The Rebel starring Simon Callow to return for Series 2

Sunday 30th July 2017, 1:34pm

  • The Rebel, the sitcom starring Simon Callow, is to return to Gold for a second series
  • Six new half hour episodes are due to be filmed in Brighton for broadcast on television later this year
  • Simon Callow says: "I'm so pleased to be getting inside Henry Palmer's skin again"
The Rebel. Henry Palmer (Simon Callow). Copyright: Retort

British Comedy Guide can reveal that The Rebel, the sitcom starring Simon Callow as a hellraising pensioner, is to return to Gold for a second series.

Pre-production work is now underway on six new half hour episodes, with filming set to take place in Brighton.

The Rebel, which launched as a three-part series in July 2016, is based on Andrew Birch's cartoon strip in The Oldie magazine.

The TV version stars Simon Callow as the irascible Henry Palmer, a former mod who sees no reason to stop living his life by his own rules now he's in his seventies. Sticking two fingers up to authority, society and the vagaries of modern life, and of the firm belief there's no problem that can't be solved by a great tune and a quick bit of vandalism, Henry Palmer and his friends get into all kinds of misadventures in the episodes.

Bill Paterson, who plays former hippie Charles, and Anita Dobson as charity shop worker Margaret, are also set to return for the new series. Anna Crilly and Amit Shah will also revive their roles as Henry's put-upon daughter Cath and her husband, Jeremy.

Talking about returning for Series 2, Simon Callow says: "I'm so pleased to be getting inside Henry Palmer's skin again: a man of certain age behaving very badly, casting off the chains of convention, uttering the unutterable and defying decency. Age has only sharpened his refusal to conform. Ladies and gentlemen - sorry - hello everyone, I give you Henry Palmer: reprobate, rascal - Rebel."

The Rebel. Image shows from L to R: Margaret (Anita Dobson), Charles (Bill Paterson), Henry Palmer (Simon Callow). Copyright: Retort

Writer Andrew Birch adds: "The one thing better than having a sitcom commissioned is being asked to write a second series. I feel especially fortunate to be working once again with such marvellous actors, film crew and director, and such a brilliant team from Retort and UKTV. I hope the continuing adventures of Henry, his friends and long-suffering family in the mean streets of Brighton amuse you all, and provoke acts of rebellion throughout our fair land."

Pete Thornton, UKTV senior commissioning editor, comments: "It was such a joy to watch Simon breathe (or should that be bellow?) life into Henry Palmer over three episodes last year - a joy that Gold viewers clearly shared in their numbers. It's a real pleasure to be working with him and the rest of the cast, Andrew Birch and the talented production team at Retort to create a full six-part series of senior misbehaviour this year."

Steve North, Gold's general manager, says: "We're hugely proud that The Rebel struck such a chord with our viewers with its first series. Along with Murder On The Blackpool Express and our upcoming retrospectives on Sir David Jason and Only Fools And Horses, the rest of the year is really exciting for Gold."

Executive Producer Jon Rolph concludes: "We're delighted that Henry and his friends are returning to UKTV to say 'yes' to more glorious rebellion and 'no' to the madnesses and stupidities of modern life."

The Rebel Series 2 will be shown on Gold later this year.

See also: Interviews with the writer and cast of The Rebel

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