Medical drama House will not be resuscitated after the current season, Fox said yesterday, which means one thing – Hugh Laurie will be looking for something unlikely to do.
While many chaps do rather surprising things in their middle years (see Porsche purchasing and tattoo acquisition for details), Laurie took mid-life reinvention to new heights when – after going from Eton to Cambridge and Footlights to moderate, if chinless, telly fame – he hit his forties and took the unlikely role of an anti-heroic American doctor.
Despite cries of "but that's Bertie Wooster!/the posho from Blackadder!" from this side of the pond, he swiftly became an unlikely heartthrob in the US. A spoof spy novel he wrote in 1996 made him an unlikely best-selling author in France.
He then became an unlikely skin-care spokesmodel for L'Oreal Men Expert. Before long, he was the highest paid actor in an American television drama. Then (*unlikely klaxon goes off*) he released a blues album called Let Them Talk.
So what will Hugh do next? Win the Nobel Peace Prize? Become a celebrity sushi chef? Master the nose flute? Climb Everest unaided on one leg? Find a cure for the common cold? You might laugh, but you have to admit, when it comes to "unlikely", he's got form...