BBC vows to banish old sitcoms

TITTER YE NOT - the BBC is no longer amused by the sight of trousers falling down in front of a vicar. Comedies that rely on "suburban sofas and knitted pullovers" are to be banished from the screen.

Peter Salmon, the controller of BBC1, announced a new pounds 30m investment in situation comedy yesterday, but promised to update a genre he admitted had been a weakness in recent years. "There are two things the public currently seem to like more than anything else," Mr Salmon told the Broadcasting Press Guild. "One is watching sitcoms, the other is saying how terrible they are.

"I am the net-curtain comedy killer," added Mr Salmon. "The man who took out a contract on suburban sofas, knitted pullovers, and will finally do for some of those dreary 1950s scenarios that have infected too many British comedies."

Mr Salmon said the channel was looking for comedies that "owed more to Coronation Street and The Simpsons than to Ealing comedies and Carry On films".

He did not name the comedies that would be scrapped. But types of show like Next of Kin, where Penelope Keith played a reluctant grandmother, and A Prince Among Men, a comedy about social- climbing starring Chris Barrie, had had their day, he said. Both shows have ended. Mr Salmon pointed to the new Victoria Wood show, Dinner Ladies, which attracted an audience of 11 million when it began last week, as an example of a new wave of sitcoms planned for the channel.

The pounds 30m is a 50 per cent increase on last year and there are a large number of new projects in the pipeline. After making The Royle Family for BBC2, Caroline Aherne is returning as Mrs Merton, in a show called Mrs Merton and Malcolm. It will be set in her Stockport home rather than showing her interacting with a studio audience.

There is to be a new historical comedy called Let Them Eat Cake, set in pre- revolutionary France, starring Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. The Alan Davies Show, on Radio 4, is transferring to television.

Mark Addy, one of the stars of The Full Monty, is making the BBC's first American-based sitcom. In Too Much Sun he will play a debauched British actor in Hollywood.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy