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James Buckley has ruled out ever returning to The Inbetweeners as Jay Cartwright, saying: “There’s not enough money in the world.”
The actor played sex-mad fibber Jay in the beloved E4 sitcom about a group of hapless sixth form students between 2008 and 2010, before reprising the role in two subsequent films.
However, while James described playing Jay as “the best job” in the world, he explained he doesn’t want to spoil a “universally loved” show.
During an interview with Chris Moyles on Radio X, James said: “I don’t want to go near it anymore, not because I don’t think I would have an amazing time doing it, because I know I would.
“I love the boys, I love the writers. Doing The Inbetweeners was the best job in the world.
“All we did was muck around all day long and they filmed us doing it, and, at the end of the day, we might have had an episode … or a film or something.
“But it might – you know, as I’m getting older – it’s looking like it might be the only thing that I do professionally that is universally loved.
“There’s not enough money in the world for me to spoil that.”
James also admitted he knows he will probably always be known as Jay from The Inbetweeners.
“As an actor, it’s difficult professionally for me to move away from that character,” said James, who has also starred in the likes of Only Fools And Horses spin-off Rock & Chips and Doctor Who and is currently appearing in West End play 2:22 A Ghost Story.
“But you can’t have it all, can you? You can’t be in a big hit sitcom and then moan about it after!”
James and his former co-stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas and Blake Harrison reunited in 2019 to mark the 10th anniversary of The Inbetweeners with a one-off non-scripted special titled Fwends Reunited.
He also shared the discomfort he experienced during filming it, he explained: “It became a thing that wasn’t a celebration of this good thing I did in my life, it was me being taken the piss out of for hours on end.
“I didn’t have the personality or the intelligence to cope with it, especially when you’re up against someone like Jimmy Carr, who’s super quick and super funny. So I come across as a complete moron through the whole thing.”
The Chris Moyles Show airs weekdays 6.30am to 10am and Saturday 8am to 11am on Radio X.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.