Quote: Tommy Griff @ 28th September 2017, 10:33 AM
Does anybody know why Mike and Rita were re-cast for the second film special?
I've done some research on this for you this evening. I've found no 100% definitive answer, but: it seems after the BBC originally cancelled the series in 1968, amidst various tensions, both Stubbs and Booth found plenty of work elsewhere, particularly on stage.
Booth in particular had grown to hate the show, taking the critical line and believing it to be promoting Alf's views and being "right wing propaganda", rather than mocking them, and seems to have disliked Speight too. In fact, when the BBC revived the series in 1972, it took Mitchell going into character in public and begging him to return, for him to agree to come back.
No surprise, then, that he made no appearance (that I'm aware of offhand) in either Till Death... or In Sickness & In Health.
(Neither Mike nor Rita appeared in the 1970 special Up The Polls nor the 1971 Christmas Night With The Stars sketch.)