British Comedy Guide

Count Arthur Strong to end

Monday 7th August 2017, 7:55pm

  • The BBC has declined to order a fourth series of Count Arthur Strong
  • Graham Linehan and Steve Delaney's sitcom will end after disappointing viewing figures
  • The series saw Delaney star as his popular and befuddled ageing former variety star character, Count Arthur
Count Arthur Strong. Image shows from L to R: Count Arthur Strong (Steve Delaney), Michael Baker (Rory Kinnear).

Count Arthur Strong will not return for a fourth series, it is being reported.

The BBC has decided to bring the TV sitcom, starring Steve Delaney's widely successful deluded former variety star character, to an end after its recent third series, according to the Radio Times.

Rory Kinnear co-starred as Michael, son of the Count's former double-act partner, who comes to know the ageing star whilst researching a book about his late father's career.

A spokesperson for the corporation told the magazine's website: "There are no current plans for a further series of Count Arthur Strong on the BBC. It's just sadly reached the end of the line for now. Count Arthur Strong is such a loved character amongst the fans, I'm sure he'll live on beyond the series."

The sitcom's first series was broadcast in 2013, with a second following in 2015. The third series aired in June and July 2017, attracting an average overnight audience of just 1.18 million viewers to its prime-time BBC One slot of 8:30pm on Friday nights. By contrast, repeats of Mrs. Brown's Boys airing an hour later attract around three million each week.

Based around the character Delaney has continued to play successfully on radio and stage for many years, the sitcom was co-written with Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd).

A family-friendly sitcom, it suffered in both its first and second series from poor scheduling: initially on the less mainstream BBC Two, and then on BBC One but in a graveyard 10:35pm slot, usually reserved for far darker and more experimental comedy programmes.

However, many fans of the Count Arthur character, and of radio sitcom Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!, which has so far run for seven series between 2005 and 2016, criticised the TV show for featuring the character of Michael, rather than the Count, too heavily and too centrally as the protagonist of many episodes.

The complete third series of Count Arthur Strong is available now on DVD. A novelty comedy record in which the Count dueted with actor and singer Anita Harris on the song Somethin' Stupid, with a B-side of Lovely Day, was released earlier in the year. All seven Radio Show! series are also available to own.

Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! - The Complete Seventh Series

Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! - The Complete Seventh Series

Come along with Arthur as he gets his ancient Hillman Minx back on the road, with or without Terry Wogan as a passenger, and is invited to Spain to run his old friend's Cabaret Bar. What could possibly go wrong!

Arthur is again supported by regular sidekicks Wilf Taylor, Master Butcher; Gerry, the café owner; Sally, his long suffering friend; and is joined in Spain by his protégé, Malcolm De Tinsel.

First released: Monday 17th March 2014

Count Arthur & Anita Harris - Somethin' Stupid

Count Arthur & Anita Harris - Somethin' Stupid

Count Arthur Strong, showbiz legend and raconteur, has long claimed a close friendship with 70s It Girl Anita Harris. They now return to release a special record together to aurally consummate their professional relationship.

Count Arthur's legendary and some might say effortless ascent to showbiz reverence is well documented, not least by Arthur himself in his memoirs Through It All I've Always Laughed.

Anita Harris has had a breath-taking career spanning over fifty years which started when, as a 15 year old, she was spotted on a London ice rink. She has since appeared in two Carry On films, graced the top of the pop charts, become a pantomime legend as Peter Pan, starred in Cats in the West End for 13 years and featured in 7 Royal Command Performances.

Together they are releasing a cover of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra song Something Stupid. The B-Side will see Arthur attack Lovely Day by Bill Withers.

First released: Friday 17th February 2017

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Count Arthur Strong - The Complete Third Series

Count Arthur Strong - The Complete Third Series

Wit, bon vivant, social gadfly, master of the mystic arts and star of stage and screen Count Arthur Strong is none of these, though he likes to think he is...

Steve Delaney returns as the pompously delusional Count Arthur in this BAFTA-nominated sitcom written by Delaney and Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd). Co-starring Rory Kinnear as Michael, a perpetually nervous writer and the son of Arthur's late comedy partner, this third series is presented here complete and uncut.

Arthur is enlisted to rid a haunted house of its demonic occupants though things get worse when a birthday treat for Michael turns into a terrifying battle for survival! Things go downhill from there what with amnesiac detective work, strange religious organisations, John's gangster pals... and "The Soupover", which is like a sleepover but with much more soup...

First released: Monday 17th July 2017

  • Distributor: Network
  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Minutes: 210
  • Subtitles: English

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