A 78-year-old actor from Hemel Hempstead who had households across the country howling with laughter at his wayward ways on ITV’s Off Their Rockers says he is no ordinary OAP.
Old Age Prankster Barry Newton, of Horsecroft Road, Boxmoor, returns for the popular hidden camera show’s second series – which premiers tonight at 7.30pm – and says audiences will be even more tickled this time around.
“We got six million viewers in the last series, and this year we are hoping to do better,” the senior scallywag said. “We want to do a third series, because it is so popular and a lot of fun.”
While the inaugural series saw delinquent oldies pranking unsuspecting members of the public in the town’s Marlowes Shopping Centre last year, Barry believes all of the filming took place elsewhere for the more recent episodes, which were shot last summer.
He said: “This series took us about six months, but we recorded mostly in good weather instead of the rain and cold, because we are all getting on a bit now.
“To my memory I have one main prank in each show, as well as featuring in some of the dance scenes in between.”
Though he is keeping the naughty nature of his scenes under his hat for now, Barry revealed: “Thank goodness, I didn’t have to do any naked scenes this year.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I had to do a couple of those last time around, but there are other things to look forward to in this series.”
Despite its playfulness, the new series also holds some sadness for Barry, following the death of his friend and Rockers co-star Iris Sharples in November. She will still feature in the programme.
Barry said: “Iris had agreed to stay in the series. She was a star and one that I really admired – like myself, she had been in the business so very long, but she had to go.”
But Barry says there is no chance of him slowing down – with many filming opportunities still flooding in he says he’d rather join Iris than ever give up showbusiness.
Barry, who is also involved in local politics, said: “I get so much out of life that I just want to give something back.
“There’s so much depression in the world, I think people like to see the fun aspect of life and that’s what shows like Off Their Rockers give.
“People like the idea of old people giving young ones a run for their money – the show was fantastic last time but it is even better this year, we aim to improve every time.”