Soaps and reality TV don’t do it for me, says actor James Purefoy

James Purefoy can’t watch soap operas, describing them as a “dystopian nightmare”, while the people in reality TV shows such as Love Island “depress” him.

The British actor said there is “great drama to be had” on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive is a “great soap opera of the track”.

Speaking about his television turn-offs, the 58-year-old told the Radio Times: “Soaps don’t do it for me.

Radio Times
Radio Times (RT/PA)

“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.”

The actor said he has watching Amazon’s comedy series Ten Percent and “gnashing my teeth that I’m not in it, but you can’t have everything”.

He 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.”

Purefoy said television is not at the centre of his world because he doesn’t want his children watching advertisements, but he would be “gutted if CBeebies and CBBC disappear”.

Fishermen’s Friends: One and All premiere
James Purefoy attending the UK premiere of Fishermen’s Friends: One and All (Ben Birchall/PA)

His comments come after the BBC announced plans to end the CBBC as a linear channel in May, as part of plans to become digital-first.

Purefoy, who stars in comedy sequel Fisherman’s Friends: One And All, said he is filming an ITV thriller titled Malpractice with “incredible director” Philip Barantini who was behind Boiling Point with Stephen Graham.

He added: “I also played Louis XV in a big drama about Marie Antoinette that’s out this year, along with the new season of Pennyworth.

“We’ve just been commissioned to do a BBC Sounds and Radio 4 adaptation of the play Gaslight, which I’m really excited about because many people don’t know the source material of that phrase.”