Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Revival for Reggie Perrin comedy

Leonard Rossier as Reggie Perrin, with Sue Nicholls as his secretary Joan
Leonard Rossiter played Reggie, a man on the edge

The BBC is to revive classic sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginal Perrin, with actor Martin Clunes in the title role.

Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley and Wendy Craig have also been cast in the show, which will be screened later this year.

Men Behaving Badly writer Simon Nye has collaborated with the original show's creator David Nobbs for the new series.

The 1970s comedy, which told the story of a businessman driven to the edge by his monotonous life, starred Leonard Rossiter in the main role.

Reggie is increasingly driven to surreal flights of fantasy, and begins to say exactly what he thinks.

'Fresh and sharp'

He makes erratic excuses to his secretary for arriving late for work, while the mention of his mother-in-law is greeted with a picture of a hippopotamus.

The programme's other characters became renowned for their catchphrases, such as Reggie's boss CJ saying: "I didn't get where I am today by... "

Martin Clunes
Martin Clunes plays a cranky Cornish medic in Doc Martin

Another show, The Legacy of Reginald Perrin, was made in 1996, but without the lead character and Rossiter, who died in 1984.

Among the stars of the original show were actress Sue Nicholls, who plays Audrey Roberts in Coronation Street and Geoffrey Palmer, who went on to star opposite Dame Judi Dench in gentle comedy As Time Goes By.

BBC One controller Jay Hunt said she was "really excited" about the revival of the comedy, adding: "It feels as fresh and sharp now as it did all those years ago."

Lucy Lumsden, BBC controller of comedy commissioning, said the new show would be "an inspired update rather than a remake".

She added: "To have combined the writing talents of David Nobbs and Simon Nye in a sitcom fronted by Martin Clunes is a dream come true."

Clunes, who was one of the star's of Nye's Men Behaving Badly, has starred in a number of ITV dramas including Doc Martin and The Man Who Lost His Head.

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