THERE will never be, probably, an episode of Two Doors Down in which mild-mannered Eric and Beth completely lose it.

The long-suffering couple, whose home is constantly under siege from a succession of unbelievably irritating neighbours, are unlikely to snap, says star Alex Norton, even though the whole nation would be behind them if they did.

“It would be understandable, but probably the end of the show,” laughs Alex, who plays Eric.

“I know – you’d think they would at one point just scream ‘GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE’ but that would put the tin lid on it. Perhaps it could be done as a dream sequence ... good idea. I’ll pass it on ...”

Alex, Arabella Weir, Elaine C Smith, Jonathan Watson, Doon Mackichan and the rest are back for a mini-series of the hit BBC comedy show before Christmas.

The National: Alex Norton, Jamie Quinn, Arabella Weir and Elaine C Smith star in Two Doors Down. Picture: Alan Peebles/BBC Studios

Like many productions, filming was disrupted by Covid - unlike other productions, however, Two Doors Down had the added drama of star Joy McAvoy’s waters breaking early. Mother and baby are both doing well but it meant filming for the new six-part series could not be completed. As a result, BBC Two will screen the two completed episodes – plus the Christmas special on December 20 – and filming for the remainder of the series will resume next year.

“It’s been a bit frustrating, and it was a huge shock for me as I was the one who got Covid,” reveals Alex, who is married to fellow actor Sally Kinghorn.

“Both Sally and I were ill, with what felt like a bad case of the flu. It took weeks to feel properly better. Thank God I wasn’t doing panto this year. I would never have managed it.”

Alex started acting when he was a young boy, growing up in Glasgow watching Disney films during his summer holidays.

The National: Programme Name: Two Doors Down S5  - TX: n/a - Episode: Two Doors Down S5 - Ep2 Beth's Flu tx tbc (No. 2 - Beth's Flu) - Picture Shows:  Christine (ELAINE C SMITH), Eric (ALEX NORTON) - (C) BBC Studios - Photographer: Alan Peebles

“I loved that more than anything - the idea you could do a job where you’d be a cowboy one minute, an astronaut the next,” he explains. “It seemed like an impossible dream.”

After spells in youth drama clubs, Alex was spotted by a talent scout, and his first job was on the 1970s TV series Dr Finlay’s Casebook. Since then, he has played a variety of roles in everything from Gregory’s Girl and Blackadder to Taggart and Hollywood blockbuster Robin Hood.

Now, he loves playing Eric in Two Doors Down.

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“I get Eric,” he says. “I did from the start. He’s an ordinary guy, coming to terms with life, with the fact his son is gay, for example . When I read that first script, I loved it – this was no cosy, bland sitcom, it was about modern families, real people with real lives.

“It’s a show that resonates, not just with Scots, but with non-Scots too. We can all relate to the people and situations.”

For the festive season, Alex and Sally are heading to France where they have a holiday home.

The National: Programme Name: Two Doors Down S5  - TX: n/a - Episode: Two Doors Down S5 - Ep2 Beth's Flu tx tbc (No. 2 - Beth's Flu) - Picture Shows:  Colin (JONATHAN WATSON), Ian (JAMIE QUINN), Gordon (KIERAN HODGSON), Cathy (DOON MACKICHAN), Eric (ALEX

“We’ll have a Scottish new year in France in a lovely wee village with some other ex-pats and locals,” adds Alex. “And no horrible neighbours.”

He smiles: “We really like the people who live two doors down.”

Two Doors Down starts on Monday at 10pm on BBC Two. The Christmas Special is on December 20, at 9.30pm.