It was described by one critic as heralding the arrival of the female Morecambe and Wise - but such praise has fallen on deaf ears at Channel 4, which has decided not to recommission a second series of its two-woman sketch show Anna & Katy, RadioTimes.com can reveal.
C4 sources say it will not be going to a second run after the first attracted a number of glowing reviews but performed poorly in the ratings.
The series, which focused heavily on pastiches of TV shows, started with an audience of around half a million according to overnight figures, and steadily shed viewers. However, the scheduling – a tricky 10:35pm Wednesday slot earlier this spring – is unlikely to have helped.
“While they won’t be back in a sketch show we do love them a lot and are committed to them as talent and are talking to them about other projects,” a C4 source told RadioTimes.com.
Channel 4 commissioned a full six-part series based on a 2011 Comedy Lab pilot Anna and Katy and aired it in March.
It featured celebrity cameos and a daytime TV parody, while one of the best received sketches was a spoof business reality show, Ignition, which followed employees of a car wash company who hadn't managed to wash a single car since opening.
“I’m not going to describe what I saw, mainly because it was through tears as I lay on the floor and laughed my legs off,” wrote The Guardian’s Lucy Mangan.
“It was all a lot of fun. Indeed, rather like a modern-day Morecambe and Wise, one of the nicest things about Anna and Katy was how much its protagonists seem to be enjoying themselves," said Emma Gosnell in The Telegraph.
However the show was not to the taste of The Independent's Tom Sutcliffe, who said: “Anna & Katy included a skit about a dinner party at which no one could recognise a joke until it was laboriously pointed out to them... It was quite an interesting sketch but not terribly funny, which was also true of most of the programme… These people can deliver a funny line, but they were struggling with a serious shortage of that particular commodity.”