John McEnroe has threatened legal action against the makers of ITV1's You Cannot Be Serious! over the use of his catchphrase.
Producers Avalon have received a letter from the tennis star’s lawyers demanding they stop using his most famous saying as the title of their comedy sports show.
But an insider told The Sun: ‘Does John really think that because it’s called You Cannot Be Serious!, people will think it is endorsed by him? Everybody knows you can’t license a catchphrase.’
McEnroe, now a BBC commentator, reportedly already receives a royalties as the title sequence of the show, fronted by Alistair McGowan, features a four-second clip of him shouting: ‘You cannot be serious’ at Wimbledon in 1981.
It’s not the first time a catchphrase in the title of a TV show. They Think It’s All Over comes from commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme’s 1966 World Cup Commentary and 8 Out Of 10 Cats is based on a cat food slogan.