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Neil Morrissey’s war on woke as Syndicate star dressed down Oxbridge elites running TV

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The 58-year-old returns to screens tonight as part of the star-studded cast for season four of BBC drama The Syndicate. Alongside the likes of Inbetweeners’ actress Emily Head, YouTuber Joe Sugg and Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh, Morrissey delivers a stunning performance as the plot follows five members of a betting syndicate which wins the lottery. Morrissey is known throughout the generations, as he charmed audiences on The Night Manager, shocked viewers on Nineties sitcom Men Behaving Badly, and enchanted youngsters as the voice of Bob the Builder.

With a career spanning nearly four decades, which also saw him star in acclaimed drama Line of Duty, Morrissey could be expected to take a positive view on the TV industry.

Yet Morrissey, who was raised in a Stoke-on-Trent care home, recalled his continued frustration at the elites running the industry.

He noted that “when Oxbridge people are pumping a lot of money into a production, they want their own”.

The star said working class actors – like himself – were “always underrepresented” as it was “hard to sell a bunch of Northerners to an American network”.

This, Morrissey argued, was because people in the US consider Britons “to be slightly fey James Bond-ish types, not people who work in a factory”.

He added to the Radio Times: “I’ve met people with a massive education and almost zero intelligence; people who’ve been through Oxbridge but don’t know how to sew a hem or boil an egg.”

More recently, calls for Morrissey to return in his perhaps best known role as Tony Smart in Men Behaving Badly was ruled out by his co-star Martin Clunes – who claimed the “woke millennials” might not be ready to watch the characters back on the screen.

JUST IN: Neil Morrissey and Martin Clunes on Men Behaving Badly reunion rumours

“It would just be pretty hideous dirty old men talking about Kylie Minogue’s bottom!”

Ardent fans of the show have continued demands for the show to be welcomed back on screens, and three years ago Morrissey himself addressed claims it might be ready for a revamp.

He told viewers on Lorraine to get the programme’s creator Simon Nye on the show, if they really wanted answers over whether it could make a return.

Morrissey added: “If there’s a script – because in my game everything starts with a script – and if the script is good because Martin and I and Leslie have all said of course we’ll do it.

“So we need to get Simon Nye, nail him down and get him to write a series.”

The Syndicate airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.



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