Disillusioned sales exec Reggie Perrin is brought back to life this Friday, with award-winning actor Martin Clunes reinventing the role for today's TV audience.
The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin first became a comedy hit for the BBC over 30 years ago, and now the broadcasters are hoping to follow on from its success with a new six-part series, given the shortened title Reggie Perrin.
Originally played by Leonard Rossiter, the 1970s Reggie Perrin was a man of misery who even faked his own suicide to escape from his disillusion with life. Now, portrayed by Clunes, the character has new gripes with the world.
"The 1970s Reggie rebelled against commuters in bowler hats with their heads in newspapers," Clunes told TV&Satellite; Magazine. "Now it's trains full of people with headphones on, so there's a similar isolation."
"He's not much different from the old Reggie," Clunes continued: "He's a middle-aged man working a job he's good at with a nice house and a lovely wife. He should be satisfied but he finds it all futile."
The show's original creator, David Nobbs, has returned to co-write the series with Men Behaving Badly's maker Simon Nye.
Talking about their involvement, BBC controller Lucy Lumsden says in a statement: "To have combined the writing talents of David Nobbs and Simon Nye in a sitcom fronted by Martin Clunes is a dream come true."