Entertainment

Monday 23 September 2019

Richard Wilson: I’m too old to reprise Victor Meldrew role on stage

The actor and his former co-star Annette Crosbie reunited on Loose Women.

Richard Wilson: I’m too old to reprise Victor Meldrew role on stage (Ian West/PA)
Richard Wilson: I’m too old to reprise Victor Meldrew role on stage (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

One Foot In The Grave star Richard Wilson has ruled out reprising his role as Victor Meldrew for a stage version of the comedy as he is “too old”.

The actor, who played the grumpy old man in the hit 1990s sitcom, appeared on ITV’s Loose Women with his former co-star Annette Crosbie.

Asked if he would ever bring the character back, Wilson, 82, said: “It’s too much for us to be on stage. But, Victor’s dead.”

Presented with the idea of a retrospective, he said: “We’re a bit old for it.”

Crosbie, 84, said: “I wouldn’t mind it, it could be a bad dream and he’s not dead.”

Wilson then joked to the Loose Women panel: “If you’d like to organise it, then we’ll do it. If we get the right fee.”

The sitcom originally ran from 1990 until 1995, followed by Christmas episodes each year before a final series in 2000.

The series ended with the death of the cantankerous Victor, who was known for his crotchety catchphrase “I don’t believe it!”.

Crosbie played Margaret, his long-suffering wife, in the programme, which won a Bafta TV award in 1992.

She said she did not want the programme to ever come to an end, but that she understood why it did.

She said of the programme’s writer David Renwick: “David wrote all of those and the stress was tremendous. The BBC doesn’t treat its writers very well, they don’t understand that you can’t actually think ‘oh I’ll just write a comedy now.’

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Richard Wilson and Annette Crosbie in 1994 (Adam Butler/PA)

“And of course the press, if it’s comedy, after a while they start going, ‘oh, it wasn’t as good as the last one’ and that’s hard to take when you know perfectly well it was, and sometimes was better.

“So I knew it wouldn’t last, but I was sorry.”

Wilson, meanwhile, said he was glad to be told that Victor would eventually meet his demise by Renwick.

He said: “David came to see a play I was in and he said, ‘I’m thinking of killing off Victor’, and I said, ‘yes, kill him’.”

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