Rumours began to circulate last year about the return of Some Mothers Do Ave’Em, this was followed by rumours of the return of Porridge and so it continued.
Whilst it seems a little hypocritical having cancelled The Missing Hancocks, earlier this year the BBC announced details of a landmark comedy season to celebrate 60 years since Hancock’s Half Hour first appeared on TV.
Some Mothers did indeed return with it’s original cast for a one off sketch for Sports Relief, having seen it I’d have to agree with the many who bombarded the BBC – Bring it back! This Summer will see a number of other old favourites re-appear in one off episodes. Whilst in most cases the original cast are no longer with us new faces will take on iconic roles whilst other episodes are a sequel and a prequel.
Porridge returns for a sequel written by the show’s original writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. This time it’s Fletch’s Grandson going behind bars for cyber crime, no casting details yet.
Roy Clarke is penning a prequel to Keeping Up Appearences, again no casting details yet, it has a working title Young Hyacinth and the story will revolve around the early life of everybody’s favourite suburban snob Hyacinth Bucket. The prequel is reported to be set in an upper-middle class household in the 1950s, where a young Hyacinth is working as a maid. Again no casting yet.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, Hyacinth actress Patricia Routledge slammed the BBC. She is reported as having told The Daily Telegraph ‘Why are they doing this sort of thing? They must be desperate. Look back at the Seventies and Eighties – Ronnie Barker, Leonard Rossiter in Rising Damp, those four masterly actors in The Good Life.
‘[But] nothing to do with me, let them get on with it – no sitcoms as good as that around today. Is it true they’re remaking Porridge too? Remind me to switch off, please.’
Steptoe and Son. This is a difficult one, it will be hard to capture the brilliance of Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell, more so as although the chosen episode: A Winter’s Tale does not exist in the archives, a copy from writers Galton and Simpson’s personal archives has been commercially released to DVD and Video. However the original was made in colour and the copy is black and white. Jeff Rawle is to take over the role of Albert Steptoe, originally played by Wilfrid Brambell and Ed Coleman will replace Harry H Corbett as Harold.
Hancock’s Half Hour. An episode entitled ‘The New Neighbour”. This episode was re-made in 2014 for BBC Radio 4 as part of the first series of the Missing Hancocks. Kevin Mc Nally will reprise his role as Tony Hancock with Robin Sebastian as Kenneth Williams and Jon Culshaw as Sid James
Are You Being Served?
Another one off return updated for the modern audience (I seriously doubt it will be anywhere near as risque as the original). It started filming in front of a live audience on March 5th and has been written by Derren Litten, who has previously worked on Benidorm and The Catherine Tate Show.
Describing the plot, a BBC spokesman said: “It’s 1988 and Young Mr Grace is determined to drag Grace Brothers into, well 1988, but he has a problem on his hands.
“Mr Humphries, Captain Peacock, Mr Rumbold and Mrs Slocombe all seem to be stuck in another era. As all the original cast are now dead (not strictly speaking true as Mike Berry who played Mr Spooner in the later series is still very much alive) an all new cast has been revealed: Newcomer Kayode Ewumi, will play Mr Conway, described simply as a “new member of staff” designed to help shake things up. Mathew Horne, best-known for his role in Gavin and Stacey, as Young Mr Grace, the original Mr Grace’s grandson, and Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter as Miss Croft. Jason Watkins will play Mr Humphries, Sherrie Hewson, Mrs Slocombe, John Challis becomes Captain Peacock, Roy Barraclough as Mr Grainger and Arthur Smith as Mr Harmon. Miss Brahms will be played by Niky Wardley.
Till Death Us Do Part.
Yes he’s back as well, made all the more poignent as we lost Warren Mitchell last year. Alf returns in an episode entitled A Woman’s Place is in the Home. We are promissed Alf will be “just as sexist, racist and homophobic as ever in the show which will be recorded, unchanged, from Johnny Speight’s original 1967 script”. Alf Garnett will be played by the Fast Show’s Simon Day. Appearing alongside him will be Former Hollyoaks actress Lizzie Roper will star as his wife Else, who had previously been played by Dandy Nicholls. Playing the role of Rita, formerly Una Stubbs, is Sydney Rae White, with Waterloo Road’s Carl Au as her husband, according to the Daily Mirror. The ‘Scouse git’ had originally been played by Cherie Blair’s father Tony Booth.
In the episode Garnett will continue his outbursts at long-suffering wife Else, who goes to the cinema and accidentally burns the dinner.
Garnett will declare ‘her place is here looking after my dinner’ and refer to his Liverpudlian son-in-law as a ‘scouse git’. He will also refer to a woman as a ‘saucy little bitch’.
The landmark season airs this summer accross the BBC.