The Inbetweeners' James Buckley nearly missed out on Jay role

21 July 2023, 10:10

James Buckley nearly didn't play the role of Jay Cartwright in The Inbetweeners
James Buckley nearly didn't play the role of Jay Cartwright in The Inbetweeners. Picture: 1. Stuart Wilson/BAFTA/Getty Images for BAFTA/Getty 2. Global 3. Eob Photography Ltd/Shutterstock

By Jenny Mensah

The actor revealed in the Big Fish with Spencer Matthews podcast how a misunderstanding almost cost him his breakthrough role.

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James Buckley almost didn't play Jay Cartwright from The Inbetweeners.

The actor, author and YouTuber is best known for starring as the potty-mouthed teenager in the hit E4 coming-of-age drama, but it very nearly didn't happen.

Speaking on a recent episode of the Big Fish with Spencer Matthews podcast, Buckley explained he originally portrayed the character of Neil Sutherland (eventually played by Blake Harrison), when he took part in the show's pilot episode.

He revealed: "The only two people that are in the pilot that are in the show is me and Greg Davis, and I'm playing a different part, which is odd, like really bizarre."

But that wasn't where the uncertainty over his role ended. Buckley was led to believe he hadn't even got the role because of recasting, when in fact his agent had got the wrong end of the stick entirely.

"It was looking like it wasn't going to happen," he recalled. "Then I got some news that it was going to be made but they were going to recast it."

Listen to the Big Fish with Spencer Matthews below:

Listen to Big Fish with Spencer Matthews

READ MORE: The Inbetweeners' James Buckley jams to Blur's Coffee & TV with son Harrison

He went on: "I heard I got a phone call from my then agent. She literally said something like, 'I've got some good news and I've got some bad news. The good news is is that they're going ahead with The Inbetweeners, or Baggy Trousers as it was called. Then I was like, 'Brilliant, i'm going to be in a sitcom. Absolutely amazing!'.

"She went: 'Bad news is that they're recasting'. I said there's no good news here, it's just bad news. They're making the show, but you've, you've got nothing to do with it."

Though the sitcom was indeed going ahead and the parts were set to be recast, it turned out James had scored a part in the role starring as Jay Cartwright, which he only found out about after sending a courtesy email to the show's creators.

He explained: "I then got in touch with Damon Beasley, one of the co-creators of the in-betweeners, and I said 'I heard that that is going ahead, congratulations... and you know, i know you guys are recasting, but if there's another part or if there's one of the parts that are featured in an episode or something like that, like I'd love to come in and do a job for you.'

"And he replied saying:, 'No,we want you to be Jay. Did you, did your agent not tell you this? We need to see you tomorrow to talk to you about this And and we're going to audition a load of other kids at the time.'"

READ MORE - Blake Harrison marks 15 years of The Inbetweeners: "Sorry for making you feel old!"

The Zapped star has previously said no amount of money would make him play Jay again, and quizzed on the subject of a reunion, he told Spencer Matthews: "I'd love to do something different with the boys, but it's the one thing that I've done professionally that has been the most perfect job I've ever had.

"I loved doing it. I thought it was good. I'm proud of it. I got to do it with my friends. I had so much fun doing it And loads of other people loved us doing it as well, and that is so rare in this industry."

He added: "This was the one job that I've done in my life that ticked all the boxes and it would be very, very difficult for me to be able to spoil that. I'd find it very difficult ruining that. I feel like that's my thing and if I ruined it then it might be gone."

James and Clair Buckley talk I'm A Celeb and more

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