I married an Inbetweeners star – there are some very odd fan requests and I dread the day our kids watch it | The Sun

WITH catchphrases including "the p***y patrol" and "bus w***ers", Jay Cartwright was The Inbetweeners' most cringeworthy and beloved character.

Nearly a decade-and-a-half on from the coming-of-age comedy airing, star James Buckley is all grown-up – now 35, married and a father-of-two approaching their own teenage years. 

The actor and his wife Clair Buckley have carved out an ‘empire’ since the Channel 4 sitcom including YouTube series At Home With The Buckleys, which has 13 million views.

Along with a best-selling book of the same name and James becoming the first millionaire on Cameo, a site where fans pay for personalised video messages, last September. 

Their lives are worlds away from the fandom they experienced during The Inbetweeners' heyday Clair explains during an exclusive interview with The Sun.

She also reveals why it's joked that they are “still on their first date”, the surprising way they bonded and how they plan to deal with their kids’ quoting their “dad’s rude lines”.


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Clair told The Sun: “Back in the day people would shout some of the crazier things, which took a while to get used to but it was good fun and always a laugh.

“When we had only been dating for a few months, we were in a shopping centre and this big group of elderly people, sixties or seventies, came up to James.

“They told him how much they loved The Inbetweeners, I couldn’t believe the age range of fans from 15-year-olds to guys in their seventies.

“We get approached in normal places like the Asda car park, while walking down the street or at LegoLand but people are respectful, I’ve had to learn to take good pictures for people.

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The second and last Inbetweeners film came out in 2014Credit: Rex

“James really enjoys the Cameo requests too, the most common ones are for weddings but he’s done a few proposals as well, which is hilarious to me, I don’t know if they said yes.”

While some turn to dating apps like Hinge or celebrity versions like Raya to find love, Croydon-born James and Clair met on a less conventional site: Twitter. 

Clair, then an actress and model living in Glasgow, admits she had never watched The Inbetweeners when they first met in 2010, around the time the third season was released.

“I knew of the show and what it was but I didn’t tune in. I didn’t watch it, which might have been a good thing,” the Scottish star joked.

“I did watch a couple of episodes after we met but to this day I don’t think I’ve seen every single episode. James and Jay are nothing alike thank God.”

'Mum says we're still on first date'

The couple bonded over their love of The Beatles before meeting in person and had a rather deep chat about the future early on.

“They were one of the first things we spoke about,” Clair recalls. “I had a ‘The Beatles’ tattoo on my stomach, which has since been covered up after having a couple of babies.

“James was sort of like, ‘Oh my god, a Beatles tattoo’ and we got chatting. It was a huge thing we had in common and our favourite member was George Harrison.

“Early on, I actually told James, if I had a child and he was a boy, Harrison was the name I always wanted and he was on board with that, like, ‘Let’s do it.’”

As fortune would have it, not long into their whirlwind romance Clair became pregnant and now their sons Harrison, 11, and Jude, nine, aptly are both Beatles superfans. 

She says her family have a long-running joke that they are still on their first date despite it being 13 years on after from first meeting in Liverpool and nearly 11 years since they married.

Clair said: “After the date, I just sort of went with James to Essex and never came back. Of course, I did but my mum likes to joke that I never really came back.

“We were together 24-7, which all sounds romantic. I’m sure my mum and dad were really annoyed at the time. 

“Before James met my gran, I did warn her, ‘Don’t look up what he’s been in’. I don’t think she did, I don’t think she would know how to search for him on the telly.”

Clair explains that she was instantly attracted to his James’ dress sense and Paul Weller-inspired hairstyle, which she claims he “takes a bit of flack for to this day”.

“I’ve always loved that style, the Paul Weller, The Jam, that sort of mod vibe,” she told us. 

“When we first met I saw his abundance of Fred Perry, skinny jeans, Adidas trainers and haircut, I thought it was perfect. 

“James still takes a bit of flack for his hair to this day and does get a bit of, ‘Oh God no, change your hair’.

“In a way, it’s very similar to Jay’s short fringe look, which I think people find difficult to get over such an atrocious hairstyle but I love it.”

'Kids won't get free pass for quoting dad'

This year will mark 13 years since The Inbetweeners TV series ended and nine since the second movie came out, but fans are just as excited as ever. 

Clair and James will soon have to work out how to broach the coming-of-age show with their children, who are approaching their teenage years, and their daddy’s character’s potty mouth in the show. 

“Harrison and Jude both know dad was in a programme called The Inbetweeners, they know it was rude and obviously they know the other boys from it too,” she said.

“I’m sure when they became a certain age they may want to check it out or maybe they won’t be interested because their dad is in it.

“I’m definitely not recommending it to them, if they find it on their own that’s up to them. I’m not sure they will come to us to discuss it.”

When quizzed about her plan on how to respond should her children quote any of James’ iconic lines, Clair insists they won’t get off lightly.

She told us: “They would be getting into trouble, the same as any kids would if they said anything too rude. I hope they don’t think they will get a free pass because their dad said it.”

It may be adults who risk leading them astray, with Clair recalling James’ pals trying to pressure him to yell “bus w***ers” at a group waiting for public transport.

She says: “We were in a car with a couple of mates, they saw a bus stop was coming up with a few people standing there and were trying to get him to say it.

“He told them, ‘Guys, absolutely no way. First of all, I don’t know if they will get the reference and I’ll look absolutely insane’ he’s not done it yet, maybe one day he’ll do it.

She explains this is one of many ways her Inbetweeners’ star hubby differs from the outlandish, sex-obsessed schoolboy, he portrayed.

“James is quite shy,” Clair says. “But he’s very funny, really funny.

"He’s not a performer, he’s best when we’re having a BBQ with a few friends. That’s the best version of James.

“I don’t hate his character, I think there's something not quite cute but I feel sorry for Jay. They are nothing alike thank God.”

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In recent years, James and Clair have found success through their YouTube vlogging series At Home With The Buckleys, which has amassed more than 13 million views.

She explains that they started “for something to do” during lockdown and modestly claims their popularity is because “people were desperate for something to watch”.

But their candidate videos, which document the highs and lows of parenting, their travels and odd moments including them both farting, have proven to be a hit.

“It’s a cool little thing that means we can be at home with the kids and never miss out on time with them. We do things, have a laugh, film it and put it on YouTube,” Clair said.

The popularity among the “community” they formed, including 152,000 subscribers on YouTube, led to the release of a book and meet-and-greet fans events.

Clair rejects the notion of them having a ‘Buckley empire’ and says it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see them on reality TV any time soon.

“We do watch I’m A Celebrity and I remember the first episode where they were dangling off that massive building,” she said.

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“Me and James were both like, ‘I’d go straight home’. James thought he’d be rubbish and terrified of everything. But maybe that would make good viewing.”

Clair's book At Home With The Buckleys is always from all major bookshops and online retailers. You can follow the family on their YouTube channel and on Instagram.

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