,” Buckley said. “Because I’ve done that. It’s nice to play a character who does have a bit on his plate, so his mind’s on other stuff.
“What was great about the first series, essentially a three episode aired pilot, is that we don’t now have to spend too much time reintroducing what’s going on. We can sort of hit the ground running.
“The series arc is Brian trying to get home, but we now see what his day-to-day life in Munty is like. It doesn’t have to be ‘there’s a new way for Brian to get home but then it all goes wrong in the end’, in each episode. Now we can find out more about what the other characters do and how they spend their time.
“We had a lot of fun doing it, which is usually the kiss of death,” added co-star Paul Kaye, best known for starring (and dying) in Game of Thrones as Thoros of Myr and here plays wizard Howell in this series.
“When it’s brilliant on the page and it’s great fun filming, sometimes it lulls you into a false sense of security. But they’re laugh-out funny to read these scripts, so it’s a good start.”
“I’m always surprised if someone likes something I’ve done,” Buckley concluded.
“When I read something I think ‘oh this is funny, I really like this’. Then I go, ‘yeah but you’ve got a weird sense of humour, maybe other people won’t’. So yes, it’s always a surprise when someone likes something you do!”
Fingers crossed that one day he’ll be being badgered by Zapped fans desperate for a reunion, then.
Zapped returns to Dave tonight (Thursday 12th October) at 9.40pm