James Purefoy calls soaps 'a dystopian nightmare' and reality TV 'depressing'

James Purefoy attending the UK premiere of Fishermen's Friends: One and All, at the Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay, Cornwall. Picture date: Tuesday August 9, 2022. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
James Purefoy talks TV turn-offs. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Actor James Purefoy has slammed popular TV, calling soaps "a dystopian nightmare" and reality TV "depressing".

The Rome star told Radio Times that there is “great drama to be had” on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and that Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive is a “great soap opera of the track”.

Read more: Sir David Attenborough making major new UK wildlife series for BBC

Altered Carbon actor Purefoy, 58, said: “Soaps don’t do it for me. I can’t watch something that is an endless story, like a dystopian nightmare: a beginning and middle but no end. You just have to keep investing.

“I’m not good with Love Island or any of those reality shows, because the people depress me and I find it difficult to celebrate the things that are important in their lives.”

Ekin-Su and Davide win Love Island. (ITV)
James Purefoy is not invested in Ekin-Su and Davide. (ITV)

However, he did admit to being jealous of not starring in series Ten Percent - based on the French hit Call My Agent - saying that he was “gnashing my teeth that I’m not in it, but you can’t have everything”.

Purefoy added: “I’m also terribly old and like Antiques Roadshow. People watch for varying degrees of jubilation and disappointment, so there’s great drama to be had there.”

Read more: Helen Skelton favourite to win Strictly 2022

Despite having made his career on screen with success in series such as The Following and Sex Education, Purefoy said that television is not at the centre of his world because he doesn’t want his children watching adverts, but he would be “gutted if CBeebies and CBBC disappear”.

James Purefoy attends the
James Purefoy starred in Sex Education. (WireImage)

The BBC recently announced plans to move CBBC to digital-only, with its time as a linear channel due to come to an end in May 2023.

Purefoy will play Louis XV in new historical drama series Marie Antoinette which is due out this year and will also return for the next series of Pennyworth.

But he recently told Digital Spy he had "no idea" whether he would be back in Sex Education as Remi Millburn, saying: "I think it’s a really brilliant piece of work. If they wanted me back, I’d be there in a heartbeat."

Watch: Love Island's Ekin-Su and Davide announce travel show