By Michael Burton
The nation’s favourite actor, Adam Brinley Woodyatt, delighted millions this week when he announced plans are in progress for a six part Ian Beale spin off series, Keeping It Beale.
By far one of the country’s most nuanced actors, Adam Brinley Woodyatt brings to life the embodiment of fundamental British values and the everyday struggle of an ordinary man with extraordinary tenacity.
But even fans admit these last few years haven’t been kind to Ian. “It felt incongruous,” Ian reflected in our Skype interview earlier today. “They were making me do these stupid plots – getting shot, being homeless, and so on. And, sure, they’re paying me big bucks to do this stuff, and i do it well. But you can’t buy the satisfaction of the people. It’s not what my fans come to me for. These writers, they’re coming up with all these fancy plots and clever storylines, which is all well and good, but they’re detracting from what I’m good, at which is moaning.”
He was right.
“So when John (Sullivan, writer of Only Fools and Horses) came to me with the idea of Keeping It Beale, well, it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
John Sullivan seems excited. He has been quoted saying, “This project is a culmination of my life’s work. In many ways it is everything I wanted to achieve with Only Fools And Horses but didn’t have the talent around me to realise my vision. With Adam working on the show, that won’t be a problem.”
He was right.
The supporting cast are an impressive line-up too, with the likes of David Jason, Joanna Lumley, Alan Rickman and Stephen Fry all dropping in at various points to lend Ian a helping hand. Following the news of Keeping it Beale being released Stephen fry twatted a tweet saying, “It’s true, I can’t wait to work with Adam Brinley Woodyatt. I am a huge fan of his ever since I first saw him on TV. He is a national treasure.”
He was right.
In this horribly dank, depressing weather it gives the country strength to carry on in knowing there is light on the horizon; light in the form of Adam Brinley Woodyatt.
But what will it be like?
Here is a sneak preview of the first series:
Episode 1: Ian’s tea’s too cold
In the opening episode Ian gets back to basics. We see him in a variety of situations in which his tea is too cold. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! Me bloody tea’s too cold!” He’s back.
Episode 2: Ian steps in a puddle
Ian is on the way to a work dinner when he steps in a puddle. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! I just stepped in a bloody puddle!”
Episode 3: Ian can’t find his other sock
Ian can’t find his other sock. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! I can’t find my other bloody sock!”
Episode 4: Ian loses a pound
A much disgruntled Ian loses a pound. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! I’ve lost a bloody pound!”
Episode 5: Ian buys the wrong jam
Ian’s toast is ruined when he accidentally buys the wrong jam. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! It’s the wrong bloody jam!”
Episode 6: Ian batters a pensioner
After being narrowly beaten to the front of the post office queue Ian batters a pensioner. One of the best bits is when he says, “Oh no! I’ve battered a bloody pensioner!”
Series 2 would be similar but set in prison.