TV - BBC Recreates Lost Sitcoms

BBC Four will recreate three British classic Lost Sitcoms - Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe And Son and Till Death Us Do Part - with a brand new stellar cast....

The Lost Sitcoms are part of a landmark sitcom season on the BBC and will be recorded with stripped-down, minimalist sets in front of a studio audience. The scripts for these films still exist, but the original recordings have been lost from the BBC archives.

The first of the iconic Lost Sitcoms is Hancock’s Half Hour. Written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, it started on BBC Television 60 years ago this year.

The episode, The New Neighbour, is about Tony Hancock’s new neighbour who has a very, very suspicious night-time routine. Kevin McNally will play the role of Tony Hancock, with Robin Sebastian playing the role of Kenneth Williams. New names added to the cast list include Jon Culshaw (Dead Ringers) playing Sid James; Katy Wix (Anna & Katy) playing Hattie Jacques and Kevin Eldon (Brass Eye) playing John Vere.

Another of Galton and Simpson's iconic shows, Steptoe And Son, which originally ran from 1962 to 1965, will also be part of the Lost Sitcoms. Jeff Rawle (Drop The Dead Donkey) and Ed Coleman (Pride) will re-create one of the most successful double acts in the history of British television, playing Albert Steptoe and his son Harold respectively. The episode A Winter’s Tale sees Harold desperate to go on a skiing holiday - but he doesn’t want Albert there, under any circumstances.

Finally, Till Death Us Do Part, written by Johnny Speight, will see Simon Day (The Fast Show) reprise the role of Alf Garnett in the episode, A Woman’s Place Is In The Home. Alf arrives home to find himself in an empty house with a burnt supper and sets about putting things right using his local telephone box. Other cast include Lizzie Roper (Boy Meets Girl) playing Else; Sydney Rae White (Uncle) playing Rita, and Carl Au (Waterloo Road) playing Mike.

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning said: “When the originals were made and then lost, no-one knew they'd go on to be such classic and well-loved series. It feels rightful and respectful to bring them back to life with a new cast to be appreciated all over again for the brilliant writing they all contain.”

The Lost Sitcoms are a BBC Comedy Scotland production and will be produced by Owen Bell and executive produced by Steven Canny. The Lost Sitcoms are part of a landmark sitcom season on the BBC which will air this summer. The season of programming across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four will celebrate the heritage and legacy of BBC comedy by revisiting some of Britain’s iconic sitcoms, while launching brand new comedy shows.

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