The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Rowan Atkinson calls Man Vs Bee an “extrapolation” of old Mr Bean sketch

The actor explains how his new series "feeds off" a sketch featuring the iconic character.

Rowan Atkinson in Man Vs Bee.
Published: Thursday, 23rd June 2022 at 12:51 pm
Subscribe to Radio Times magazine and get 12 issues for £1

Rowan Atkinson's got a new series coming to Netflix, which features his first brand-new comedy character in over a decade.


In the series, Man Vs Bee, Atkinson plays Trevor Bingley, a house-sitter brought in as a last-minute replacement to watch over a luxury, modern mansion, who finds himself in a battle of wits with a tenacious bee.

However, Atkinson has now explained that while the series tells an entirely new story, the concept actually mirrors a previous sketch he did many years ago featuring arguably his most famous comic creation - Mr Bean.

In a virtual press conference attended by and other press, Atkinson said: "I actually did a Mr Bean sketch a long, long time ago where he takes a picnic basket to a park and he’s very, very bothered by a bee.

"So, to a certain extent I feel that some of this show feeds off... it’s like an extension, an extrapolation from that old sketch that we did in the early nineties."

Atkinson also explained why this new series wouldn't have worked with Mr Bean as the lead, and why he instead needed to create new character Trevor.

He said: "The idea of a man stuck in a house with a bee - it's undoubtedly redolent of Mr Bean, it's got a hint of the Mr Bean world. But I knew that for this kind of thing, Mr Bean as a character wouldn't work at all. He would be too self-centred, too sort of unpleasant, or there's a risk of it being unpleasant.

"So we decided that we really needed just a nicer man. So Trevor Bingley, who's the hero of Man Vs Bee, he's just an ordinary bloke really, a pleasant guy who clearly hasn't been very successful in life."

Man Vs Bee co-stars Jing Lusi, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Greg McHugh and Tom Basden amongst others, and you can read our full review of the series here.

Man Vs Bee will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday 24th June 2022. Visit our TV Guide to discover what else you can watch tonight, or find all the latest news on our Drama hub.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.


Sponsored content