THE cast members of iconic 90s sitcom The Brittas Empire were on hand to reopen a local leisure centre where the show was shot - with rumours of a comeback dominating conversation.

Members of the popular show, which ran for seven seasons from 1991 to 1997, met for the first time in 20 years at Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre yesterday,

The reunion marked the completion of a major refurbishment of the New Forest District Council run centre at Parsonage Barn Lane.

The show, which filmed all its exterior and swimming pool scenes at the complex, saw Chris Barrie take on the role of ambitious but largely unsuccessful leisure centre manager Gordon Brittas.

Mr Barrie, who cut the ribbon at the refurbished centre, said he would be interested in seeing Brittas Empire return with a modern day version.

“The bedrock of any show is the writing, especially the original writing duo of Richard Fegen and Andrew Norriss,” he said.

“It would be interesting to see Mr Brittas in the 21st century because in the last 20 years things in the world have changed dramatically.

“I think we do live in a very different place now and it will great to see Mr Brittas cope with that world.

“The best people to bring that to life would be Fegen and Norriss.”

The event at the centre drew large crowds who took the opportunity to meet the cast.

“It’s slightly surreal seeing people you worked with 20 years ago and seeing them again, most of who you haven’t seen at all in that time,” Mr Barrie added.

Pippa Haywood, who played Gordon’s wife Helen in the show, said: “It’s been amazing and such a thrill to see the cast come together again.

“It’s incredible how similar it is. We shot so many scenes walking up this drive here - I remember quite clearly a pile of elephant dung on the ground which I was strategically positioned into.

“I look back on it with great fondness and it was the show that I became comfortable in front of the camera on.

“I remember sobbing sitting down on a seat outside when I expected to get a car and got the moped.”

Harriet Thorpe, who played the receptionist Carole Parkinson at Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre, said: “It’s been refurbished so it looks sensational, but it’s so wonderful being back.

“I love the fact we blew up the centre three times.

“My favourite bit was fitting into the tiny car. Every bit of it was joyous because it was all so mad.

“Clearly the public are begging for it come back.

“I didn’t expect to see the crowds here, but I’m so thrilled.”

Improvements to the centre, which opened to the pubic this morning, include an extended gym with brand-new equipment, and a dedicated indoor cycling studio.