Birds Of A Feather may return to television

Tuesday 10th July 2012, 2:55pm

Image shows from L to R: Pauline Quirke, Lesley Joseph, Linda Robson.The sitcom Birds Of A Feather could be set to return to TV screens after a break of 14 years.

The Mirror reports that BBC executives are exploring the idea of bringing the show back, having viewed the success of the recent new stage version featuring the stars.

The Essex-based sitcom originally ran for 9 series on BBC One between 1989 and 1998, starring Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph. It followed the adventures of sisters Tracey Stubbs and Sharon Theodopolopodos, struggling to get by as independent women in recession-hit Britain after their husbands are sent to prison for armed robbery. The duo were often joined by their highly-sexed snobby next door neighbour Dorien Green.

The show ran for more than 100 episodes and at its height was watched regularly by more than 15 million viewers. Modern popular BBC One sitcoms are considered successful with a mere third of that figure.

Recently the writers - Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran - and stars reunited for a new stage tour featuring the characters. The live show, which began in March and finished on Saturday in Nottingham, obtained near universally positive reviews throughout its run.

The Mirror claims today: "Bosses at the BBC see a comeback as a guaranteed ratings winner after stars Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph's hugely successful theatre tour of the show."

Lesley Joseph, who plays Dorien, confirmed to the paper: "They are in talks to bring back the television show, with the three of us". She added: "I'd absolutely love to do it. Pauline, Linda and I have loved the stage show. It's a very unique bond that we have and it has been simply glorious to be a part of, it really has. We've had a fantastic time."

Image shows from L to R: Lesley Joseph, Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke.

Talking about the success of the live show, she added: "We have packed out every night on the road and most evenings we've been getting a standing ovation. It's like we've never been away."

However, this is not the first time that a television revival of the popular sitcom has been mooted. In a 2009 interview Pauline Quirke talked positively about the prospects of it returning to television. She said at the time: "People remember Birds Of A Feather so fondly because it didn't tail off at the end, the standard of the scripts didn't deteriorate. We'd be keen to maintain that standard. None of us would want to make a new series that was below standard. I'd rather stay at home doing the housework."

She added: "We did 101 episodes over 10 years. Not bad for a show that was basically three women sitting round a table, talking. I'm very proud of it."

The last time TV viewers saw the characters they'd run out of cash and been forced to move out of leafy Chigwell to the more downmarket Hainault. The 2012 stage production saw the characters back in Chigwell, with Tracey's younger son Travis - now a teenager - having inherited his late dad's 'talent' for breaking and entering.

The plot of the theatre show sees the sisters summoned to a 'private retirement facility' where, after some initial misunderstandings, they find their old friend Dorien in charge. However, the plot thickens when Dorien is accused of murder.

The BBC have yet to comment on the rumours of a new TV commission for the show.

Here's a clip from the first series of the sitcom:

And here's a video from February featuring the stars promoting the stage show on This Morning:

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