James Norton shares his hopes for a McMafia reboot

ALISON BOSHOFF: James Norton shares his hopes for a McMafia reboot after ‘revival plans were scrapped because of the Russia-Ukraine war’

His return as the smug psychopath Tommy Lee Royce (‘How do!’) in the final series of Happy Valley has been the televisual highlight of January Sunday nights; and actor James Norton is now contemplating another comeback.

James, 37, says he would love one more go at McMafia, in which he played the English-educated son of a Russian mob boss. 

It was shown on BBC1 in 2018.

Iconic: James Norton, 37, says he would love one more go at McMafia, in which he played the English-educated son of a Russian mob boss.

Iconic: James Norton, 37, says he would love one more go at McMafia, in which he played the English-educated son of a Russian mob boss.

‘There’s an awful lot of love for that show, not least from me,’ he said. ‘And if the right story came along, then we would definitely do it.

‘People still ask me about the show and its return definitely remains a possibility.’

Last year it was claimed that BBC bosses were planning a McMafia reboot but it had been shelved because of the Russia-Ukraine war. 

Axed: Last year it was claimed that BBC bosses were planning a McMafia reboot but it had been shelved because of the Russia-Ukraine war

Axed: Last year it was claimed that BBC bosses were planning a McMafia reboot but it had been shelved because of the Russia-Ukraine war

A source told The Sun: ‘McMafia has been beset by problems, ranging from the pandemic to the fact James Norton’s booming career meant it was hard to pin him down to start filming.

‘But it also wasn’t a good look to start a second series of a show where the main protagonist is a gangster from a dodgy Russian family who ultimately triumphs on the back of a string of dark deeds.’ 

McMafia was based on Misha Glenny’s hard-hitting non-fiction book of the same name, which exposed the connections and clashes between the major players in international organised crime from the Triads to the Mafia and the South American drug cartels – a sort of Game Of Thrones with gangsters. 

James can currently be seen on screens in Happy Valley.  

The final season follows Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) as she investigates a gangland murder that leads her back to Tommy, and her struggle to end the drug supply in the valley.

James previously said of reprising his role as Tommy: ‘To take on Tommy one final time is a wonderful and daunting privilege, and something I’ve been looking forward to since we wrapped the last series, six years ago.’

Happy Valley was a big hit with audiences after first airing in 2014, winning a BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series, with a follow-up second series in 2016.

Chilling: James' return as the smug psychopath Tommy Lee Royce ('How do!') in the final series of Happy Valley has been the televisual highlight of January Sunday nights

Chilling: James’ return as the smug psychopath Tommy Lee Royce (‘How do!’) in the final series of Happy Valley has been the televisual highlight of January Sunday nights

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