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As far as British comedies go it's hard to imagine a cast more perfectly suited to their roles than the four lads from The Inbetweeners.
But in a recent Q&A session on TikTok, actor James Buckley - better known as braggadocious loudmouth Jay - revealed that not only was he originally cast as Neil in the initial pilot for the show; he almost didn't make the final cut at all. Check out his revelation here:
Uploaded by fan account @Worldisroundbutnotreally, the video shows Buckley telling the story after fielding a question from a fan asking 'if he could've played another character on the show, who would it've been?'
"Well, a lot of you may or may not know but I was actually in the original pilot for The Inbetweeners," he began.
"And I actually played Neil in the pilot; I was the only one of the four boys you know as The Inbetweeners that was actually in the pilot, and the other three guys only came in once the show was greenlit.
"The way I got the news was that I got a call from my agent, and he was like 'Hey, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that they've picked up The Inbetweeners - or Baggy Trousers as it was known as back then - for a full series; the bad news is that they're going to completely recast, so you won't be needed.
"So I ended up calling one of the creators of the show and said 'Hey, I heard the good news- congratulations, but I'm gutted I won't get to be a part of it. If there are any smaller parts in the show that need filling then keep me in mind and give me a shout'.
"He got back to me and said 'Oh wait, hang on, we actually wanted you to play Jay', and I said that wasn't the same information that I'd just got."
"To this day I still wonder whether my life would've been completely different if I hadn't made that phone call to one of the creators."
The original Baggy Trousers pilot apparently still exists in a vault somewhere, although according to Buckley it is "so bad that human eyes aren't allowed to see it", and is considered to be a piece of lost media.
Only a few brief moments of it have ever seen the light of day, but to this day Buckley firmly maintains that "...My Neil would've been better than Blake's. The proof is out there somewhere."
Still, no matter how bad the Baggy Trousers pilot may or may not be, it surely can't be worse than the ill-fated American adaptation now, can it James?
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