Not Going Out | Series 14 confirmed

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Amidst a bunch of new comedy commissions, the BBC announces that Not Going Out is getting a series 14.

There has been much written about the dearth of comedy on television at the moment, with even popular shows like King Gary and The Goes Wrong Show being cancelled.

However, at the BBC Comedy Festival in Glasgow, commissioning editor Jon Petrie called for the TV industry to “save our sitcoms” with a focus on “protecting homegrown storytelling and creating the next generation of classics”.

He added: “Mainstream comedy is what viewers love best. It’s written right through our comedy heritage and is so close to our hearts. It can tell our stories and bring us together like nothing else. That’s why audiences and critics feel so passionately about it and have such a strong sense of ownership. We want producers to take risks and create the next generation of classic sitcoms and immortal characters that audiences will keep returning to for decades to come”.

As such, lots of comedy is now on the way.

First up is Lee Mack’s Not Going Out, which after a period of uncertainty is returning for its 14th series, making it the longest running British sitcom currently on air. Mack and Sally Bretton will reprise their roles of Lee and Lucy. The regular cast also includes Hugh Dennis and Abigail Cruttenden as Toby and Anna, alongside Geoffrey Whitehead and Deborah Grant as Lucy’s parents Geoffrey and Wendy.

Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin’s popular family sitcom Outnumbered will return for a Christmas special. All the main cast will return, including Hugh Dennis as dad Pete, Claire Skinner as mum Sue, Tyger Drew-Honey as eldest son Jake, Daniel Roche as the middle child Ben and Ramona Marquez as the daughter, Karen. The synopsis reads as follows:

In a moment of adversity, Sue and Pete gather all their offspring (including one grandchild) to try and celebrate a traditional family Christmas. But fate, neighbours, hyenas and bus replacement services get in their way.

Mike Bubbins’ terrific new sitcom Mammoth, about a PE teacher who is frozen in the 1970s and wakes up in the present day, has also been recommissioned for a second series. The cast features Sian Gibson and Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Joseph Marcell

Gibson also co-writes and co-stars in final recommission The Power of Parker. Co-written by Paul Coleman, the show stars Conleth Hill as businessman Martin Parker, who must juggle life with his wife Diane (Rosie Caveliro) and his mistress Kath (Gibson).

New commissions include Smoggie, an LGBTQ ‘chosen family’ sitcom written by Phil Dunning. It will “tell the story of volatile Dickie (Dunning), drag queen Mam (Mark Benton), self-styled “hun” Lucinda (former Coronation Street star Alexandra Mardell), awkward Sal (Patsy Lowe) and newcomer Stewart (Elijah Young), as they navigate love, life and their pride for a town that feels neglected in its own little corner of the UK.

The other new commission is Funboys, written by Rian Lennon and Ryan Dylan. It began as a BBC Comedy Short Film in 2023 and has now been expanded into a full series. The synopsis reads as follows:

Funboys sees friends Callum (Ryan Dylan), Jordan (Rian Lennon) and Lorcan (Lee Dobbin) as they attempt to navigate through the hardships of life. Life is never easy for this trio of sad worms: from first girlfriends to dead pet pigs, the lads are put through the psychological ringer. But will their shared love of innocent fun and wholesome mucking about land them in hot water?.

The BBC’s Christmas schedule is shaping up nicely, what with new episodes of Outnumbered, Doctor Who, Wallace and Gromit and the series finale of Gavin And Stacey. More, as always, as we hear it.

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