Sky1 recommissions Stella and The Cafe

Ruth Jones and Ralf Little get second series of their comedies

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Sky1 sitcoms Stella and The Cafe will both return for a second series, the channel has confirmed. 

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Both shows will reappear in 2013 – Stella for a ten-episode run, The Cafe in eight parts.

The comedy drama Stella features and was created by Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones: she plays the title role, a single mother to three children in the imagined Welsh village of Pontyberry. Elizabeth Berrington co-stars.

A critical and ratings hit, Stella debuted in January on Sky1 to 1.4 million viewers and was described by Radio Times as “genial but not sentimental and rude without being mucky… chock full of dialogue you’ll want to memorise for the pub”.

“I’m over the moon to hear that Sky want more Stella,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to Pontyberry again. Even though it doesn’t actually exist.”

The Cafe, a sitcom about a group of friends in Weston-super-Mare, was less well received – Radio Times said it “wants to be warm and deft, a bit like The Royle Family or Gavin & Stacey, but it’s a superficial copy” – yet performed solidly in the ratings, averaging 0.9m for the first series when it was shown in November and December 2011.

“It was enough of a shock to get series one, so to be given another chance is the most incredible opportunity,” said Michelle Terry, who along with Ralf Little co-wrote and co-starred in The Cafe. “Now I just hope we don’t balls it up.”

Sky1 has previously announced second series for Spy, Trollied and Mount Pleasant, while Sky Atlantic has recommissioned its homegrown comedy This Is Jinsy.

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Sky has committed to increasing its investment in original British content by 50% over the next three years. By 2014, Sky says it expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels.