One of ITV2’s most popular scripted comedies Plebs is returning to UK screens for a fourth series on the channel this April.
Joel Fry who played the character of ‘Stylax’ for all three previous series will be replaced by Jonathan Pointing as happy-go-lucky builder ‘Jason’ in the forthcoming episodes. Joel can be seen in other ITV series Benidorm as well as Sky One’s supermarket comedy Trollied.
Following the programme’s huge success in the UK, the show’s production company Rise Films is now also developing a version of the series for stateside audiences.
ITV2 proudly describe their series as a ‘hit comedy’ which is of course set in Ancient Rome and to date has won multiple awards, including ‘Best New Comedy’ at the British Comedy Awards and ‘Best Scripted Comedy’ at the Royal Television Society Awards, and has also been nominated for two BAFTA TV Awards. Series 3 consolidated to over a million viewers each week.
The fourth outing starts with the lives of regular Plebs Marcus (Tom Rosenthal) and Grumio (Ryan Sampson) being thrown into turmoil, as the sudden departure of Stylax is met by the equally sudden arrival of dappy blonde builder and new-Pleb-on-the-block Jason (Jonathan Pointing).
Upheaval gives way to hope when they manage to procure an abandoned toilet from crooked property developer Crassus, played by acting icon Robert Lindsay, which they decide to convert into Rome’s hottest new wine-bar – ‘The Crown and Toga’. With Grumio as head-chef, Jason and waterboy/man Aurelius on drinks and Marcus as manager, this could be the boys’ chance to finally hit the big time and become players in the most exciting city in the world.
This status leads to new adventures as they tangle with Rome’s foremost food critic, launch a cabaret night with a scathing satirist, take part in the city’s marathon and host a snail-racing syndicate – before coming up against their biggest challenge so far, an aggressive take-over bid from a local Germanian bar famous for their popular brown-liquid ‘beer’.
The new series sees the return of past cast regulars including Doon Mackichan as Flavia, Karl Theobald as Landlord, Tom Basden as Aurelius, Tom Davis as Davus and Maureen Lipman as Landlady. This series also sees, along with Robert Lindsay, an array of guest-star cameos including Annette Badland, Ollie Locke and Daniel Rigby.
Joel Fry, left, with Tom Rosenthal and Ryan Sampson in a scene from an earlier series. Joel isn’t returning to the ITV2 show this year.