TV Preview: Still Game Moves to BBC1

After a nine-year break Still Game returns for a new six-part series, revisiting evergreen pensioners Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade as they embrace the spirit of growing old disgracefully.

Created, written by and starring Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, each week Still Game visits the fictional area of Craiglang, as life-long friends Jack and Victor cope with everything modern life throws at them. Still Game favourites, Winston (Paul Riley), Isa (Jane McCarry), Tam (Mark Cox), Navid (Sanjeev Kohli) and Boabby the Barman (Gavin Mitchell) are all back for this much-anticipated new series which goes straight to network on BBC One for the first time in its 14-year history.

Still Game started life as a theatre show before moving to radio, becoming a TV sketch and then a sitcom in 2002. Over the years, the television series gained iconic comedy status and has since gone on to become an internet hit reaching a new audience online through streaming sites.

A BBC Studios production through BBC Scotland, the new series of Still Game was commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, who welcomes the return of the popular series: “The new series is jam-packed with great lines and hilarious ideas as the world of Craiglang has only got dafter since we last saw those well-loved characters. As well as being laugh-out-loud funny there's a warm-hearted sense of community which is very endearing.”

Steven Canny, Executive Producer, says: “We're honoured to have had the chance to bring Still Game back to the BBC. Not only is it loved and cherished by a huge audience but it's also knockout funny and original. Jack and Victor are two of the stand-out comic characters from modern TV comedy and we're hugely fortunate to have the opportunity to bring them back for a wider audience in the UK and beyond.”

Still Game highlights BBC Scotland's commitment to producing distinctive and reflective Scottish output, complementing productions including Two Doors Down (BBC Two), One Of Us (BBC One), Shetland (BBC One), River City (BBC One Scotland), Katie Morag (CBeebies) and new drama series, Trust Me (BBC One).

Director and long-time Still Game collaborator Michael Hines describes the show’s appeal: “I see the Still Game characters as pairs so you have Jack and Victor who are the Greek chorus observing the community around about them. Jack’s an early-bedder, he’s less likely to have sudden outbursts, Victor’s more intellectual, he knows all about WWII and is more upstanding. One smokes and the other eats sweets.

“Then you have Boabby and Navid. Navid is very much in charge of his surroundings, he’s like the Lion King because in his shop everyone pays homage to him and respects him, they’re almost frightened of him. Whereas with Boabby, he’s regularly condescended by the others and brutalised by everyone else around about him and they will always try and get a free drink out of him at the Clansman. No one would ever steal from Navid’s.

“Then there’s Winston and Tam. Tam’s always on the lookout to get something for nothing, he’s a nice guy but as tight as they come whereas, on the face of it, Winston is grumpy and rails against everything. Actually, for Winston, he just likes what he likes - the bookies and to do his own thing.

“Then you have Isa who stands out alone as a single woman fighting her corner. And although she is a gossip, she brings a lot of the heart to Still Game. The men might call her nosey but they don’t mean to be nasty, it’s all meant to be endearing and protective of her.

“This new series includes guest stars Kevin Whately and Ronni Ancona. Kevin was absolutely brilliant,. I was a little star struck. Kevin wanted to work on the show - he got Still Game straight away. We forget that he had a huge comedy pedigree in Auf Wiedershen, Pet."

Still Game starts on BBC1 on October 7 at 9.30pm.

Still Game Cast and Crew

Ford Kiernan - Jack Jarvis
Greg Hemphill – Victor McDade
Paul Riley - Winston Ingram
Jane McCarry - Isa Drennan
Mark Cox - Tam Mullen
Sanjeev Kohli - Navid Harrid
Gavin Mitchell - Boabby

Writers - Ford Kiernan & Greg Hemphill
Director - Michael Hines
Producer - Jacqueline Sinclair
Executive Producer - Steven Canny

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