Sadly for imaginative barbers everywhere, Mackenzie Crook has confirmed he won’t be appearing in Ricky Gervais’s planned big screen outing for David Brent, with whom he first appeared as ‘Assistant TO THE Manager’ Gareth Keenan in ‘The Office’.
“Brent will be out on the road, I think,” Mackenzie muses to HuffPostUK. “So I'd be very surprised if Gareth were to make an appearance. He’s still doing what he was always doing before, but he’s completely happy.”
Mackenzie, by contrast, has taken a fork in the road. A decade after Gareth’s distinctive locks caught the collective imagination – “I had to have that haircut for my wedding, never again,” he says – the actor is also a bestselling children’s author and a veteran of the big screen, with appearances including the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' series and 'Muppets Most Wanted'.
This week sees the debut on BBCFour of ‘Detectorists’, which he wrote, directed and stars in as Andy, a keen but inept metal detecting enthusiast who, with his wingman Lance played by the always-convincing Toby Jones, is convinced their fortunes can be made if they can just spot the right bit of land.
“The idea came from watching an episode of 'Time Team',” admits Mackenzie. But, of course! And his research comprised heading out into local woodland in Essex and having some typical beginner’s luck with his own metal detector.
“Within 10 minutes, I’d found a Victorian sixpence,” he remembers. “Since then, it’s all been junk.”
According to Mackenzie, there is some skill involved in the whole exercise, and he’s now one of an astounding 30,000 enthusiasts who practise this hobby in the UK alone. “They’re not anoraks,” Mackenzie insists. “They’re amateur archaeologists.”
The Detectorists is available on BBCiPlayer, and continues next week on BBC Four.