Royle Family to make a comeback
The Royle Family
The Royles is centred in a Manchester living room
Comedy The Royle Family is to return to the BBC for a one-off special.
Co-creator and star Caroline Aherne is currently working on the script for the show, which is likely to feature the original members of the cast.
Aherne, who announced her retirement from television in 2001, is expected to reprise her role as Denise.
The comedy, largely set in the living room of the Manchester family, began on BBC Two in 1998 and was last seen on BBC One on Christmas Day 2000.
Aherne's writing partner Craig Cash, who plays Denise's husband Dave, is also involved on the development of the script.
The show has been commissioned by the BBC and is being made by ITV Productions at Granada studios in Manchester, where the previous three series and two specials were filmed.
The special is scheduled to air on BBC One later this year.
Andy Harries, ITV's controller of drama and comedy said: "We've been talking to Caroline a lot and we knew that she was thinking about doing it.
Jim Royle (Ricky Tomlinson) spends much of the show in his armchair
"She had started writing it. She'd thought about it but decided not to do it, then she changed her mind. She just had an idea for it and she thought it would work really well," he added.
"The show won't have moved on that much. They'll be talking about different TV programmes," said Mr Harries.
He added that actor Ricky Tomlinson, who played Jim Royle, was keen to make a new episode, and said "I'm coming down right now" when told of the plans.
Other principal members of the cast include Sue Johnston, Ralf Little and Jessica Stevenson.
The award-winning comedy was based around the Royles perpetually watching the television in their front room and exchanging ordinary conversation.
Long pauses and static shots were among the trademarks of the show, which was elevated to BBC One for the second series.
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