IT Crowd to end after four series

The IT Crowd (Channel 4) The show has slowly built up a passionate fanbase on Channel 4

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Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd has come to an end after four series, its creator Graham Linehan has told fans.

Joining a question and answer session on social news website Reddit, he said: "I'll say right off the bat... the bad news is no IT Crowd series five."

"I just wasn't looking forward to it the way I used to," added Linehan.

The show, about the socially inept employees of an IT support centre, will return for an extended special next year before bowing out.

Its fourth series, shown last year, attracted an average audience of 2.5 million, significantly higher than Channel 4's regular audience figures in that timeslot.

Mixing hi-tech geek jokes with old-fashioned farce, the show starred Richard Ayoade as Maurice Moss, Chris O'Dowd as Roy Trenneman and Katherine Parkinson as their long-suffering boss Jen Barber.

O'Dowd has gone on to star in Hollywood films Bridesmaids and Gulliver's Travels, while Ayoade won critical acclaim for directing independent British movie Submarine earlier this year.

Possible movie

The IT Crowd was filmed in front of a live studio audience - a deliberate decision by Linehan, whose previous shows include Father Ted and Big Train.

Graham Linehan Linehan was given the Ronnie Barker Award for writing at the British Comedy Awards in 2009

"I always think that if everybody's doing one thing, it's probably an idea to do the exact opposite," he told the BBC in 2006.

Explaining his decision to end the show, he told fans: "I felt that the last series was a nice strong point to go out on, and anything further might just be running on the spot.

"You don't do your best work when you're running on the spot.

"I did three series of Father Ted, one of Black Books, one of Big Train, so I feel a personal sense of achievement that IT Crowd made it to series four."

Linehan added that he had attempted to work with outside writers to create a fifth series, but it had never worked out.

On his future plans, the writer said: "The good news is the special, which is a big, juicy story with great storylines for all the characters (I think), and maybe a film."

"It all depends on whether I come up with a good idea for one. One good enough to attract all the cast.

"It needs to deserve to be a film, though. So it's got to be big on all sorts of different levels."

Linehan also hinted that he would like to work with Steve Delaney, who writes and performs BBC Radio 4 comedy series Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!

Fans joining the online discussion expressed their disappointment that The IT Crowd is drawing to a close.

Referencing one of the show's running jokes, one user suggested: "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"

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