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Still sticking together: Birds of a Feather to return to television after fifteen years

The popular BBC nineties sitcom will return to ITV next year

We last saw Pauline Quirke on our television screens as the shady Susan Wright in Broadchurch, but the actress is set to reprise the much friendlier role of loud-mouth Sharon Theodopolopodous in a revival of hit nineties sitcom Birds of a Feather.

Quirke, 53, will be joined by the other original cast members, Linda Robson, 55, and Lesley Joseph, 67, as Sharon, Tracey and Dorien, when the show returns to television in the new year.

Set in modern day Chigwell, the new series will focus on what happens when the trio of main characters are reunited after fifteen years apart.

The actresses were encouraged to make a new series following the success of their Birds of a Feather stage show, which began touring the UK a year ago. 

The hit sitcom, which follows two sisters whose husbands are imprisoned for bank robbery and their provocative neighbour Dorien, originally ran for nine series on the BBC from 1989 to 1998, but is being remade by ITV.

The show’s creators, Retort, first approached the BBC with scripts for the tenth series, but were only offered a pilot by BBC bosses.

The sitcom will run for eight episodes and is due to air in January 2014. Filming will begin in front of a live audience in a London studio this autumn.

The return of Birds of a Feather marks a continuing trend for situation comedy, a genre that has been revived in shows such as ITV’s Vicious and BBC’s Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Wright Way.

The comeback also follows the revivals of popular nineties sitcoms Beverly Hills, 90210 and Boy Meets World which is being remade as Girl Meets World.