British actor Neil Morrissey has finally opened up about the headline-grabbing scandal which engulfed him nearly 15 years ago when his affair with married co-star Amanda Holden was exposed. The Men Behaving Badly star was at the height of his fame in 2000 when it emerged he had a relationship with Holden while she was married to TV funnyman Les Dennis.
The story became a tabloid sensation, and eventually led to the breakdown of Holden and Dennis' marriage.
Morrissey has long refused to talk about the scandal, but he has now opened up about what happened in a candid new interview with TV newsman Piers Morgan.
In an episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories, Morrissey says, "I feel sorry for how the situation was dealt with and I feel sorry for how emotional Les seemed to become. It was very difficult for him and for that I'm very sorry... I've since ran into Les a few times and shook his hand. He lives near us in north London."
However, when asked whether he ever apologised to Dennis in person, Morrissey adds, "No, I didn't. I'm not positive over what there is to apologise about. I don't know what the whole situation was, to be perfectly fair to everybody."
The actor goes on to explain why he has never spoken about the affair before: "I think enough was said about it. This was a very short fling. I didn't have representation at the time, in terms of PR and this was the first time I'd really come under the cosh (under fire)."
When asked what advice he would give to young actors today, Morrissey jokes, "Yeah, don't f**k a game show host's wife."
Coupling is often described as a British version of Friends. This is an affront to the amazing level of writing, humor, and acting talent of this Britcom. The series is semi-autobiographical, based on writer Steve Moffat’s early relationship with his wife, producer Sue Vertue. Steve Taylor (Jack Davenport) has had a tough time dumping his clingy ex, Jane Christie (Gina Bellman). Susan Walker (Sarah Alexander) has just told her friend with benefits Patrick Maitland (Ben Miles) they haven’t been exclusive. Steve meets Susan and sparks fly. With the addition of their best friends Jeff Murdock (Richard Coyle) and Sally Harper (Kate Isitt), the group form a circle of friends that deal with sex, relationships and everything in between.
Fans of shows like How I Met Your Mother and Happy Endings will appreciate not only the great comedic chemistry of the cast but the willingness to be frank about sex and relationships. The series has that unique British ability to be brazen and completely frank but still be polite about it. Fans of other popular British shows like Absolutely Fabulous, Men Behaving Badly, and Gavin & Stacy will appreciate this series’ similar sense of humor. But what makes Coupling different is the way it plays with the sitcom form: Moffat, who went on to helm the current reboot of Doctor Who, based his scripts on clever metafictional ideas like doing the episode following Steve and Susan's breakup in split-screen, following both through their anger and recriminations until a reconciliation is achieved at the very end.
The actors are also really amazing. Many will remember Davenport from his attempts at American series like Swingtown, FlashForward and Smash. Alexander manages to be stunningly beautiful and hilariously funny. She popped up in a few American films like I Could Never Be Your Woman and Stardust. Gina Bellman also found huge success as a lead on the series Leverage.
Coupling brings laughter and sex together in a fun little package, no pun intended. Luckily, all four series of the British comedy are available on Netflix. Also, don't watch the short-lived American adaptation. It was awful.