The Lost Sitcoms is a series of recreated episodes of sitcom classics – and we’re delighted to report that a few TVO faces will featured!
The episodes which are being created are based on scripts that still exist, but the original recordings have disappeared from the archives. They include Hancock’s Half Hour ‘The New Neighbour’, Steptoe And Son ‘A Winter’s Tale’, and Till Death Us Do Part ‘A Woman’s Place Is In The Home’.
Simon Day will be taking on the character of Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, the role which was originally played by Warren Mitchell. In the episode, Alf arrives home to an empty house to find his supper burnt, and he sets about putting things right via his local phone box.
Kevin Eldon and Katy Wix will appearing in the recreated episode of Hancock’s Half Hour (a show which arrived on our TV screens 60 years ago!). Eldon will be playing the part previously performed by John Vere, and Wix will be taking on the iconic Hattie Jacques role. The story of the episode revolves around Hancock’s new neighbour, a person with “a very, very suspicious night-time routine.”
The Lost Sitcoms will form part of the BBC’s Landmark Sitcom Season, which starts this summer. BBC commissioner Shane Allen has said of the series of three classic sitcoms: “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.”
But not everyone has been so positive about looking backwards for inspiration. Comedy TV veteran, John Lloyd – producer of Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI, recently criticised the current trend for remakes and reboots of classic comedy series, saying, “I think it’s sort of impertinent to try and go back. I believe in moving on and I’d like to do something new. I don’t really hold this retread stuff… let’s have a new idea.”
The Lost Sitcoms will air on BBC Four later this year.