No Royle Family Christmas Special this year

The Royle FamilyBBC One comedy The Royle Family will be absent from the channel’s festive line-up this year.

The Sun reports that the hit comedy, penned by Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, will not be part of the Christmas line-up for BBC One this year. The tabloid claims its absence is because the writers were not able to complete the script in time for filming to begin. The Royle Family has been part of the BBC’s Christmas line-up since 2009 when it returned with The New Sofa and since there has been a special every year – the comedy also had several one-off specials such as The Queen of Sheba before that.

“Bosses are really disappointed.  Caroline and Craig had said they would deliver a new script for a Christmas special this year and it had already been scheduled. But they just haven’t got it together in time. They are known for leaving things to the last minute, but on this occasion they ran out of time. The cast are gutted and viewers will be too.” –
An “insider” quoted by The Sun

BBC bosses have reportedly told the two writers to concentrate on a special for next year instead. The Sun claims the gap in the BBC’s schedule caused by the absence of the comedy will be filled with an original show and not a repeat. A BBC spokesperson told the tabloid ‘Because of other commitments there wasn’t enough time for Caroline and Craig to write a brilliant episode. They are going to focus on next year’s Christmas special.’

The Royle Family first launched on BBC One in 1998 and has so far produced three seasons and numerous special editions. As well as penning the comedy Aherne and Cash also star in the series with other cast members including Sue Johnston, Ricky Tomlinson, Jessica Hynes and Peter Martin while Ralf Little, Liz Smith, Geoffrey Hughes and Doreen Keogh have all featured as well. Last year’s special, which guest starred Joanne Froggatt, was seen by 11.2 million viewers.