Eyebrows were raised and eyes rolled when the revival of Birds of a Feather was first announced last June, but the doubters have been proved wrong. With a launch episode drawing in 9.5 million – ITV’s most successful comedy launch in over a decade – and a series average of 7.9 million, Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have been rewarded with a recommission from the broadcaster.
The second series will be penned by creators Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, with the eight new episodes due to be filmed later this year. “We’re delighted Birds of a Feather was such a success on ITV and really pleased to be asked to write another series,” said Gran. “We hope the future adventures of Sharon, Tracey and Dorien will continue to thrill audiences young and old.”
ITV’s director of comedy and entertainment, Elaine Bedell, added: “We’re very pleased that the brilliant chemistry between these three great actresses once again attracted the large and loyal audience that Birds of a Feather deserves. The writers and producers have done a fantastic job in making the show feel funny, fresh and relevant.”
First conceived at BBC, Birds of a Feather originally ran from 1989 to 1998 and starred Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson as sisters Tracey Stubbs and Sharon Theodopolopodos who set up home together after their husbands were sent to prison for armed robbery. Joined by their man-crazy neighbour, Dorien (Lesley Joseph), the series was a huge success, earning Bafta nominations and a British Comedy Award during its nine-year run.
The ITV revival – which concluded its first series yesterday evening – brought all three members of the gang back together, with Dorien reinventing herself as an erotic novelist under the pseudonym Foxy Cohen and Sharon’s on-screen nephews played by her Quirke’s son Charlie and former Busted star Matt Willis.