The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin creator David Nobbs didn’t get where he is today by not sharing his casting wishes for Reggie Perrin, the misguided 2009 revamp of his most famous creation.
Double negatives aside, Nobbs told the News Shopper that his original choice for the role made famous by Leonard Rossiter was none other than David Tennant:
“He was very off-the-wall, you can imagine him being rude to people.”
Looking back on the show now, which he co-wrote with Amy’s Choice writer Simon Nye, Nobbs believes that the reason why the show didn’t connect with audiences was in the casting of Martin Clunes in the titular role:
“It wasn’t a failure, but equally it wasn’t a success. I now think Martin was wrong (for the role). He’s a lovely actor, but he’s too likeable. You can’t believe he’s going off his rocker to be honest.”
While the show did have its detractor’s one person who did praise Clunes’ interpretation was The Times columnist Caitlin Moran who said:
“I engage with the escalating depression and insanity of Clunes’s Perrin more than I did with Rossiter’s…”
Would you have liked to have seen David tackle one of the greatest archetypes of comedy? Do you think even he could have improved the shows middling reception?