New version of Porridge ends after one series

Thursday 22nd February 2018, 12:15pm

  • The new version of Porridge has finished after a single series
  • BBC One has confirmed that it doesn't have "any plans for a second helping of Porridge"
Porridge. Image shows from L to R: Culhane (Caolan Byrne), Officer Braithwaite (Dominic Coleman), Officer Driscoll (Amina Zia), Officer Meekie (Mark Bonnar), Aziz (Harman Singh), Joe Lotterby (Dave Hill), Fletch (Kevin Bishop), Shel (Jason Barnett), Culhane (Caolan Byrne), Dougie Parfitt (Harry Peacock), Scudds (Ricky Grover), Nagid (John Marquez). Copyright: BBC.

The new version of Porridge has finished after one series, with the BBC confirming they have no plans to film a second run of the rebooted format.

Written by original creators Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, the new version of the classic prison comedy starred Kevin Bishop as Fletch, the grandson of the character played by Ronnie Barker in the original 1970s sitcom.

The reinvention started life as a one-off episode in 2016 as part of the BBC's Landmark Sitcom Season. Following a positive audience response and good press reviews, six more episodes were made. Broadcast on BBC One in October and November 2017, the run finished with 2.4 million viewers (based on overnight ratings).

However, the BBC has now confirmed they have no plans to make a second series.

A BBC spokesperson told British Comedy Guide: "We are very proud of the show and delighted that we had the chance to connect comedy writing giants Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais back with a mainstream audience on BBC One.

"Whilst we currently don't have any plans for a second helping of Porridge there are lots of exciting new comedies coming soon to BBC One for audiences to sink their teeth into including Home From Home, Warren and Mister Winner."

Speaking in an interview ahead of the series being broadcast, Kevin Bishop admitted taking on the role was "nervewracking", adding "When they initially said they were thinking of remaking it, I thought that may not be a good idea because it's the closest thing to a perfect sitcom that I know. I wasn't really sure even throughout the rehearsal process of the pilot whether it would be a success or not - you don't know until you get in front of that studio audience."

Series 1 is available on DVD.


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Porridge - Series One

Porridge - Series One

Nigel Fletcher - 'Fletch' to his friends - is a sharp-witted chancer with no respect for authority. Just like his grandad Norman. Now, nearly 40 years after Norman served time, Nigel is following in his grandad's footsteps. By heading straight into a prison cell.

The original Porridge, starring Ronnie Barker, is widely considered one of the best British sitcoms ever. Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are television legends who created classics including The Likely Lads and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Includes all 6 episodes plus the original 30 minute pilot episode.

First released: Monday 20th November 2017

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