Wednesday 11 May 2016


Beverley Lyons
STILL Game is finally returning to our screens after a nine year gap and although Isa will now be using Google and the show will now be networked Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill reckon the series will remain the same.
It's the news we've all been waiting for as BBC Scotland’s iconic comedy series returns to BBC One this year with a new six-parter starring all the original cast.
The new series will film from July 4 at BBC Scotland’s Dumbarton Studios in a purpose built set – the first time the comedy has filmed there – and will air on BBC One later in 2016.
Ford told the showbizlion: "Time has moved on but Jack and Victor's age hasn't. We're hoping to get back and that the audience are as comfy as they are when we left, like pulling on an old pair of slippers or going into a warm bath.
"Greg said: "It's the longest that we've probably ever spent on one series of Still Game. We started writing scripts in November and are filming in July so we wanted to get it exactly right. It's as if no time has passed from 2007 till now. "
"I don't know about it being funnier than ever really, but we are happy with the scripts. We worked harder on them than before. We were on a treadmill before and have had a lot of time to polish these scripts and get it right for newer audience and keep the chore audience happy."
Ford and Greg will reunite to play pensioners Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade for the sitcom which last aired on BBC One in 2007. The new series will also see the return of Still Game favourites Jane McCarry as Isa, Sanjeev Kohli as Navid, Gavin Mitchell as Bobby, Paul Riley as Winston and Mark Cox as Tam.
The series will now be networked but Ford and Greg claim they're not about to get posher or use subtitles so others can understand their Glasgow accents.
Ford said: "We're not going to start talking like Downton Abbey."
Greg added: "The show is what it is. We've been at great pains to look after our core audience. We've tried to expand it as well."
Ford joked: "There are lines like (in posh accent) 'I'm just nipping down to Navids for some totties' but we are trying to keep it down to a minimum. We couldn't possibly do it. They asked us to do the network for what is is not what it might become."
The two Scots talents can't wait to get their make up on to play their older counterparts but they admit they need less slap than when they first started.
Greg said: You can step back into the characters but we need less make up now."
Ford laughed: "When we started doing the characters at the Edinburgh festival we took two hours to get our make up on and when we did the Hydro it was forty minutes.
Greg added: "It's unique in that sense that we can park it and return.
We don't want to leave it for another nine years again. We love it and the rest of cast and Audience who watch it love it too. Hopefully they are back for good.
Ford joked: "It's always difficult to tell the mortgage people you've taken nine years off. I'm probably the only person whose used PPI."
The lads also claim the series will be updates slightly to fit in with modern times.
Greg said: "Time has moved on and the world turn and we will turn and there are contemporary issues like demolition and the changing face of the community. Isa has the internet and was Google before Google existed. There will be nods to those kind of things because we live in the present day.
Ford chipped in: "You could make a Scottish search engine and call it Isa."
He added: “We’re super happy to come back with the show - we had no idea how much it had been missed until we played the Hydro! Myself and Greg are really excited about getting the gang together again and we are putting our all in to make our fantastic audience feel like we’ve never been away.”
Greg Smiled: "We are thrilled to be given this opportunity, with the full support of the BBC Network, to don the bunnets once more! On behalf of all the cast, I'd like to thank Still Game fans for keeping the show alive after all these years. We'll save a seat for you in the Clansman."
The new series of Still Game will be a BBC in-house production and was commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning. Shane welcomes a Still Game reunion. He said: “A comedy phenomenon, Still Game’s return is much-anticipated as we, once again, meet up with Jack, Victor and their friends. The new series revisits one of the most iconic comedies of its time, a show which holds a very special place in the hearts of our audience. Ford and Greg are an exceptionally talented writing partnership and we’re looking forward to catching up with Jack and Victor after all these years.”
Ewan Angus, BBC Scotland’s Commissioning Editor, TV and Still Game executive producer added: “It’ll be fantastic to see Ford, Greg and the rest of the gang getting up to more comedy capers in Craiglang. Our audiences love Still Game. Whenever we show past episodes we are guaranteed big audiences and I know this new series will again delight Still Game’s legions of fans.”
The new six-part series will be executive produced by Ewan Angus, BBC Scotland and Steven Canny, BBC Comedy. It will be directed by long-time Still Game collaborator Michael Hines and produced by Jacqueline Sinclair.
Following a mammoth 21-night run of live shows at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena in 2015, audiences have been waiting in anticipation for Still Game to make its TV return.
The original run of the sitcom, which stars Kiernan and Hemphill as evergreen Glaswegian pensioners Jack and Victor, aired for six series between 2002 and 2007, transferring from BBC Scotland to BBC Two. The new series of Still Game will air on BBC One network when it returns later this year.

- From Scotland with love from

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