Gregg Nunney: Flogging a dead bird?

Sharon, Tracey and Dorian from Bird of a Feather
Sharon, Tracey and Dorian from Bird of a Feather

A few years ago I got a lot of stick for stating in my column that I was glad Last of the Summer Wine was being axed from the BBC schedule.

I said that I thought it had had its day and wondered if, after 37 uninterrupted years, there was any chance it could just be rested and freshened up.

Comedy series very rarely last more than four or five seasons because, understandably, the jokes dry up.

Take a look at The Simpsons – every now and then a classic episode rears its head but, generally, the high standard of the early years has been missing for some time.

The writers of Fawlty Towers got it right – they quit while the going was good – and last week after only four seasons The IT Crowd came to an end.

Walt Disney coined the phrase “Leave ‘em wanting more”.

If you stop something while the quality is still high then there’s always an opportunity to revisit the characters at a later date.

Last week I discovered that a brand new series of Birds of a Feather is going to air in the winter.

Now given my opinion of Summer Wine you may be surprised to learn that I used to love that show.

I thought the gags were funny, the characters likeable and – more importantly – most of us could identify with one of the leads.

It’s been the best part of 15 years since Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph were last on the small screen though, so is the show still relevant?

It’s been touring in the theatres very successfully but a few hundred laughs from the stalls is different to a TV audience of millions. Only time will tell.

In my opinion Only Fools and Horses should have finished in 1996 when the Trotters became millionaires, rather than the odd special appearing on our screens every other Christmas.

Whether Sharon and Tracey suffer the same fate remains to be seen.