The cast of Drop The Dead Donkey is reuniting for a new stage show just two weeks after one of the stars was cleared of grievous bodily harm.
DCI Banks actor Stephen Tompkinson was cleared earlier this month of assaulting a drunk man who was making noise outside his home.
He is an original cast member of the Nineties newsroom satire based around the fictional TV station Globelink News.
Tompkinson will return for the show alongside original cast members Neil Pearson, Susannah Doyle, Robert Duncan, Ingrid Lacey, Jeff Rawle and Victoria Wicks. The actors will reunite for a new stage show of the award-winning TV series to tour the UK from January 24.
The stage show – Drop The Dead Donkey: The Reawakening! – will open at Richmond Theatre and end its run in June next year at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, 25 years after the show stopped airing.
Writers Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin said the familiar characters of Globelink News will be “plunged into the cutthroat world of modern 24-hour news gathering while trying to navigate their way through the daily chaos of social media, fake news and interim prime ministers”.
The Telegraph understands that if Rishi Sunak remains as Prime Minister he will “definitely” be mentioned in one of the show’s last-minute topical jokes.
The announcement comes two weeks after Tompkinson, 57, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm at Newcastle Crown Court.
He was alleged to have attacked Karl Poole by punching him in the head, having found Poole and a friend drinking at the end of his driveway in the early hours of May 30, 2021.
Poole fell to the ground and broke his skull as his head hit the pavement. Prosecutors had claimed Tompkinson “lashed out” at Poole in “disgust” at his behaviour, but Tompkinson said Poole had merely “made contact” with his outstretched hand as he attempted to calm him down.
Tompkinson said he had made contact with Poole’s face but that it had not been enough to “knock a sober man off his feet”.
Tompkinson also told the court that it would have been “career suicide” for him to “do something as outrageous as assault someone”.