Outlaws series 3 could be the last | ...as Stephen Merchant plans a stand-up tour

Outlaws series 3 could be the last

...as Stephen Merchant plans a stand-up tour

Stephen Merchant says he has no plans to make any more Outlaws - but is working on a stand-up show instead.

Season three of his comedy-crime drama begins on BBC One next week and Merchant said: ‘I think this series concludes in a very nice way and hopefully might bring a tear to the eye, so if it does then that would be great’.

And of bringing and end to the series about offenders on a community payback scheme, he added: ‘You have to wonder how long people do community service for. 

‘[But] M*A*S*H "ran about five years longer than the Korean war, so we shall see.’

In his interview with Deadline, Merchant also revealed that he was going back to live comedy, saying: ‘There is an immediacy to stand-up that I like. You can think of an idea in the morning and try it out that evening.’

When asked about Richard Gadd’s Baby Reindeer – which stars Outlaws actor Jessica Gunning as stalker Martha – Merchant said: ‘I’m going back to stand-up and anything that makes me more nervous for that is hard to watch.

He also joked that Gunning’s success on the Netflix show might mean ‘now she is a superstar [who] won’t return my calls.’

Merchant has not toured since Hello, Ladies in 2011 and earlier this year told the Always Be Comedy podcast he was enjoying being back on stage doing warm-up gigs. He said: ‘I always loved it, was always fascinated by it, and  loved the challenge of it… the fact that you're writing the show with the audience, working with them.

‘It takes a long time for me to craft a stand-up act that I'm pleased with… I just find I throw a lot of shit at the wall to see what little bits stick and therefore it takes me a long time to nail it down.’

Merchant is also an executive producer on Greg Daniels’ upcoming follow-up to The Office, although he suggested he wouldn’t be involved much in the day-to-day business.

The Outlaws also stars Christopher Walken, Eleanor Tomlinson, Claes Bang, Rhianne Barreto, Gamba Cole and Darren Boyd. It returns to BBC One at 9pm on May 30.

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Published: 20 May 2024

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