Alun Armstrong left New Tricks in August 2012, reportedly due to the changing landscape behind the scenes of the series.
In 2012, Alun Armstrong would mark the third original cast member of New Tricks to leave the show following James Bolam and Amanda Redman
While Armstrong would remain mum on the reason for his exit from the show, it would be reasoned that the changing landscape behind the scenes was the reason.
What Was New Tricks?
New Tricks first premiered in 2003. The show was created and developed by Roy Mitchell and Nigel McCrery. New Tricks would enjoy a 12-year run as one of BBC One’s flagship shows, before concluding in 2015.
The premise of the crime drama was of “Three retired police officers are drafted in to solve cold cases, with a touch of comedy and drama.”
Why Did Alun Armstrong Leave New Tricks?
Alun Armstrong played the character of Brian Lane since the inception of New Tricks in 2003.
The announcement that he would not reprise his role came just months after it was confirmed that Amanda Redman would leave her title role as Sandra Pullman on the show.
However, at the time of his exit, Armstrong remained amicable by initially attempting to suggest that the reasons he left the show were not the same as Redman’s.
Alun Armstrong Speaks On Leaving New Tricks
When Alun Armstrong left New Tricks, Amanda Redman’s comments on the writing on the series turning “dull” were circulating.
Armstrong attempted to distance himself from the comments by merely stating, “It has been one big happy family, for everyone who has been part of the team, right from the very first pilot series.”
Going on to add, “Although very sad to leave, I am looking forward with excitement to the new challenges the future offers.”
New Tricks’ Writer Causes Controversy
At the time of Armstrong’s exit and attempt to remain amicable, Julian Simpson, a writer on the series came out lambasting Redman for suggesting that the writing had turned “dull.”
In one of his inflammatory Twitter rants, he wrote, “A New Tricks I wrote and directed airs on Monday. I can tell you EXACTLY how much of it the actors wrote: not a f**king comma. (sic)”
Alun Armstrong Speaks Out Against New Tricks
Seemingly, the lambaste of former co-star and friend, Amanda Redman, fuelled Armstrong to join his former co-stars, Redman and James Bolam, in suggesting that their exits were a result of the allegedly stagnant writing and interference by the producers of the show on the production of the series.
New Tricks’ Alun Armstrong featured for the last time on the series as Brian Lane, with the episode titled The Little Brother, which aired in 2013.
Initially keeping mum on his reasoning, Armstrong would later echo that the sentiments of the behind-the-scenes dramas were in fact the reason for his exit.