Leonard Rossiter.com
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His Life & Career - Reginald Perrin - Rising Damp

Reggie Online: The Official Reginald Perrin web site

The Fall & Rise Of Reginald Perrin - A New Adaptation

     In late August 2008, Jay Hunt, the new controller of BBC1, announced at the Edinburgh Television Festival, that among the shows she would like to see revived was The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. She said: “We are actively looking at whether it could have a role again on the BBC. It is very zeitgeisty.” This comment has split opinions about the revival, with some describing it as nothing more than a cash-in on the recent John Darwin incident (click here for details of this story). She added that Perrin’s sense of powerlessness had become relevant at a time when families are battling with an economic downturn.
     Whatever people's thoughts on the show's revival, the fact is, that an adaptation is just that - an adaptation. Just because the first commission was successful, with a supreme ensemble cast, it doesn't mean it should not be reinterpreted for a new generation. And it should not be viewed in comparison to the original. The original series is rarely repeated anywhere, even in the UK, so to bring the story to a new audience can only be a good thing.
     Plans of the new adaptation of Reginald Perrin seem to be at an advanced stage, with the books' author David Nobbs and celebrated TV comedy author Simon Nye already lined up to create the scripts, and actor Martin Clunes set to step into Reggie's shoes. Clunes shot to fame in Nye's 1990s sitcom Men Behaving Badly and currently plays the eponymous role in ITV's successful drama Doc Martin.
     Readers of the Perrin novels will recall the many differences between them and the TV series, especially the omission of darker elements such as Jimmy's incestuous relationship with his niece, and Reggie's suspicion of being the local sex attacker. These elements may be reinstated, and it would be interesting to see this adaptation 'darker' and in a post-watershed slot. The comedy of the original series could not be replicated without the original cast, and so a new angle would be welcomed.
     What is certain is that the new adaptation will have many changes from the 1970s TV series. At a recent book signing, Martin Clunes confirmed he will be playing Reggie, and that he was "a big fan" of the original series, but that the new version will be "entirely different".
This page of Reggie Online will have all the details of the new series as they emerge.

April 17th: First clip on YouTube.

April 11th: Interview with David Nobbs, Simon Nye and Martin Clunes.

April 3rd: New official stills (above). The new series will be shown on Fridays at 9.30pm on BBC1, starting April 24th. BBC Press Release

February 4th: David Nobbs interviews here and here.

January 18th: The Independent has an interview with David Nobbs, and notes from a recording session (an April broadcast is mentioned).

January 15th: BBC News had an article about Perrin today.

December 1st: The Daily Telegraph reported that the stripping off/running into the sea scene has been recorded at Goring-By-Sea in West Sussex, and that the series will be a six-parter for broadcast in the summer of 2009. The web site of the series' production company Objective states that the series will be called simply 'Perrin'.

Press regarding the new series:
The Guardian
Daily Telegraph - Series announcement
Daily Mirror
Daily Telegraph - Filming news
Independent - David Nobbs interview

Martin Clunes: A Day In The Life
Martin Clunes at Wikipedia
Martin Clunes Filmography
Doc Martin fan site

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