Martin Clunes has said comedy is simply meant to be “just funny” and not to adhere to fashion or a political context.

The actor, who achieved widespread fame with Men Behaving Badly in the 1990s, has denied the show was a vehicle for “laddism” and said that comedy is for its own sake.

Clunes has said that sitcoms are dead, but that if the programme were to be remade in the 21st century it would be “People Of No Particular Gender Behaving Badly”.

The actor is set to star in upcoming comedy Warren, about a driving instructor exiled in the north of England.

Clunes has told Radio Times magazine that the comedy he makes does not have a message, and no comedy should.

He said: “Comedy is just funny. It isn’t a cure for anything. It’s not funny because it’s time to be funny. It’s always time to be funny.”

Men Behaving Badly starsStars of Men Behaving Badly, which Clunes has defended (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Clunes has said that sitcoms are no longer the force they were in television, with writers and actors preferring to brand their creations differently.

He said: “At the time there were these very rigid rules and ideas, and I think that’s what killed sitcoms. Because formulas kill everything, don’t they?

“I think maybe people don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as things that now seem outmoded.”

The full interview with Clunes is available in Radio Times magazine out today.