Gold to celebrate 25 years of The Royle Family

Tuesday 1st August 2023, 11:45am

Royle Exclusive: Behind The Sofa. Image shows left to right: Craig Cash, Caroline Aherne

Gold is re-editing its 2010 documentary about The Royle Family to mark the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the sitcom.

Originally titled Royle Exclusive: Behind The Sofa but now re-branded as The Royle Family: Down The Back Of The Sofa, the two-hour special - coming to Gold this September - is billed as a "definitive look" at the hit comedy.

The original documentary included the only ever footage of creators Craig Cash and the late Caroline Aherne being interviewed as a pair.

The Royle Family launched on BBC Two on 14th September 1998, and soon became known for its then-unique approach to sitcom storytelling, breaking away from the traditional sitcom structure. Starring Aherne and Cash with Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston and Ralf Little, the show resonated with viewers with its relatable portrayal of family dynamics and garnered a loyal fanbase.

The Royle Family. Image shows from L to R: Dave Best (Craig Cash), Antony Royle (Ralf Little), Denise Royle / Best (Caroline Aherne), Jim Royle (Ricky Tomlinson), Barbara Royle (Sue Johnston), Norma Speakman (Liz Smith). Copyright: Granada Productions / Jellylegs

The Royle Family: Down The Back Of The Sofa will feature the original cast interviews alongside fresh insights from celebrity fans such as Diane Morgan, Rosie Jones, Jamie Demetriou, Natasia Demetriou, John Thomson, Rachel Fairburn, Shobna Gulati, Jack Rooke, Sharon Rooney and producer John Rushton.

Documentary producers Phil McIntyre Television say: "It's a real treat to be able to revisit Behind The Sofa for The Royle Family's Silver Jubilee. When we originally made this film, we were lucky enough to work closely with Craig and Caroline in what was their first on-screen interview, little did we know that it would turn out to be their last, so we're very grateful to the team at Gold to be able to re-look at a film that we're very proud of."

Commissioner Jason Dawson comments: "A quarter of a century! The Royle Family has without doubt left a permanent mark in television history and we're delighted to have commissioned this documentary for the 25th anniversary. Working alongside Craig and the brilliant team at [producers] Phil McIntyre is such a pleasure, and we hope viewers will enjoy reliving this celebration of one of the nation's most beloved shows."

Channel director Gerald Casey adds: "We absolutely love an anniversary on Gold, and we know our viewers love these nostalgic trips down memory lane just as much as us. It is an honour to have this retrospective documentary airing on Gold this September."

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