John Cleese’s BBC comedy Hold the Sunset is a sitcom about a pair of old friends whose plans to get married and move abroad to a place in the sun are disrupted when a grown-up son unexpectedly moves back home.
Here’s what you need to know about the new series of Hold the Sunset…
When is Hold the Sunset back on TV?
Hold the Sunset series 2 began on 2nd August 2019.
Series one launched in February 2018, and filming for series two began in September 2018 (wrapping in October after six weeks of filming). A Christmas special arrived on our screens in December of that year.
Announcing the show’s recommissioning, John Cleese said: “I really enjoyed making the first series. It was great to be able to do so much sitting-down acting. I look forward to seeing our lovely cast again.” The drama will again be penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Charles McKeown.
What is Hold the Sunset about?
Back in series one, we met Edith (Alison Steadman), a widow with an old boyfriend called Phil (John Cleese) who now lived across the road. Her children lived locally and dropped by regularly – and life was pretty ideal.
Phil dreamt of marrying Edith and moving abroad together to enjoy the sunshine. But after months of turning him down, on the happy day Edith finally said “yes”, there was a knock on the door – and there on the step, carrying a large suitcase, was her grown-up son Roger (Jason Watkins).
Roger announced that he’d left his wife, his kids and his job, and come home “in an attempt to find his lost happiness again.” Immediately, “to Edith’s dismay and Phil’s fury,” their future plans were put on hold.
By the end of the series, Edith and Phil were still planning to move abroad. But as the BBC put it, “with Edith’s 50 year old son Roger (Jason Watkins) showing no signs of leaving home or reuniting with his estranged wife Wendy (Rosie Cavaliero), is their dream of a sunset happy-ever-after slipping ever further away?”
Series one was the most successful comedy launch on BBC1 since 2014, attracting more than six million viewers – although reviews were mixed.
Who is in the cast of Hold the Sunset?
Leading the cast are Alison Steadman as Edith, with Monty Python actor John Cleese as Phil.
Jason Watkins plays Edith’s son Roger. The cast also includes Rosie Cavaliero as Roger’s abandoned wife Wendy, Anne Reid as the interfering housekeeper Queenie, and Joanna Scanlan as Roger’s money-driven sister Sandra.
Then there’s James Cosmo as Edith’s troublesome ex-boyfriend Bob and Peter Egan as the confrontational local resident Mr Dugdale.
Further stars joined the cast for the Christmas special and series two, including Sue Johnston as Edith’s “impossible sister” Joan, Christian Brassington as “hopeless estate agent” Percy, and Shauna MacDonald as Bob’s “irrepressible and individual” daughter Georgie. Annette Badland also featured in the Christmas special as Celia