Red Dwarf – The Promised Land – Chris Barrie says he has no regrets about leaving the BBC show at the height of its success

Posted on 20 June 2020
By Andy Johnson
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Comedy legend Chris Barrie has spoken out to say he doesn’t have any regrets about stepping away from Red Dwarf at the height of it’s success – despite the fact that many fans cite this as a flashpoint that led to the show’s initial decline.

Barrie, 60, who developed his comic chops with stand out voice impressions on shows such as Spitting Image and Hale and Pace said that it was the strain of working all day in a TV studio that he couldn’t face for Red Dwarf series VI.

Red Dwarf’s main “Boys From The Dwarf posse” is made up of central characters Lister (Craig Charles), Rimmer (Chris Barrie), Cat (Danny John-Jules) and Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) – who have been the beating heart of the show for more-or-less its entire 32-year run.

But after filming series V of the legendary sci-fi sitcom, Chris found himself struggling to balance the time and effort needed to film both Red Dwarf and his other BBC sitcom The Brittas Empire.

So he decided a break from playing hologram Arnold J Rimmer was needed and appeared in just a handful of Red Dwarf VII’s six episodes.

He said: “I don’t really like to think about regrets.

“I look back and think, ‘It was right at the time’. I’d just done a Brittas Empire series before it and kind of the last thing I wanted to do was go back in a television studio.”

He explained: “The Brittas Empire… any sitcom situation like that where you’re playing quite a reasonable sized part is always a fairly stressful sort of… it’s condensed, very hard work. I knew that Red Dwarf was always going to be pretty hard work and I just thought, ‘I can’t do this now’.”

Having taken a break, Barrie has remained on Red Dwarf as a regular ever since and says he’s now keen to keep Rimmer for as long as possible.

“There’s only Red Dwarf really that I want to do, now – so I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can.” he insisted.

Barrie also dropped hints as to Red Dwarf’s future, revealing that “there’s something” in the works following the ratings success of feature-length special The Promised Land.

Red Dwarf: The Promised Land is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.