**SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN EPISODE FOUR OF CAR SHARE**
Earlier today, Peter Kay phoned in to a radio station with some devastating news. Sadly it wasn’t Forever FM, but BBC Radio Manchester, where he announced that this is the end of the road for Car Share.
There will be no Christmas special. No third series. The Fiat 500 has made its last journey.
“You’ve got to get out while the going’s good,” he said. “I am absolutely delighted and overwhelmed by everybody’s support and the fact that everyone’s loved it so much has been wonderful for everyone who’s made it, but you’re better quitting while you’re ahead.”
Now considering how the fourth and final episode of Peter Kay’s Car Share ends (in all its devastating, tear-jerking glory), this simply won’t do. It can’t do. It has a cliffhanger ending that Line of Duty would be proud of and as I watched I was left with clutched fists as that taxi drove off into the distance, infuriated as the credits rolled that I’d have to wait a painfully long time to see what happened next.
The prospect of never finding out where Kayleigh and John’s story goes afterwards is too much to bear.
I want – no, need – a Christmas special. Just one 30-minute episode to round everything off in a neat, red bow. Because as controversial as this may be, I don’t want to see a third series of Car Share.
“You need good ideas – that’s the problem,” said Kay of doing more episodes of the hit sitcom. “You need good, strong stories. A lot of series tend to go on for one series too many, especially with comedies, and I think people say ‘ooh, it’s gone off, that’.”
He’s absolutely right, of course. Just like the best and most iconic BBC sitcoms (Fawlty Towers, The Office, I’m Alan Partridge, The Young Ones), two series are plenty. The stories have been told, the ideas have remained fresh and nothing has started to feel tired. Currently, the tread is still meaty on Car Share’s tires.
It’s admirable that Kay is so concerned about the quality of the show – although he has form here. He’s never done more than two series of any programme, and so a third would be unlikely. It’s not that the TV execs wouldn’t want any more – the BBC would no doubt be begging for multiple series of a show that has smashed iPlayer records, won BAFTAs and pulls in 6.5 million viewers.
Not wanting to milk it is understandable, but what would be the harm in one more trip?
Everything in series two of Car Share was building up to a Christmas special. Kayleigh and John had plenty of discussions about the festive rota and who was working in whose Christmas team at the supermarket. There was even that stuff in episode one of the second series about Kayleigh lying to the woman on the bus about being in charge of Christmas promotions, wanting John to order 500 red and green balloons and 200 tins of Quality Street for the festive period.
Add into that how perfectly Car Share lends itself to Christmas: you can just see John and Kayleigh having salt flicked all over the windscreen as they get stuck behind a gritter on the ring road, John moaning about how it’s a crap time of year and Kayleigh belting out I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday – a novelty festive air freshener she’s given him hanging from the rear-view mirror, much to his annoyance.
Just like Tim and Dawn in The Office, Kayleigh and John’s will they, won’t they relationship full of snatched and then ruined moments has been the main thrust of the show; the reason why we have all become just soinvested in this sitcom. It’s infuriating but also thrilling to see them almost but then not quite make it, time and time again.
In both drama and comedy, will they won’t they relationships always have a limited shelf life. You can’t drag them on forever, partly because it’s implausible but also because it gets rather stale, and a third series of Car Share would almost undoubtedly tip into this territory.
But it was in The Office’s Christmas special when Tim and Dawn finally got together, and it was done so perfectly. Surely John and Kayleigh deserve to have the same happy ending?