Porridge is heading back in the slammer for a revival of the cult classic BBC comedy series, The Sunday Times reports:
IT IS almost 40 years since the cell door slammed on “habitual criminal” Norman Stanley Fletcher, but the BBC is to revive its classic comedy Porridge, with his grandson in the prison bunk.
The corporation’s recidivism comes after Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, who created the original series in the 1970s, were persuaded to write new material.
“We were asked by the BBC to do a revival and decided to set it right up to date,” said La Frenais, adding that the new member of the Fletcher clan will be in his twenties and “a chip off the old block”.
“He’s called Fletch, too, and has what I would call attitude.”
The new Fletch, the child of Norman’s son, Ray, will be serving a sentence for computer hacking.
The BBC are also in talks to revive other classic series including The Good Life, Are You Being Served?, Up Pompeii! and Keeping Up Appearances, per Broadcast:
The projects are at a variety of stages and are being overseen by BBC Productions comedy executive producer Ben Farrell, who is in discussions with writers and talent. Comedy controller Shane Allen will be responsible for the commissions for BBC1.
This weekend, Porridge creator Ian La Frenais confirmed to the Sunday Times that he was working on a modern version of the much-loved Ronnie Barker sitcom.
“We were asked by the BBC to do a revival and decided to set it right up to date,” he told the paper. “It will be set in a modern prison while Slade was of course Victorian.”
Broadcast understands that James Corden was approached to take on Barker’s role as Norman Stanley Fletcher, but will not be able to appear due to his commitments in the US. Johnny Vegas has also been linked to the role.
In September, BBC1 announced plans to revisit classic comedy characters as part of a special season in 2016. Although the current ambition is to offer 30-minute specials, the BBC would not rule out taking some of the revivals to series if they are successful.