Sue Johnston comedy Lapland gets full series
BBC One has announced that it has commissioned a full series of Lapland, a 'heart-warming' comedy series starring Sue Johnston.
A one-off special edition of the comedy drama was broadcast last Christmas Eve, and whilst the programme - originally commissioned at 90 minutes but edited down to 75 - attracted some negative reviews, over 6 million viewers tuned in to watch the Lewis family from Merseyside travel to Lapland for a festive family holiday, in one of the festive period's most coveted slots.
The BBC has now confirmed that it has ordered a 6x 30 minute series, following the family back in the UK. It is not yet known what the programme's new title will be.
Royle Family star Sue Johnston leads the cast as Eileen Lewis, the recently widowed matriarch of the chaotic Lewis clan, a large, close-knit and dysfunctional Northern family. The trip to Lapland depicted in the Christmas special changed Eileen's outlook on life and left the newly widowed pensioner determined to live life to the full rather than 'sitting in the corner dressed in black'. However, life back in Birkenhead proves a little less inspiring than the spectacular vistas and Northern lights of Lapland.
The series will centre on Eileen's struggle to find her own peace and joy in life whilst often confounded by her self-centred children and loveable but trying grandchildren, after husband Ted's death.
The show features three households and three generations: Eileen; her son and daughter-in-law Pete (Dean Andrews) and Mandy (Julie Graham); daughter and son-in-law Paula (Elizabeth Berrington) and Ray (William Ash); and both couples' respective children: Ethan & Melissa and Jack & Liam.
As was the special, the series will be written by Michael Wynne, whose previous credits include Eyes Down and The Priory, and produced by Rosemary McGowan (Jonathan Creek).
BBC Executive Mark Freeland says "After its rating success last Christmas, it's exciting that Lapland is coming back as a series. It shows BBC One backs fresh, new, comic writing."
Executive Producer Pete Thornton adds: "Michael Wynne has penned a beautifully nuanced, warm hearted Northern comedy featuring a highly original comic family. With the brilliant Sue Johnston leading a stellar cast, we're thrilled to welcome this hit ensemble back to BBC One."
Lapland will be filmed in Salford, Manchester, Liverpool and Birkenhead from later this month, and is being lined up for broadcast in early 2013.
Below is a clip from the Christmas special, in which the Lewis Family nearly miss their flight:
Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series, the BBC has confirmed today.
Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a new comedy panel show for ITV focused on the world of sport.
The character Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Back To The Future film.
Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Doc Brown, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.
Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the May General Election with a new Wipe special focusing on the political campaign.
Martin Clunes and the rest of the Doc Martin cast are now in Cornwall to film Series 7 of the hit ITV comedy drama.
The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read
Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read
A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read
Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read
Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read
Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read
Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View
Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read