Inbetweeners stars say their box office success is a ‘double-edged sword’ because they’re now worried their follow-up will struggle to match it.

Simon Bird and Joe Thomas – Will and Simon in the E4 comedy – have teamed up with friend Jonny Sweet to write their own sitcom.

Set in the First World War, Chickens revolves around three characters who are left in a sleepy English village – and hated by their neighbours – while the rest of the nation’s heroes are at war.

The pilot for the series is to be screened on Friday, but they’re nervous about the reception it will receive.

Simon said: “It’s obviously great, the Inbetweeners has opened a lot of doors for us.

“But at the same time it is a double-edged sword because it’s obviously going to be judged in relation to the Inbetweeners – which is unfortunate because we want it to be judged on its own merits,” he said of Chickens.

In the new sitcom George, played by Joe, is a conscientious objector, while Simon’s character Cecil has been rejected from service on health grounds, and Jonny’s character Bert is simply a coward.

The trio, who have been writing together for years, are excited about being let loose with their own material.

“We’ve been wanting to write a sitcom together for years and we’ve had lots of ideas that have kind of gone around,” said Simon.

Chickens screens at 10.30pm on Friday on Channel 4.