Simon Bird talks nicknames, shaving, making a film and all things in between... You finished series two having sh*t yourself during an exam and pondering that 'things couldn’t get any worse'. Just how bad will things get for Will in series three "They get a lot worse, seriously. I think the show would stop working if things started going right for any of the boys." Have you been burdened with a nickname in series three? Dr Poo was mooted... "I don't know if you've seen the preview, which I don't think is actually from the series, but it's a little taster to wet the whistle. The boys continue on from the scene that finished series two with some more nicknames, like Adolf Shitler, Fabio Crapello – there are plenty more, they don't run out of material." Have any had any luck with the ladies since they've been away? "Despite all of Jay's claims, they all have their 'V' plates intact." Does anyone come close in this series? "The big news is that one of the characters gets a proper girlfriend, who is in it for a number of episodes. So she becomes a fifth Inbetweener in a way. He's the only one who gets a serious girlfriend, but the other boys... Some of them get some action as well." The four of you also go camping and attend a gig? "You can imagine how badly they get on on both of those. It's a music gig for a hard rock band and that's the same episode they try drugs, so it all goes pear-shaped." Will takes drugs?! "I don't think Will does actually smoke it." Maybe he doesn't inhale? "I couldn’t possibly say." Are there any changes in series three, apart from the girlfriend? "That's the big news, apart from that not much changes really. I think that's the point of the show — they're stuck, bored in suburbia. If anything too big happens it wouldn't be the same show." You're at the top of the school now, sixth formers, does this mean you can exact revenge? "I think Will in particular is quite excited to be in his final year as he thinks this means he’s going to rule the school. He thinks this is the year he's finally going to be accepted and become cool, but as you've come to expect, this definitely doesn't happen." Are there any developments for Will's mum? "Yes, there's a man on the scene, but it doesn't last. Will's not pleased at all, especially when the other boys find out and start imagining what this new man might be doing to Will's mum." You are 26 – is playing schoolboy Will still an easy fit? "I think I'm lucky because I'm short and quite baby faced. When I get the school uniform on I think it still works, but I don’t think it could go on for too much longer. We were watching some of the first series a couple of weeks ago and the writers were saying they were really quite happy, they didn’t think we looked any older than when we shot the first series, three or four years ago. So they're very careful about it. I shave twice a day." All over? "There is a bit of a discrepancy in the chest hair situation between series one and series two. In series one I'm quite hairy down there but once they saw that on TV the director and writers insisted that I shave, all over. Well...not all over..." Are you fond of Will? "Definitely – he's basically me anyway." What’s your favourite piece of slang from The Inbetweeners? "Clunge seems to be one that's been picked up. There seems to be quite a lot of debate about whether The Inbetweeners invented it. The writers say it's a word they used to use a lot when they were growing up, so I think it has its roots in the '80s. It's nice to bring that back." The boys will have finished school at the end of the series – is this the natural end of The Inbetweeners? "I think it will probably be the end of the TV series, but we've started work on a film." The Sun printed a story that you were holding back from The Inbetweeners film because of money – is that true? "I don’t know where it came from; it wasn’t true at all." What happens in the film? "It's a lad's holiday to Malaga, after we’ve done our A-levels. They haven't quite finished the script yet. It's a proper film for the cinema." So you'll have to keep shaving? "Yep!" Catch The Inbetweeners on Mondays at 10pm on E4
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.