Next year will see the 60th anniversary of the first TV sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour (2014 marked 60 years since Hancock made his radio debut). It seems that the BBC are pulling out all the stops to mark the occasion, quite rightly too. First were told of planms to bring back Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘ Em now it seems that Porridege could be about to come back for a second helping.
Writers Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement are set to re-unite for an initial one off updated version of the classic sitcom that ended in 1977.
La Frenais now 79 and Clement now 77, seem keen to keep it in the family. The new version will centre on the grandson of Ronnie Barker’s Norman Fletcher. The child of Norman’s son Ray ends up behind bars for a more modern crime: computer hacking. Inside, he shares a cell with an older inmate.
Ian La Frenais told The Sunday Times: “He’s called Fletch too and is a chip off the old block. He has what I’d call attitude. It will be set in a modern prison, while Slade was, of course, Victorian. Anyway, I’ve just read that the Victorian ones are being sold off.”
He added: “We were asked by the BBC to do a revival and decided to set it right up to date.”
The new episode may include a character like Mr Mackay, with Ian saying: “He might even be Scottish again.” Initially it does seem that there will be a one off episode with a series o follow should the idea prove a hit with audiences.
Of course comebacks are nothing new Open All Hours returned as Still Open All Hours and has has been hugely successful, although the storyline always ran throufgh the original “when I’m g-g-gone, Granvile all this will be yours” Arkwright used to tell his nephew.
A BBC spokesman told the Radio Times: “There are a number of shows being considered for BBC One’s Landmark Sitcom Season but nothing is confirmed as yet.”
Launching the Landmark season in September, the BBC said: “BBC One will mark our enduring affection for all the great comedy characters we have met over the 60 years by enlisting the biggest names in British comedy writing and performing to revisit loved classics alongside launching new shows in a landmark comedy season.”